A trip to Worsborough was to see two teams from former mining communities, Worsborough Bridge Athletic FC v Glasshoughton Welfare FC.
The Worsborough Bridge pitch is seen from the bridge over the river Dove that feeds the lake that in turn feeds the nearby Worsborough Mill. This is a picturesque setting and is next door to the park and shares the clubhouse with the local cricket team.
The pitch slopes down from one end to the other and rope and some crampons could be of help in tackling the hill. The ground looked claggy as the teams warmed up and two local fans were discussing how the pitch sometimes floods at the lower end of the field and with the recent rain were pleased the game was going ahead.
Unfortunately there was no program as the person who creates it was away and again it falls to a band of amazing volunteers to keep this institution going. Only 79 people had turned up on this grey day and the one lady manning the food area was coping brilliantly on her own despite a steady queue. The F.A. hierarchy should have a clause in their contract that states they should help out at Non-League club once a month to really understand the amazing work that people do to keep these clubs afloat.
Worsborough Bridge Athletic were formed in 1923 as Worsborough Bridge St James changing to the current name in the 1940’s and having an interlude as Worsborough Bridge Miners Welfare Athletic from 1959 to 2006. They played local football in Yorkshire until 1982 when they were founder members of the Northern Counties East League where they still play today.
Glasshoughton’s is a younger club but whose history is similar, playing local Saturday football from 1974 until 1985 when they joined the Northern Counties East League. They have fared better that Worsborough having played in the premier division for some years but have been playing in Division 1 since relegation 2015.
Worsborough 1 Glasshoughton 2
Worsborough played down hill in the first half and there was plenty of passion on show as the two teams could be heard chanting in their dressing rooms before taking to the pitch. This passion boiled over after 12 minutes when the referee booked the Worsborough Manager for swearing at him and the on field chat subsided after this. I was surprised to see that the sloping pitch didn’t affect the play and it was Glasshoughton’s Nathan Perks who on 24 minutes appeared to lose control of the ball but was able to place it past the defender and goalkeeper to score. A lady sat near me had a baby with her that was in some sort of backpack. The baby, only 7 months was definitely following the players running around on the pitch.
The second half was only 3 minutes old when Worsborough were back in it when Kyle Wordsworth scored from a corner. The home side followed this with a 15 minute period of domination but Wordsworth despite his efforts could not repeat his earlier feat.
As the game wore on Glasshoughton gained control and but for heroics from Joseph Thornton between the sticks would have retaken the lead earlier than the 81st minute when substitute Lewis Pickering ran past the fullback to slide the ball under the keeper. One of the local fans said that Joseph was an outfield player who had taken over the gloves due to no goalkeeper being available. Glasshoughton’s win meant they leapfrog Worsborough down at the wrong end of the table and the home team are looking in trouble second from bottom.
The chips were although tasty not hot and a bit soggy. There were plenty of them for their £1.50 price score 62.