On a mission to see Keele University play I checked on the journey to find the game postponed, so looking at other games locally I found that Newcastle Town were playing Glossop North End in the Northern Premier league West.
Parking in the centre of Newcastle under Lyme I decided to take the 18 minute walk to the game because the weather although hazy was a beautiful 19 degrees with no wind. With 50 minutes to kick off it seemed a cinch looking at Google maps. I decided to take a short cut through the cemetery but as I entered the cool I lost signal. It was peaceful walking through in the tree lined paths but totally disorientating. After being sent the wrong way by a helpful passer by my signal returned and I found that I had gone totally off piste. After finding my way back to where I started I was running out of time so I quickened my pace and eventually walked through the gate to the ground with a minute to spare.
There was however a ceremony taking place on the pitch which I found out was unfortunately a tribute to Newcastle’s late Chairman, Paul Ratcliffe who had recently passed.
The ground is in a very large park with other sports pitches and facilities and it is unusual because it has a velodrome all around the perimeter and therefore feels spacious but I did not feel that this made it a bit removed from the pitch. The pitch was very flat and green and all around there is hard standing at different heights depending on the curve of the cycling track. In the middle of one side behind the dugouts is a covered standing area and there is a seating area on the other side.
The Newcastle club is believed to have been started in 1964 in the local Sunday League but its present incarnation started in 1986 with the merger with another local club, Parkway Clayton. Initially playing in local Cheshire Leagues they soon progressed the the North West Counties League and as Champions in 2010 were promoted to the Northern Premier League. Newcastle have developed a very strong youth set up and have even been able to create their own multi pitch facility in the area.
You would need a book to describe the history of Glossop North End who were founded in 1886 as an amateur club but turned professional just a few years later and soon climbed the Leagues to be invited to join the English Second Division in 1898 and a season later played for one season in England’s most senior league. Some poor seasons meant that in 1915 they were not re-elected to the League and have since spent many seasons in Non-league football. There have been ups and downs but their most recent success was when they reached the F.A. Vase final in 2015 only to lose to North Shields 2-1 and also win the North West Counties League and gain promotion to the Northern Premier League where the realignment of the Non League structure now finds them in the Northern Premier League West Division.
Newcastle Town F. C. 0 Glossop North End A.F.C. 0
Saturday 26th March 2022 3.00pm kick off: Attendance 211
Northern Premier League West Division: 17th v 13th: The Castle v The Hillmen
Blue shirts with white stripe across the chest and sides, blue shorts v Orange shirts, black shorts.
After 15 minutes I was wandering why the ball had spent so much time in the air with little effect. Newcastle did force 3 corners in a row exerting some pressure but the game soon reverted to kick and rush. Glossop did have the ball in the net on 34 minutes but is was ruled offside and they again came close 3 minutes later with a header.
Both sides remained level at the break and a walk round the pitch to see the rugby match on an adjoining pitch raised the tempo. However the football did drag on with both teams cancelling themselves out. Glossop did up their tempo in the last 15 minutes and Jordon Scott hit the base of the right hand post from 30 yards with 10 minutes to go. Glossop pressure nearly paid off with another shot that grazed the corner of the upright and crossbar just at the end. The referee’s whistle was a relief to the crowd who had enjoyed the sunshine.
Newcastle’s point keeps them just one place outside the play off relegation zone.
A small bar and adjoining food area served up a very large portion of chips ( I asked for small ). They were hot, not greasy, with a little crunch and a good texture earning a score of 73.