Motors make flying start

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Saturday February 25th 2012.

Conference North at ‘Northolme’, KO 15:00.
Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Vauxhall Motors, Attendance 411.
Admission ten quid, Programme two fifty, Badge three quid, coffee 80p.

Match Rating – 2.5/5
Ground Rating – 4.5/5

This is a superb non league ground, and has long been on my hit list.

I finally got there ūüôā

I dropped¬†Ros at Lincoln Cathedral after a painless traffic free journey from Berks. Then parked the car in the ‘pay and display’ at the¬† ‘Eight Jolly Brewers’ in Gainsborough. And whilst there I enjoyed a very tasty pint of ‘Gate Hopper’ from the Maypole Brewery (locally in Newark).¬†

A tiny little pub, really more like a bar, yet housed in a very large building. It has eight hand pumps serving a wide range of local ales.

Match summary. A poor 1st half from the home team, with VM (Ellesmere Port on the Wirral Nr Liverpool)  looking anything BUT a team who were 3rd bottom with their nippy right-winger Craig Mahon looking very lively.
The Motors took the lead after 17 mins from a flicked header from Tom Hannigan, which was fully deserved, after they already had created 2/3 really good chances to score. 0-1 HT.

The covered end terracing.

Gainsborough were much improved in the second half as I took up a view at the top of the terracing at the uncovered end behind the goal.

View from the uncovered terraced end.

Leary scored from an excellent curling shot from the edge of the area, 1-1. But the ‘Blues’ of Gainsborough probably ruined their chances of a winner, as they had their captain Sandwidth¬†sent off for a challenge about 20 mins from the end, which caused an almighty kerfuffle of ‘handbags’ between the two sets of players!

But I had missed the tackle, as I was in deep conversation with friendly local ground hopper Martin, who’d spotting me snapping away with my camera and came over for a chat. So the 2nd half flew by as we talked about grounds here there and everywhere.

On the balance of play it was a fair result, Vauxhall deserved the point in their effort to escape the bottom three and Gainsborough will need to play better than this to make the end of season play offs.

I make no apologies for the number of photos I’m¬†posting¬†here¬†of this wonderful old ground, which although has spent the vast majority of its life hosting non league football, was also a football league venue from 1894 to 1912. There is some talk the owner wants to build an out of town¬†‘new build’. This would be a crying shame, as these town centre grounds are the hub of the community, and moving to a spanking new soulless ground seems unnecessary when Northolme would appear to be in pretty decent nick for its age.

I entered from the main road, which brings you in behind the goal, which also houses the club shop by the corner flag. This end has about 5/6 steps of terracing with a cover.

To the left is the wonderful barrel roofed main stand. The roof here being a replacement for an older barrel roofed version. Opposite the main stand is again about 5/6 steps of terracing, covered for its entire length, with a view of an old church and new flats.

To the right of the main stand is the uncovered terraced end, which rises high enough at the back to give a good view all around the ground.

Gainsborough putting pressure on the Vauxhall Motors goal in the 2nd half.

¬†After scooping Ros up from the Cathedral, we again had a pain-free¬†return trip, stopping at the 11th century ancient stone clad ‘The Rose and Crown’, in Ratley, Warwickshire (handy for M40). Since 1098 it said on the outside of the building. Very good home cooked food here, and a tasty pint of¬† ‘HPA’ the from the Wye Valley Brewery.¬†A great day out, Northolme should be top of your list if not already visited, very few of these types of grounds left.

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