ATT: circa 35
Additional: Entrance £3.00, Programme Free with entry
Townfield in pictures
Ground Statistics (marks out of ten, maximum 40)
Character 7, Structures/Terracing 6, Hospitality 7, Backdrop/Scenery or aesthetics for larger stadiums 6
After the absurdly early start to the season at Bangor in the Europa Cup, I couldn’t then wait a whole month for my next hit of football and new grounds. Some PSFs were necessary; with, hopefully, the lack of competition made up for by nice settings on summer evenings. My first Mid-Cheshire League club visit for a PSF represents my lowest tariff match yet, but far from being just a pitch, Townfield boasts not one, but two stands, sitting either side of the halfway line.
The village of Barnton has had a team since the nineteenth century, with Barnton Albion winning the Cheshire Cup in 1897. Since then there have been Barntons Villa, Victoria and Old Boys. Barnton FC were founder members of the Mid-Cheshire League in 1948. Their first championship was in 1979-80, but amazingly they won the Mid-Cheshire League seven times in a row between 1996-7 and 2002-03.
Barnton is a village two miles north of Northwich with a population of 5,500. It lies next to the village of Anderton with its world famous Anderton Boat Lift. Barnton itself boasts two early victorian canal tunnels.
The visitors were Clitheroe, three steps further up the pyramid in the Evostik One North. There was a scare when I arrived as there had been an accident on the M6 and Clitheroe players were only just starting to arrive. With no floodlights, a delay in the kick off was always going to be limited by the natural order of things. In the end they all arrived and the 20 minute delay could be mostly refunded by a quick half time turnaround. The facilities were good with a portacabin style cafe with seats, as you come in, with the changing rooms next door. I was very surprised and impressed that a programme was issued, a glossy four-pager.
The setting was pleasant with the sun setting slowly over a green Cheshire landscape. Unfortunately the football wasn’t much to look at. There didn’t look like three divisions between them; the only thing separating them was Barnton’s atrocious finishing. It made you wonder how there could be any high scoring games in the Cheshire League, if that was the standard of shooting.