Result: Broadheath Central 1-0 Sale Amateurs (Altrincham & District Amateur Football League)
Venue: Viaduct Lane (Wednesday 15th April 2015, 6.15pm)
Att: 15 (approx.)
A blog that should have been done 12 months ago, Broadheath was one that was neglected due to the fact I left last year’s game early. No such decision had to be made this year, as I made my third visit to Viaduct Road. Coincidence meant that the two sides who played in the 6-0 last year were the same pair who faced each other in this evening’s game. Not only that, but the later game I was planning to catch the second half of also featured the same two sides who met each other on the same day as this game the previous season, when I made the same journey, that being Northwich Flixton Villa & AFC Darwen. Weird, huh?!
As it was, I got the 245 service heading towards Altrincham at just before 6.30, and it was on said bus that I met the acquaintance, in person, of fellow groundhopper/FCUM/Carlton Town supporter Sam Hodkin. After much musing over the travails of relegations and possible reprieves, which I’m sure had others around us nonplussed, we disembarked at the Broadheath Retail Park stop and after a minute’s walk, we arrived onto the grassy park, and barred off pitch area that serves as Broadheath Central’s home. As it seems obvious, there is pretty much nothing to the ground, though there is a slightly raised pathway/viewing area down the left hand touchline, under the trees. There is a coffee shop, signed at least (I’ve never seen it open) at the rear of the ground, and I am told there is a clubhouse on the other side of the old railway viaduct which lends its name to the ground and one was part of the Broadheath-Warrington railway, with the viaduct arches being one of the last remaining remnants of the line.
There are some further details of the line, if you are inclined or interested, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadheath_(Altrincham)_railway_station
With not much else to speak of, and with kick-off delayed due to a late arrival/lack of players Sam and I headed off on a lap of the pitch before settling behind the “coffee shop end” goal. Luckily, some additional Sale players sprung up from nowhere and we were all set to get underway. Here is a brief history of Broadheath Central FC:
Broadheath Central joined the Mid-Cheshire League in 1991, but a previous incarnation of a Broadheath side served as a forerunner to Altrincham FC, prior to 1903. The current side joined the Mid-Cheshire Division 2, winning the title in their first season. They remained in Division 1 for the next 5 seasons, before being relegated in 1997. A further tenure of four years were played in Division 2 until they were again promoted, again as winners, in 2001. Relegated again in 2004, they remained in the Division 2 until 2008, when they resigned from the league after finishing bottom of the, now named, Cheshire League Division 2.
The club resurfaced in the Altrincham & District AFL, where they have been an ever familiar name at the sharp end, winning the title on two occasions since their change of league, and finishing runners-up to AFC Quarry last season. This season, it’s the same two sides competing for the title, with Quarry leading the way, but Broadheath having a game in hand to go top.
Well, this game was something of a non-event. It was a good job that Sam was there to chat with about all manners of football grounds, games and cricket matters, and indeed it was something of a shock when a goal arrived a couple of minutes before the break, Broadheath’s #8 finishing off a cross at the back post. 1-0, and I guess it was deserved on balance.
After half time, it was a case of wasting time by having another couple of laps, whilst more nothing happened on the pitch bar a guy removing some dog waste, and the game, mercifully, ended with the score at 1-0. Oh, the Sale ‘keeper did make a good save, I can remember that, a low one-handed stop to his left. A really class save that would grace any ground or top game. Sadly, it took place in this one. If you don’t believe me and my account of the game, then just ask Sam. I’m sure he’ll try and blank it from his memory, but I’m sure he’ll back it up.
After the game, it was a planned walk back to the bus stop and a change at Stretford onwards to Valley Road for me. Of course, as you usually see, there was a group of teenagers with a ball and one standing on the bus stop roof. Why, I’m not quite sure. But each to their own, I guess. Luckily for me, it turned out my parents, who’d been out for the day just happened to be driving past, so I was offered a lift up to the ground directly, so I bid farewell to Sam, whose bus had just arrived, so it wasn’t being rude not offering one. Honest! The least said about the game the better, and in case you were wondering, the second half of NFV-Darwen was just as dull. It must be me. The curse remains….
Man of the Match?…No idea who played. #8, just for the goal, can get it.
Game: 2- Really dire, dire.
Ground: 3- Not a ground as such, just a park pitch with a bar around it.
Fans: 2- I think fans can count just for people turning up. Or dogs.
Value For Money: 4- It wasn’t worth the journey money, really, but oh well.