My Matchday - 246 2inspire Park

Tadcaster Albion 4v0 Eccleshill Town
Northern Counties East League Division 1
Saturday 27th March 2010
Tadcaster is a market town in the Selby district of North Yorkshire, which lies on the River Wharfe situated between the cities of Leeds and York.
The town has a long association with the brewing industry from as far back as the 14th century, due to the quality of the local water. Freshwater springs known locally as popple-wells, can still be seen bubbling up near St. Mary’s church.
The water is made from very hard magnesium limestone, rich in sulphate of lime which proved ideal for producing bright bitter beer as brewed by John Smith’s in Tadcaster from 1847, as bitter began to replace in popularity the sweeter porter ales, which had up to then, been the working-man's preferred pint.
There are three breweries still making booze in the town. The Tower Brewery, which was formally owned by Bass until being taking over by Coors. The Old Brewery which is the oldest in Yorkshire is home to the Samuel Smith Brewery, which was passed on to John’s nephew Samuel after John Smith’s Brewery moved on to bigger premises next door.

It was here that the John Smith’s Brewery formed their own football club, playing on the cricket ground pitch behind the brewery in 1892. The club began playing in local leagues, winning the York Football League Second Division in 1909-10 and continued playing in the First Division until the club disbanded in 1920.
The club remerged in 1923 as Tadcaster Albion, but reverted to the original John Smith name four years later, however the club formed a second team in 1930, using the Albion name with both teams competing against each other in the York Football League.
After the war both clubs merged, this time keeping the Tadcaster Albion name and nicknamed themselves “The Brewers” winning the York Football League title for the only time in 1947-48, where they remained until joining the Yorkshire League in 1973-74.
Two league titles in four seasons saw The Brewers in the Yorkshire League’s top division by the 1977-78 campaign, a season which produced their best run in the FA Vase, reaching the 5th round.
In 1982-83 they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League where they have the distinction of recording the league’s record score - 13-0 against Blidworth MW during the 1997-98 season.

The Brewers are yet to play in the NCEL top division, but that looks set the change as Albion produced a convincing win over Eccleshill United to strengthen their position in the promotion race.
It was Albion’s left sided midfielder Mike Braithwaite who stole the show, scoring a hat-trick after 50 minutes. He opened the scoring with a left foot shot from the edge of the box , then doubled their lead when latching on to a long ball from the centre half, the ball fell nicely into his path, allowing it to bounce in front of him before nodding the ball over the keeper’s head, making it 2-0 at half time.
The third goal came from Thompson’s long ball over the top which had the Eccleshill defence on the back foot, Sunley squared the ball, picking out Braithwaite who produced another good finish, shooting low to the keeper‘s left hand post.
After an hour the goal hero was substituted, apparently his job was done, so it was left to Darren Brandon to complete the scoring, finishing off a good move and unselfish work from Taylor to score from close range five minutes from time.
This three points leaves Tadcaster a point behind leaders Brighouse Town but with the added luxury of three games in hand, so now it’s not only promotion the club are looking at, it’s winning the Division One title as well.

In 1960 the club moved a further 100 yards along the river from their old Ings ground to The Park, which is now know by its sponsored name - 2inspire Park.
When I arrived at the ground I got a bit anxious with the lack of activity on the pitch, expecting the players to be doing their pre-match warm up. I then discovered that the players use a separate pitch behind the ground, keeping the main pitch in prime condition for matchday.
The admission hut is next to the clubhouse, after paying and purchasing a programme I asked if they had any pin badges, the gateman and his two assistants looked at me as if I was asking for the crown jewels, so as you can guess - there wasn’t any!
There is only one stand at The Park, situated behind the left side goal surrounded by hard standing. The stand has a mix of 62 red and blue seats, which were backside free during the game. I didn’t have to count the seats in the stand as they are each numbered 1-62.
The majority of spectators gather around the clubhouse. The cream building is quite impressive inside, having a spacious bar with Sky Sports on two screens and a separate refreshment bar for hot drinks and snacks. The best feature is the large window which spans along the length of the clubhouse, which means you don’t have to go outside to watch the game, a bit like a large communal executive box.
Terrace steps lead up to the building which also houses the changing rooms and there’s a bench seating area at the side. The far side has a pair of brick dugouts with partial hard standing which leads to the far goal which has a large lawn area and three sets of tall thin light pylons at each side.
As a visitor to the ground I can’t say (which I’ve said many times in the past) that this is a friendly ground where your made very welcome by the fact you’ve made the effort to come and visit their football club. However if you live locally and support The Brewers then relaxing in the clubhouse with a cheap pint of John Smith’s brewed by the neighbours, looking out of the window watching some NCEL action and not forgetting the sweet tones of Jeff Stelling in the background, what better way could you spend a Saturday afternoon?

TAFC 4(Braithwaite 22,35,52 Brandon 83) EUFC 0
admision £4

1 comment:

Paul Kirkwood said...

"Backside-free": good line. I'm off to Taddy tomorrow for the title decider. Can't wait.

I blog about grounds too [click on my name].