After some United Counties League games I returned to see a Northern Counties East League game at Hemsworth, south e8ast of Wakefield.
I have seen Hemsworth play at home before but they actually played away in an F.A. Cup game because their ground was not available at the time. Now it is a modern flat synthetic pitch with picturesque white fencing around the pitch.
Hemsworth Miners Welfare were playing Handsworth F.C. from Sheffield who have also had a 3G pitch fitted in recent times. Whereas in the past playing at home on a 3G pitch could be an advantage there are so many now that this has disappeared.
It was a very grey day with a hint of rain in the air that turned to drizzle by the start. The ground is next to a cricket pitch reached through a housing estate where you find ample parking. The neat ground has hard standing all round and on the side with the dugouts there is a seated covered stand. On the other side are a brick built changing room and hospitality facilities that have a bar and cafe, next to this is a modern building of offices and rooms to hire.
The Hemsworth Miners Welfare Club is relatively new having been founded in 1981 from the disbanded Hemsworth Colliery F.C. They initially played in local Barnsley and Doncaster Leagues but moved up to the West Riding League around 1996. They made progress into the Northern Counties East League in 2008 after considerable ground improvements. They have maintained that level of football but increased the facilities adding to the hospitality area, a 3G pitch and teams in all ages and categories of the game as well as a tech academy school. A true community club through a community effort.
Handsworth are an even younger club evolving into existence in 2014 after the merger of Hansworth F.C. and Worksop Parramore. The new club started life at the Northern Counties East level which Worksop Parramore had previously inhabited. 2019 was another major landmark in the clubs history when they returned to their Olivers Mount location in Sheffield which has seen a new 3G pitch installed along with pitch side facilities. These facilities are now being used by the many teams that the club run or hire their facilities to.
Hemsworth Miners Welfare F.C 1 Handsworth F. C. 0
Northern Counties East League Premier Division
Saturday 18th February 2023 15.00pm kick off
The Wells v The Ambers 6th v 11th
Hemsworh in all blue v Handsworth in all red.
Hemsworth just edged the start of the game as the drizzle turned to rain and the wind blew down the pitch behind them. Their pressure built and after hitting the post two point blank saves by the away goalkeeper stopped them taking the lead.Handsworth though did have some chances with one opportunity hit straight at Hemsworths keeper. The two goalkeepers continued to shine in the gloom and were the reason it was all square at half time.
Both clubs continued their endeavours after the break as the rain stopped and the wind eased. Shortly after the restart the Handsworth number 9 was sin binned for what seemed to be arguing with the referee. This didn’t change the to and fro of the game which despite the competitive play lacked a spark to ignite the 140 spectators.
With 7 minutes left a cross from the home sides Washington caught Handsworth completely out of shape and of the three Hemsworth players that had found uncontested space it was Ben Gelder who rose to head the ball into the net for a one nil lead and the win.
Hemsworth had gained the three points in a contest that was destined for a draw. Perhaps it was the dull grey day that had dulled my appreciation of the football.
The chips were hot, chunky, tasty, not greasy but a bit anaemic scoring a good 78. Unfortunately the coffee was very weak but it was at least hot and welcome on the blustery day.