✔891 Church Lane

New Mills 1-5 Winsford United
North West Counties League - Division One South
Saturday 16th September 2023

New Mills is a town in the Borough of High Peak in Derbyshire, 13 miles from Manchester.  The town is situated on the confluence of the River Goyt and Sett, close to the border with Cheshire sitting above the Torrs, a 70 feet deep gorge cut through carboniferous sandstone, on the north-western edge of the Peak District national park.(population 12,000) 

The town was first noted for coal mining, then for cotton spinning, bleaching and calico printing. It’s served by the Peak Forest Canal, three railway lines and the A6 trunk road. Redundant mills were purchased in the mid-twentieth century by sweet manufacturer Swizzels Matlow. 

"No frills, handy for the hills, that’s the way you spell New Mills"

New Mills formed in 1886, progressing through the local leagues, including the Manchester League.  The original club disbanded before New Mills St Georges were formed, winning a number of honours in league and cup before the First World War. 

After the war the club dropped the St Georges from its name and again plied their trade in the Manchester League, becoming league champions in 1924 and again in 1926.The Millers also won the Derbyshire Cup three seasons out of four and attracted crowds of around 2,000 during this era.

The club was once again disbanded due to the Second World War, but reformed again afterwards, entering the Manchester Amateur League, then progressing once again to the Manchester League, lifting their third title in 1956. Joe Martin became manager in 1959 and he led them to seven league titles before his retirement in 1972.

The club stepped up to the Cheshire County League, then became founder members of the North West Counties League in 1982-83, which turned out to be their final season due to financial problems, which led them to fold. However, Birch Vale and Thornsett F.C. were looking for a new ground, so became tenants at Church Lane. Eventually, they took over the running of the club and became New Mills Football Club.

Manchester League 1984 - 2004.

North West Counties League 2004 - 2011: Division 2 Champions 2007-08, Premier Division Champions 2010-11

Northern Premier League 2011 -2016

NWCL 2016 - present

Church Lane

New Mills

High Peak

SK22 4NP

Current NWCL grounds visited 34/60

New Mills moved to Church Lane in 1922, situated on the same lane as the majestic St George’s Church and amongst the backdrop of Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District National Park. 

The admission entrance is in the left corner, where the clubhouse, changing rooms, refreshment bar and picnic tables are behind the goal. There are two sections of cover joined together running down one side, with a mixture of seats and terrace. The opposite side has the dugouts but with no spectator access and the far goal is open with hardstanding.

The exterior of the ground was used in the Sky One series 'Rovers' starring Craig Cash and Sue Johnson in 2015. 

New Mills 1 ( Havens 2)

Winsford Town 5(Davies 4 Stanton 25pen Aikenhead 56,57 Leblanc-Akpo 87)

NWCL Division One South matchday 11/12 (17th v 18th)

3pm ko

Att. 145


Admission £6

Coffee £1.70

Chicken & mushroom pie £4

The bottom two teams went into this game both without a win, with New Mills just above their opponents with two points. 

The hosts got off to a great start when Ollie Havens was sent clear through on goal and fired them ahead in the second minute, but that lead didn't last long, as Reece Davies side footed the ball home two minutes later.

Winsford took the lead with a Thomas Stanton penalty, then just before half time a crazy sixty seconds from The Millers. A penalty from Danny McLoughlin was well saved and when the ball was cleared Kwame Osigwe was sent off for a late lunge. 

In the second half two well taken two well taken goals in as many minutes by Ross Aikenhead put United in charge, then Jeany Leblanc-Akpo made it 1-5 with a few minutes left. 

To add to the home team's misery MacKena Bradshaw was also shown a straight red in the 79th minute, which just about summed up their afternoon. 


141 miles door-to-door

Following our week in Mexico we rounded off our fortnight vacation with a few days' pub ticking in Greater Manchester. The three day break was finished off with a trip into Derbyshire, catching the 1218 train from Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills. Our pub tour continued in the town, stopping for refreshments at the Masons Arms, Pride of the Peaks, Beer Shed and the Rock Tavern. 

While I was at the match the breadknife enjoyed a stroll around the Torts and a few more bevvies, before we headed back into Manchester after the game. We then boarded the bus back to Newcastle to conclude our summer holiday. 

