Journey - 7
Not a million miles away from the M1 which makes this ground accessible. There is plenty of parking available but as you approach the car park there is a narrow road that does make you think your going down somebody's drive and will end up in a back garden!
Ground - 7
One main stand which is behind the goal. This stand has the most strange seats that mean if you like to sit on the edge of your seat (Should the game entice you to do so) you may just fall off your seat. Rather than pulling down the seat you have to push it up. At first I'd wondered if Parkgate had somehow foreseen the need for safe standing in seated areas but alas it just seems they probably got a stand done at a cheap cost. A true Yorkshire club! The ground has two classic dugouts with a terrace behind, the terrace has a wall at the back with a bench over it which was great to read the programme on. (More on that later!) The opposite side of the pitch has a trimmed privet bush which backs onto Rotheram United's training complex. In the background there is a stunning view of the steelworks which still seems to hold significant ties with the club.
Clubhouse - 8
The clubhouse is located outside of the ground, which we know is usually a big "No No" in these reviews.
HOWEVER Parkgate allow you to leave the ground and enter the clubhouse as you please. As the ground and clubhouse itself is out of the way from main roads and residential roads it is easy to police who has and hasn't paid to get into the match. The clubhouse overlooked the Rotheram training ground and is cosy and comfortable. It has access to sky TV and has a wonderful range of beers at affordable prices. The building is quite large and incorporates a cricket pavilion and function room within.
Beer - 7
A night match so I drove, no sampling of the beer for me! A strong 7 is awarded for the prices on the bar and the range of beers that were available.
Programme - 10
The SINGLE greatest programme I have ever had the pleasure of reading in non-league football so far. The articles, print quality and presentation is brilliant and matches that of any professional club I have seen. The programme even had a proper hard spine. I was trying to fathom why this was so good and am pondering the possibility of their close ties with Rotherham United being something to do with it.
Atmosphere - 7
Again, I seem to question the loyalty of non-league fans when it comes to midweek matches but the Selby fans were out in force. They sang the Tom Harks "Der der der" song (I don't know the real name!) after each goal. The referee was getting pelters from both home and away fans which is always amusing so long as it doesn't get personal. The Parkgate fans were genuinely frustrated and angry at conceding two goals in quick succession and this was great to see rather than the apathy that you see at a lot of fans from professional clubs. The Selby manager was particularly vocal and very much earned the yellow card he was given in the latter stages of the game. The Parkgate staff were also some of the most welcoming I've come across on my adventures and the raffle lady and older fella collecting for charity were happy to have a chat with fans, including neutrals such as myself.
Match Quality - 8
5 Goals. A red Card. A Yellow 10 minute sin bin. A yellow card for the most irate manager I have seen in Non-League so far. (His team were winning at the time too!) This game had everything. Despite the cold the game passed really quickly too which is always a sign that it has been an enjoyable game.
Admission Price - 8
£5 is excellent value for money and I would happily recommend this ground and team to others looking for an enjoyable game of football.