Community spirit shines through.

Another trip to Junction 37 of the M1 but this week I turned left and was soon in Dodworth (pronounced Dodoth I believe) High Street where a left turn brings you to the Miners Welfare where a plaque on the wall says 1925 when I would deduce these facilities were opened. Dodworth was a mining area with the pit closing in 1987 and the legacy lives on in these community facilities. Near the entrance is a large cosy club house which was full with all ages, chatting, watching the TV’s, using the bar and the food kiosks just inside the door on the left.

Unfortunately there were no chips but like nearby Penistone Church FC they serve warn pork pie with mushy peas that has to be topped off with some mint sauce, it was a good time to serve it as the game I had come to see was to kick off at 13.30 pm

No time for a coffee as the queue at the bar was growing so I left to walk down the hill to the Football pitch. Immediately you are faced with two immaculate bowling greens and behind me was a door to a boxing club. There was a lot of noise coming from behind a wall where I found an all weather pitch being used by what looked like adults v children, all ages all sexes kicking a rugby ball high in the air from end to end. A dad foolishly tried to catch a glorious up and under while talking on his mobile and he dropped the ball with an attempted one hand catch. Cries of derision and laughter and one more point to the children.

Walking on you see the main football pitch in front of you with another and a rugby pitch beyond, this is also the home to Dodworth Miners ARLFC (Rugby League). There may be other sports and activities that go on here including the base for Dodworth Colliery Brass Band. It all adds up to a strong community spirit forged by mining and kept alive by people.

The pitch was flat and well grassed which contrasted with the vivid blue sky. The temperature at 15 degrees belied the cold wind that was swirling about at the unusual kick off time of 13.30 pm. Three sides of the ground are open and one is steeply banked with some covered terracing in the centre and stanchions to stand behind.

The game I was to watch was Dodworth Miners Welfare FC v Wombwell Main FC in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Senior League. These teams have only 6.5 miles between them and the town of Barnsley.

I have found no mention of Dodworth Miners Welfare FC prior to 1954 but I am sure that there will have been teams in the area prior to this. Up until 2003 they played in Barnsley and Yorkshire Leagues before joining the Sheffield and Hallamshire League and despite one dip they have usually played in the Senior League. By contrast Wombwell have a much longer history with a team being tracked from the first years of the 20th century that played in local Barnsley Leagues until 1973 and returned to them in 1977 after a few nomadic years. They joined the Sheffield & Hallamshire League in 1996 and remain there today. Throughout their earlier history they entered the FA Cup on 10 occaisions.

Dodworth Miners Welfare FC 2 Wombwell Main FC 2

Saturday 15th October 2022 Kick off 13.30 pm

Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division.

Dodworth – Red and Black vertical striped shirts with red sleeves and black shorts.

Wombwell – Dark Blue shirts with yellow collars and Yellow shorts.

Two strong teams competed and in the first 15 minutes Wombwell edged the contest but 10 minutes later a well placed out swinging cross from the right wing was expertly met by the home sides number 9 who running in unopposed headed it straight into the centre of the net for the lead. Wombwell hit back on 32 minutes when their number 10 was put through to draw the goalkeeper and coolly slot the ball under him to make it 1-1.

It stayed all square till half time but some black clouds rolled in from the pennines and the few spots soon became a deluge. Everyone moved under cover apart from the teams.

After 7 minutes Dodworth changed three players and this had an immediate impact when Wombwells No.8 brought down the home sides No.9 in the penalty area with what looked like a high rugby tackle. The home sides No.11 made penalty taking look easy by placing the ball straight down the middle.

After 20 minutes it was Dodworth’s turn to change two players but this didn’t seem to change the game until just before the end when their No.7 curled a right foot free kick, from a long way out, round the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net for 2-2.

The second week that the end of a match has seen a spectacular goal from a free kick. Overall a draw was a fair result and the roughly 60/70 watching had seen some good entertainment.

The rain stopped 15 minutes before the end leaving a great sunny view of the nearby Autumn colour.

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