✔890 Estadio Olímpico Andrés Quintana Roo

Cancun 1-2 Tlaxcala
Liga de Expansión MX
Wednesday 6th September 2023

Cancún is a city in southeast Mexico on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The city is on the Caribbean Sea and is one of Mexico's easternmost points, just north of the resort area known as the Riviera Maya It was originally known to its Maya inhabitants as Nizuc meaning either 'promontory' or 'point of grass'.

Cancún is derived from the Mayan name kàan kun, composed of kàan 'snake' and the verb kum ~ kun 'to swell, overfill' which suggests translations may have been-  'nest of snakes' or 'place of the golden snake'.

Cancún is a planned city, created to foster tourism, which started in January 1970, Isla Cancún had only three residents, all caretakers of the coconut plantation and 117 people lived in nearby Puerto Juárez, a fishing village and military base. Due to the reluctance of investors to gamble on an unknown area, the Mexican federal government financed the first nine hotels. As the hotel zone extended, Cancun Centro cropped up on the mainland to become one of the fastest growing cities in the country and now Quintana Roo's most populated city and economic capital. 

Cancún Futbol Club currently plays in the second tier of Mexican football - Liga de Expansión MX. and was established in June 2020, after the Cafetaleros de Chiapas franchise moved to the city of Cancún. In June 2020 Atlante F.C.relocated from Cancun to Mexico City and on the same day, Cafetaleros de Chiapas moved to Cancún from the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and renamed Cancún F.C.


The Estadio Olímpico Andrés Quintana Roo is a 18,844 seat stadium which officially opened on the 11th August 2007, in a match between Atlante and Universidad Nacional.

The stadium has four separate stands with a dirt track running around the pitch. All four stands are open and nicely presented in the club colours of sky blue and black. The main stand has a row of executive boxes along the top, with separate tunnel entrances for each team. Behind the pitch side stands there's a set of five splendid floodlight pylons. 

Cancun 1(Rivera 32OG)

Tlaxcala 2(Araujo 80 German 90+4)

Liga de Expansión MX Matchday 7(8th v 15th)

2005 ko

Att. 500.est

Admission 25 MX PESOS (£1.20)

What an enjoyable game of football, played at a constant fast pace with plenty of skill on show. Cancun were up against Tlaxcala, who were rooted at the bottom of the league having lost all six opening fixtures. This was quite evident in the first half as the Iguanas bossed the game but only had a one goal advantage. A cross from the right broke free in the box and a first time effort took a deflection off Ulises Rivera and found the corner of the net.

As the match progressed the visitors grew in confidence, missing three golden chances to draw level. During the first half the only efforts on goal from Tlaxvala were from a distance as they spotted the home keeper too far forward. With ten minutes remaining a wasteful opportunity from the hosts saw the ball cleared and picked up by Luis Araujo just inside the opponents half, and this time he fired over the stranded goalkeepers from distance to equalise. 

Now, the momentum was with the away side and with time running out they had a goal chalked off for offside, but moments later substitute Damian German steered home the winner in the fourth minute of added on time. 


Newcastle - Cancun 4,846 miles airport-to-airport 

This was our main summer holiday this year and once again I was able to enjoy some vacation football.

The best thing about watching matches in foreign parts is the local football culture. The Mexican spectator experience seems to involve food, with lots of sellers in the stand touting their fare and bringing it to your seat.(so no long queues for bait at halt time) Another novelty is every time the ball goes out or there's a stoppage in play, they blast out some music on the P.A. There was quite a mix, along with modern stuff there were a couple of classic tracks from Creedence Clearwater Revival, some Boney M and even a bit of Shakin' Stevens. 

We arrived in Mexico on Monday and for the match on Wednesday night we got into the old town early. We headed to the stadium to purchase our tickets, done via the girl’s mobile phone, attending to my requirements through Google translator. Once we trousered our tickets we spent an enjoyable few hours in the nearby El Estadio Cerveceria, supping some very nice Mexican craft beers. Overall a great night and just a small part of what was a fantastic week in Mexico.

✔889 South Hetton Cricket Club

Hetton Juniors 3-1 Deerness Valley
Wearside League Division 1
Saturday 2nd September 2023

Hetton Juniors senior team are playing the majority of home fixtures this season at South Hetton Cricket Club. The local parish only allows the pitch to be used once over a weekend and as it's also the  home of  Sunday league team Easington Lane, they'll host matches here if there's no weekend fixture clash, otherwise they'll play at Hetton School. It’s exactly 3 years to the day since I ticked that ground off.

