Saturday 26th March 2022 ko 15:00
Sheffield & Hallamshire League Division One
DENABY MAIN 4 (Landsborough 33og Green 68 74p 79)
SHEFFIELD MEDICS 0
Simmons penalty saved 44
It is a fact of life that regret is part of the makeup of the groundhopper. You spend your existence thinking of the grounds you missed out on, one of mine for example was Enfield’s Southbury Avenue, despite my University tutor being a season ticket holder there. I missed out and I’m sure everyone reading this has a short list of similar missed grounds. Another of mine was Tickhill Square, which was lost when Denaby United folded at the end of the 2001-2002 season due to the Miners Welfare evicting them from their land. But every so often there is a little redemption…..
The village of Denaby Main is in the middle of the South Yorkshire coalfields, even now local football teams names still evoke the past, Frickley (Colliery) Athletic, Thorne Colliery, Hemsworth Miners Welfare to name just three. The old Denaby United were members of the Step 5 Northern Counties East when they were forced to fold, and a club was formed using their name playing at nearby Coningsbrough in the Sheffield & Hallamshire League. But when I spotted Tickhill Square was back in use with another Denaby club, my attention was well and truly raised!
Denaby Main started life in 2012 as a junior club, and it is to their great credit that everything you now see at Tickhill Square they built, the old ground was demolished in 2003. And they’ve done it the hard way too, there’s no prefabricated stands here, just hard work and ingenuity. How can you not love the use of stair well bannister rods in the little seated stand? But do look carefully as you walk slowly round; you’ll see the shadows of the ground’s past in the form of cut-off bits of metal, and unusual shapes of concrete. A lot of the fun of visiting here is piecing together the past.
This was a game where we needed to have a backup plan though. Sheffield Medics were having difficulties raising a team, a fact of life these footballing days; don’t forget this is the second tier of a Step 7 league. But unlike some teams this season Medics did show up and for long periods made Denaby work for it, even seeing a penalty saved. But as they tired so Denaby turned the screw and in the end the scoreline was a fair reflection on play.
It is wonderful to see a historical place like Tickhill Square being both used and care for. I would though hesitate on wondering too much as to how far up the pyramid the club can go. There is a massive difference in both facilities and playing standard between where they are now and a return to the Northern Counties East; there are no floodlights for example.
For the time being I think the point is to enjoy the company of a friendly, outward-looking club at a historic venue. Everything else at the moment is details.