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Groundhopping, Non-League, Stadia, Grounds, Travelog

Winsford United

Winsford Prog 06-10-09Date: Tuesday October 13th 2009
Ground: Barton Stadium
Match: Winsford 0 Newcastle Town 1  HT: 0-0 ATT: 97
Boast 79
Additional: Entrance £6, Programme £1.50, Coffee/Tea £0.80

Barton Stadium in pictures

Winsford Utd 06-10-09 002This was a late decision. I was originally going to watch Leek Town at Market Drayton, but MDT had an FA Trophy replay. So I decided to finally capture the closest ground (step 6 and above) that I had yet to visit. It had the added bonus of being against a Newcastle side who had started their season with 10 straight wins. Could Winsford stop their spectacular run?

Winsford were 5-0-5 and had the peculiarly mismatched home and away records of 1-0-4 , 4-0-1. Their home form was dire.

Winsford United were founded in 1883 as Over Wanderers, playing in the Welsh Combination League. Not long after that, they started playing at the Barton Stadium, although in those days it was the Great Western Playing Field. The new name of the ground was in honour of Mr. R.G. Barton, who led the committee to re-establish Winsford United after the First World War.

It used to be a Greyhound Stadium as well, which is evident in the pictures. It has the curves at each end and you can still see the mounted lights for the home straight.

Newcastle Town are a newer outfit, founded in 1964. They seem to have finished in the top four of the North West Counties League for about ten years straight but with no promotion. I’m not sure whether this is because of restrictions of the ground or whether they’ve just never finished quite high enough.

The ground was easy enough to find, with plenty of on-street parking. It is fairly centrally located in Winsford. The general rule of thumb is the older the ground the nearer to the town centre it is and the newer the ground the further out, in some retail park.

Barton Stadium map

The ground is an unusual one, on account of the big sweeping ends, that were necessary for the dog track. It claims to hold 7,000, with 600 seated in the main stand. I don’t reckon that standholds 600, but I”ve read it written several times. I managed to pick a seat under the covered terrace under the bit of roof that was missing…on a rainy night. I swiftly moved round the ground.

Winsford Utd 06-10-09 015

Main Stand with bite out of it

The other side had a three-sweeping-steps covered terrace that was quite a good atmosphere. It is alongside the home track that the greyhounds used to charge down to victory.

Winsford Utd 06-10-09 010

The snack bar was very convivial and inviting as you come in,but the toilets were a bit scary.In retrospect, I’m not sure the toilets I went in were still in used. They may have been condemned or defunct; mind you, I couldn’t find any others. They were behind a wall, darker than a black hole, and what you could see was various debris hiding behind which I think was a gutter. (and maybe the Winsford Boggart). They made the cubic brieze block at Nantwich’s Jackson avenue look like an en-suite bathroom at the Ritz.

Winsford Utd 06-10-09 023

Toilets

I enjoyed the game. Both teams played some good football and there wasn’t a lot to choose between them. I thought I was going to witness the end of Newcastle Town’s great winning run; but on 79 Boast finished powerfully from a great cross to get win number 11 out of 11. Winsford may have felt a tad hard done by.

Since then Newcastle have won another six straight league games and are now 17-0-0. The win against Winsford was also the start of seven clean sheets. Remarkable record.

Barton Stadium in pictures

Winsford Utd 06-10-09 034

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