New Mills has been on the hit list for a while now, ever since the Onion Bag's visit here a while back. But this was not the intended destination for today as I had planned to go to Consett, but the game I had earmarked was played two weeks ago! So a quick look at the fixtures and New Mills was chosen.
Mrs Reynard accompanied me and we visited the New Mills Heritage Centre and the Millennium Bridge.
We head back to the ground and use the car park behind one of the ends. A short walk down Church Lane brings you to the turnstiles.
Entrance to the ground
You enter the ground nearly in the corner with the facilities all behind the goal to the right, including the dressing rooms and a very smart Clubhouse.
View of the Clubhouse end
To the left of the entrance there are a couple of portacabins one of which is used as a treatment room where a couple of players are getting a pre-match rubdown. A second portacabin is used for the Clubshop and beyond this there is a combination of covered terracing and seats.
Portacabin and covered stands
We decide to head to our left for the usual walk around the ground. As I said, after the portacabins you have a good sized covered terraced area.
The covered terrace
After this there are three areas of seating, painted white breeze blocks, which are for the officials of the Clubs with a walkway behind them for the plebs.
Officials seating area
Immediately after this there is some more seating, a combination of plastic seats and some wooden benches.
There are more seats after this, with two rows of seats becoming a single row as you get nearer to the corner of the ground.
This brings you to the end of the ground where the car park is situated over the fence. This end has a single level of hard standing with a small grassy area up to the fence. There is also a gate which was later used to retrieve balls from wayward shots.
Car park end
There are facilities or cover at this end of the ground and we continue to the far side of the ground to where we came in. Again there is a narrow strip of hard standing but with a larger grassy area running up to the fence.
The far side of the ground
As you can see the dugouts are sited on this side of the ground and the fence you see just after the near dugout actually stops you going round the ground, so we head back the way we came to get back to the other end. This gives me the chance to take a shot from the corner back across the ground with Saint Georges Church in the background.
View from the corner
The Clubhouse end has a wide paved area with picnic benches and normal benches for you sit at and eat or drink your purchases from the tea hut. As I said there is a very impressive Clubhouse with a number of people keeping an eye on the live Premier game.
At this point I take advantage of the facilities and on my return Mrs Reynard is talking to one of the stewards. It turns out he had met the Onion Bag when he visited and was asking if we knew him. I explained how I had met OB at Colne and the steward said how much they had enjoyed his visit.
I set off to take the last few pictures of the ground where we had come to a halt down the far side. There is a very narrow strip of hard standing with the floodlights making it even tighter further down.
Down the side of the ground
The views from this end of the ground are spectacular and this is the reason The Onion Bag told me to come in the daylight.
We enjoy the views for a little while and then it's time for kick off. To be brutally honest the first half is pretty dour with a real battle in midfield resulting in very few goal scoring opportunities. I think Goole shade the first half but a combination of poor finishing and decent defending from the Millers defence keeping them at bay.
Possibly a foul!
We reach half time without either time troubling the scoreboard and we wondered if Goole would regret not taking advantage of their few chance in the first half. We grab a coffee and I check how the Foxes are doing at Reading. Shouldn't have bothered!
New Mills on the attack
The second half gets underway with a far more positive approach from New Mills. Just before the hour the Millers have a goal chalked off for offside but a minute or so later they take the lead. A free kick is awarded just outside the penalty area to the right of the goal. Up steps left fullback James Moss to curl an absolute beauty into the net for his first goal for the Club. Three minutes later and it is 2-0 to New Mills. There were shouts for a penalty as a New Mills player went down in the box but these were quickly replaced by cheers as Ben Deegan hooked the ball over the keeper with a well controlled finish.
Goole defender heads away
Goole were on the back foot and they had the same problem as in the first half in that they were not really creating any chances. Now we thought the first two goals were pretty good but New Mills' third topped both of them. Ben Deegan picked up the ball all of 35 yards out, spotted the keeper off his line and put in a superb shot which sailed over the keeper and into the net. Superb goal!
Goole had no answer to this and New Mills were able to see out the last ten minutes or so and keep the clean sheet. New Mills thoroughly deserved their win based on the second half performance and will be pleased with that clean sheet too. I don't think I'll see many better goals this season than the Millers third and it was worth the admission money on it's own.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Church Lane, lots of quirky parts, terrific views and very friendly officials and locals who made us feel thoroughly welcome. Just one last word. I had real problems with my action shots today, but this guy, Allan Toft, got some superb shots. View them here.
More pictures of Church Lane here.
New Mills 3-0 Goole