Penistone Church 4 Athersley Recreation 2
Where: The DSM Memorial Ground, Church View Road, Penistone, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S36 6AT
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 27th October 2018
Northern Counties East League Premier Division
Overview: My radio reporting match for this weekend was on the Friday night at QPR v Aston Villa so that freed up my Saturday for some groundhopping. Penistone Church have repeatedly invited me up to see a match at their ground and I finally managed to take them up on their kind offer. It was a 350-mile round trip to a lovely part of the country on the edge of the moors with Penistone being the highest market town in England – up to 250 metres above sea level. After some worrying snow flurries in the morning, Penistone were pleased to tweet that the match was definitely going ahead. It was a much-anticipated local derby against Athersley Recreation from the Barnsley area. The NCEL Premier Division sits at Step 5 of the national Non-League Pyramid.
History: Penistone Church were founded in 1906. The ‘Church’ part of their name comes from the fact that their ground is situated on ancient church land that was donated to the club. They were promoted from the Sheffield & Hallam County Senior League to the NCEL as recently as 2014 and – after gaining a further promotion to the Premier Division – have continued to develop their facilities to meet Step 5 football.
Ground description: Located very close to the local Penistone railway station. There is a 120-seater stand on one side of the pitch with good covered terracing next to it. The cosy clubhouse behind the goal is a great focal point with drinks on sale at very reasonable prices. I particularly liked the evocative foundation stone outside the ground depicting a hand-drawn club logo plus a fabulous mural on the clubhouse wall with the wording “ONE CLUB…ONE COMMUNITY”. Penistone have also recently opened an attractively-equipped hospitality suite for visiting officials as well as renovating an outside pitch which accommodates their various youth teams. Everything at Penistone Church FC has a lovely community feel about it.
Programme details: Twenty-four pages, priced £1.50. Lots of interesting reading and excellent used of photographs.
The match: In wintry sunshine, Kieran Scargill gave Athersley the lead courtesy of a penalty before Sam Scrivens equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time. Penistone turned on the style in the second half to carve out further goals from Scrivens again, Kieran Ryan and Nathan Keightley with Joshua Wright scoring a second for the visitors.
The people: Penistone’s hard-working volunteers Ian Richardson and Dave Hampshire gave me a very friendly welcome and asked me to present the man of the match award on the pitch at full-time. It was also a pleasure to meet legendary former FIFA referee, Keith Hackett, who loves watching his local non-league clubs around the Sheffield area.
Tony Incenzo is a reporter for talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo
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