Saturday 8th May 2021 14.30
Sheffield & Hallamshire League Cup Group Stages
Denaby Main JFC 2 Dodworth Miners Welfare 5 HT: 1-3
2,65 : 8,16,20,66
from Tickhill Square
Denaby’s ground is a jewel that might not have registered on some people’s radar, on account of its county league status. However, it has a rich history, and aside from the lack of floodlights, could be mistaken for a step 3-6 ground.
Football has been played at Tickhill Square since 1912; it was the home of former club Denaby United, est. 1895, folded 2002. At their height, United won the Northern Counties East League with help from former Sheffield Wednesday favourites Imre Varadi and Mel Sterland. Previously, in 1927, they reached the 1st round of the FA Cup and had a crowd of 5,200 agasint Southport. They reached the FA Cup 1st round again in 1932 where they lost 1-0 to Carlisle at Brunton Park. Alas, in 2001, the local miners welfare trust told them that it was their last season playing at Tickhill Square, and the club folded.
In 2011 Denaby United re-formed and played in the Doncaster & District League on a site in Conisbrough, later progressing to the Sheffield & Hallamshire League. Denaby Main, meanwhile were founded in 2012, and they play at United’s old ground at Tickhill Square, which kind of begs the questions of why they’re allowed to play there and United aren’t?
Denaby Main is a village built on the outskirts of Doncaster by the Denaby Main Colliery Company, to house the workers and families of the business and was called Denaby Main Colliery Village. To distinguish it from the old village of Denaby this was renamed Old Denaby and over time the Colliery Village suffix was dropped from Denaby Main. The coal was mined from 1863 until 1968.
Access to the ground is through an estate, but it backs on to allotments and a farm.
As you enter the ground there is a large ew looking red brick clubhouse and changing rooms. This sits next to a stand with a few rows of old looking seats. Opposite this used to be a charming ornate pitched roof stand, that in recent years was replaced by smart albeit less charming one, a 50 seater called the Whitehead Stand.
The game today was a group stage match in the League Cup. Denaby play in Division One of the Sheffield and Hallamshire League and they were drawn with Dodworth Miners Welfare, who were top of the Premier before the covid end to proceedings and Oughtibridge War Memorial FC who were fifth in the top flight. As an aside the village of Oughtibridge, to the north of Sheffield can be pronounced in four different ways – Oo, Ow, Aw and Oh-tibridge. The fourth team, Dronfield, dropped out. Denaby, whose full name is Denaby Main Junior Football Club, needed a win today to have any chance of reaching the quarter finals, having already lost to both other clubs.
They certainly started the right way, opening the scoring almost immediately with a brilliantly taken goal after a defence-cutting through ball.
This proved to be a false dawn as Dodworth powered in a header off a corner after just 8 minutes and then hit a perfect lob after 16. Four minutes later it was 1-3 as Dodworth showed their superior class. It was 4-1 halfway through the second half before Denaby got one back through a well taken strike.
This precipitated a most unusual scene in British football, certainly at this level. No, it wasn’t St Pauli or FC Copenhagen, but nevertheless a flare was set off by the Denaby Ultras, a band of around a dozen eager youths supporting their local club.
However, just a minute after this, Dodworth scored with the best strike of the game; a right footed strike from the corner of the box in to the far top corner. This was a high quality venue for football and so much land to potentially improve the facilities and make it fit for higher level football.