My Matchday - 262 Parkside

Kendal Town 1v2 Burscough
Evo-Stick League Premier Division
Monday 30th August 2010

Our Bank Holiday weekend on the north west coast finished with a trip to the Lake District, with our final stopping off point being the market town of Kendal in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria.
The town is the third largest settlement in Cumbria, behind Carlisle and Barrow and is largely known as a tourist centre, as well as a producer of pipe tobacco and snuff, but is mostly famous as the home of Kendal Mint Cake, which was accidentally discovered by Joseph Wiper during his search for a clear glacier mint.
The town was giving the nickname the Auld Grey Town because its buildings are mostly constructed with local grey limestone.
Netherfield AFC formed in 1919 when employees at the local K Shoes factory formed a football team. The club have constantly played on the same ground which was provided on land near to the factory at Parkside, the workers each paid 1d per week to fund work on the ground.
The club played in local leagues until joining the Lancashire Combination in 1945, winning the title on two occasions in 1949 and 1965 and also winning the Combination Cup twice.
In 1968 the club became a founder member of the Northern Premier League, but didn’t enjoy any success and struggled at the wrong end of the table. Due to financial restraints Netherfield had to step down to the North West Counties League Division 1 in 1982, but returned in 1987 when the Northern Premier League expanded with a second division.
In 1998 the Club changed its name to Netherfield Kendal and re-branded themselves two years later as Kendal Town to reflect it's relationship with the town.
Kendal enjoyed their most successful season for 40 years in 2005/6, winning promotion for the first time in their history to the Unibond Premier League. After missed out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season on goal difference by one single goal, Kendal Town went on to win the play-offs with a last minute goal from former manager Peter Smith against Gresley Rovers at a packed Parkside Road.
The following season long-standing friend of Kendal Town, John Richardson persuaded Preston and England football legend Sir Tom Finney to come to a home game and was offered a place at Parkside, later agreeing to become the club President.

The most striking thing about the Lakeland Radio Stadium(as it is now known) is it’s dominantly black and white. Everything has been painted to replicate the club jersey - the roofs of the stand, surrounding fences and even the rubbish bins have been toshed in black and white stripes.
The main entrance is in the corner of the car park, with an additional turnstile block further up Parkside Road beside the neighbouring graveyard.
Built in the 1920’s, the Main Stand is at the far side which has a 50p “upgrade” admission charge. The wooden framed stand has six rows of black benches and also houses the team changing rooms.
Further along towards the nearside goal is a diminutive covered stand which has two rows of black flip seats, although half the stand is currently out of use.
Next the main turnstile is a cong-iron covered paddock, which was built especially for the FA Cup tie with Grimsby Town in 1955. The open terrace continues behind the dugouts which is in front of a large grass bank.
Extra seating has been added at the top of the terrace behind the nearside goal in front of the clubhouse and the far side goal is open hard standing.
The Park Cabaret Lounge clubhouse isn’t, as you might expect, decked out with Kendal Town memorabilia, the club has a music theme with wall paintings of famous pop stars from the fifties to the nineties and vinyl records above the bar. Entry into the Park Cabaret is via a flight of stairs as the clubhouse looks down onto the ground as it is situated on the brow of the hill on Parkside Road.
Most of my Non-League career as a football spectator has been in the Northern Premier League (or to give it its new re-branded name the Evo-Stick Premier League) so I always welcome the chance to get to a ground I missed out on when Gateshead were playing at this level.
Kendal’s opponents were the Scousers from Burscough who managed to pinch the win with a last gasp goal, when the hosts looked more likely to gain victory.
Kendal lead at half time with a Danny Rowe goal in the 39th minute, taking a cross from the right, his first time shot from inside the box capped an encouraging first half display.
Burscough levelled midway in the second half when Darren Brookfield found space in the box to fire home and could have grabbed a second after hitting the crossbar with a close range shot. As Kendal pressed for a late winner, Craig Mahon fired home in the 88th minute to take all three points back to Merseyside.

Lakeland Radio Stadium is also used by Morecambe Reserves, whose new ground I visited last Saturday . The weekend also included a day in Southport on Sunday and our trip through the Lakes comprised a visit to Ulverston and the Laurel & Hardy Museum. (me and son James are huge fans)
I really enjoyed my Parkside visit. The ground is a bit hickety-pickety but has lots of character and is a friendly and pleasant experience, which makes it the ideal way to round off a Bank Holiday Monday trip to the Lake District.

Matchday stats
KFC 1(Rowe 39) BFC(Brookfield 67, Mahon 88)
Programme £2


Paul Kirkwood said...

Looks like a fab, scenic ground. Good report too.

The Onion Bag said...

Enjoyable read - i have still to make it there but would like to one day. Great pics as well.

Doktorb said...

Great report, and a very welcome win for the Green.

(We're not Scousers, mind. Well, culturally we're not. Though that may be just me, I'm closer to the Ribble than the Mersey ;) )

Shaun said...

What I meant by "the Scousers from Burscough" is that all your players seem to sound like Stevie G.