South Hetton is a former mining village in County Durham situated 6 miles east of Durham and 7 miles south of Sunderland..The football ground is on the other side of the cricket pitch, with changing room facilities. The welfare also has a bowling green, tennis courts and a 5-a-side court. 

Hetton Juniors made it three wins from their opening three Division 1 fixtures with a convincing victory over Deerness Valley. They were two goals ahead in the opening fifteen minutes courtesy of a first time shot from Jake Bowman and a volley from Ryan Taylor. The visitors hit back with a good finish from Ben Medland, but Hetton quickly restored the two goal cushion with Jordan Southern firing in the third. 

Both teams had plenty of chances after the break, but surprisingly the second half remained goalless. 

Hetton Juniors 3(Bowman 11 Taylor 15 Southern 29)

Deerness Valley 1(Medland 23) 

1.30pm ko 



19 mile drive door-to-door

Met up with Katie Wallace at the ground with Lee showing up later on.

Current Wearside League grounds visited 38/41

Around The Alliance - part 28

Apart from plenty of  reserve teams, there are four newcomers to the Northern Alliance this season. There's Cramlington Town Independent playing at the Sporting Club,  Great Park based up at Druids Park, plus two clubs playing at previous uncharted grounds - Westerhope United and Walkergate. I ticked off these two Newcastle based clubs for their early season midweek fixtures, as well as a visit to Amble AFC. 


885. Lemington Football Centre

Westerhope United 7-1 Cramlington Blue Star Inter

Northern Alliance Division 3

Wednesday 16th August 2023

Lemington Football Centre is home to two grass pitches on the former site of Lemington Middle School. The facility opened in November 2018, made possible by the Newcastle United Football Foundation, with the site gifted by Newcastle City Council. 

Westerhope raced into a three goal lead, with a side footed volley from Jack Pickering before Martin Matus had an easy finish after an initial effort came back off the foot of the post. In the 35th minute Sonny Branighan toe poked the ball home from the edge of the box for their third, then Crammy Blue Star hit back before half time. Kia Bell rounded the ‘keeper in the 42nd minute, then he should have reduced the arrears just before the break, but was denied with a fine save from the United keeper. 

The hosts were even better in the second half with Ryan Pickering adding the fourth and Micheal Strachan tapping in number five with still a quarter of the game remaining. The match finale saw a super-sub appearance from manager Steve Taylor, who missed a penalty but netted the rebound, then rounded the ‘keeper to grab his second and make it 7-1 on full time.

Westerhope United 7(J.Pickering 7 Matus 25 Branighan 35 R.Pickering 65 Strachan 68 Taylor 85,89)

Cramlington Blue Star Inter 1(Bell 42)

Matchday 4/2

6.45pm ko


887. Amble Welfare

Amble 2-1 Blyth Town Reserves

Northern Football Alliance Division 2

Wednesday 23rd August 2023

Throughout the years there have been several teams playing in the Northern Alliance based in the Northumberland seaside town of Amble. The latest are Amble AFC, who finished fourth in their debut season in Division 3 last season, which was good enough to elevate them into the Second Division for this campaign. 

The club plays at Amble Welfare, which I visited back in September 2012 when matches were played on the running track pitch at the far side of the welfare. There's a new football ground there now, fully fenced in where the cricket pitch one stood, with the old pavilion giving a facelift and used for the changing rooms. 

Amble trailed at the break to a Kieran Robson penalty, then Blyth Town Reserves wasted several good chances with tame efforts at goal. The match turned upside down with two goals from the home side in the space of three minutes. A lovely through ball was matched by an equally good finish by Josh Baston, then moments later the ball fell to Joe Henderson, who lashed in a first time half volley, which proved to be the decisive goal. 

Amble 2(Baston 62 Henderson 64)

Blyth Town Reserves 1(Robson 18pen)

Matchday 4

6.45pm ko 


The third part of this blog was meant to be tonight's game at Walkergate against Great Park. Everyone was at the Fossway in good time and raring to go apart from one person - the referee. After an in vain attempt to contact him the match was postponed. 
I'll add Walkergate FC to this post when I eventually tick it off later this season.