Score: Northwich Flixton Villa 0-6 Formby
Venue: Valley Road
(cont. from title) I’m confused! It’s a good job that Valley Road, former home of now defunct Flixton FC, is a very familiar place to me, and is my second-most local ground, after Trafford. It is now called home by Northwich Victoria and their effective reserve side, Northwich Flixton Villa. And it’s Vics’ little sister who will feature in this blog!
My trip began by catching the 15 bus, up through Davyhulme, and along Broadway, to Woodsend in Flixton, from where it is just a 5 minute walk to the ground. I arrived, I thought 15 minutes before kick-off. This turned into a half-hour wait, as the game began at 8pm instead, and without prior notice?
I was accompanied on this visit by my fellow groundhopper Dan Watkinson, who also is a regular visitor, along with myself, to West Didsbury, Maine Road amongst others. This was, however, our first visit of the season to Valley Road, and as the teams eventually appeared from the far side, next to the bus-stop stand, we made our way from the still fully functional clubhouse, outside.
Valley Road is a former NPL ground. It features an all seater stand, refreshment kiosk, and clubhouse,on the turnstile side, and on the far side is the aforementioned bus-stop style stand, and the changing rooms, along with a further turnstile. I once saw this used for FC United’s trip during their first season, I think it was. Both goal ends are open,with netting constructed behind the car park-end, and nothing on the far-end. The floodlights are also located behind the goals. It has a capacity of 2,000.
The team was formed in only 2005, and competed under the name of Woodley FC. They entered the Cheshire League Division two in 2005-06, and finished as runners-up in their inaugural season. As a result, the club was promoted to Division 1, and they won it in 2008-09. The team was also runners-up the following year.
Now known as Northwich Villa, to reflect links with Northwich Victoria, the club applied to the NWCFL, and were approved, joining Division 1, in 2011-12. Last season, the club finished bottom of Division 1. For this season, the club once again amended its name to its present name, Northwich Flixton Villa, to represent the club’s move to the Manchester suburb.
Northwich Flixton Villa’s history isn’t a very long one, and features a mostly amateur past.
After taking a few pics (which I would upload if this damn thing would let me), of various structures, and of where the green paint ran out, we decided to sit in the main stand, now slightly renovated. Whereupon, we overheard the near-side assistant saying the numbers of players who may possibly be involved in an offside situation, out loud repeatedly. Any referees know if this is normal, or should I be worried?!
It also dawned on me that Villa were playing with just 10 men, and Formby took full advantage of this, netting inside the first minute, and going on to score a further four goals, including a fine volley from the right-back.
Half-time called for another dip inside, and after watching 15 minutes of the lesser game of the night, Manchester Utd vs Liverpool, we made our way behind the far end goal, which I discovered for the first time features a farmer’s field behind it. But, the second half became something of a glorified training session for the Squirrels, and despite two late arrivals to number the teams up at 11-a-piece, and the manager of Villa forced into action after the right-back went off injured, this did little to help them, and, with Jim Rushe now shouting instructions from the side, Formby netted a sixth late on in stoppage time.
So, after a very comfortable win, the visitors were given a team-talk outside, rather than in the, allegedly, small visiting dressing room at Flixton (it has been like this forever I’ve heard!), and me and Dan made our way to the bus stops for our return journey. Kebab anyone?
My NFV M.o.M: The number 8
My Formby M.o.M: Emini Adegbenro
Game: 6 : Too one-sided, due to circumstances
Ground: 6: Still a little run-down
Fans: 2: Were there any?
Value For Money: 8: 6 goals will do anytime!
Referee: 7: Did a good job