Journey - 9 We travelled by car for this one and found it so easy to get to. Come off the M1 at junction 36 and then follow the Dearne Valley parkway, it always seems to surprise me how little traffic there is on that road but that's a good thing! Follow the various roundabouts and you'll see the signs to Wombwell.
The parking at this ground is first class! At first I thought they were overconfident when they said they had enough parking for all spectators but they weren't lying! The recreation ground is surrounded by a go-kart track and there is plenty of parking behind this track. I parked on a local street unaware of this but fellow spectators were happy to guide Belper fans as to where they should park.
Welcome - 10
Before we entered the clubhouse we were greeted by two volunteers from the club. They asked us to sign the track and trace register and were great for a little chat about football. They were incredibly helpful and were so happy to have spectators back at their ground. Just that interaction really had you pulling for this small club. Non-league and grassroots really is about the people behind these clubs and all the volunteers and regular fans we met on the day were top class and we said we would be very happy to come back soon! It's also important to note that the Welcome these days tends to start online, the folks running the Wombwell Town twitter did an excellent job of keeping fans informed about the event and no doubt that contributed to a good turn out.
Ground - 7
One main stand gives you a great view of the pitch. The clubhouse is located behind the goal and opposite the
stand you can watch the game from an elevated view whilst stood on a go-kart track. As usual we watched both halves from different views and we thought the elevated view looked great, I personally always enjoy being positioned near the dug out for a bit of extra entertainment. This ground scores well for sheer character and the fact that it has a go-kart track running around it. Think of Christmas morning with a Scalextrix surrounding your Subbuteo pitch and you'll no be too far off how this looks. The sheer amount of space around the pitch allowed for easy social distancing so that was never a worry for any spectator who would have been watching their first live football in months.
Clubhouse - 8 Before entering the clubhouse we were asked for our details for the purpose of track and trace as mentioned before, great to see the club being responsible for their spectators. The clubhouse itself is a great size which was great for social distancing, hand sanitiser was available at the bar and all drinks were served in cans rather
than glasses. If you wanted to you could have a plastic pint pot too. Drinks were very reasonably priced and it was great to be sat in a clubhouse again at half time during a live match!! Can't help think that the beer tasted better for it! We were more than happy to treat ourselves to a few drinks to ensure the club earned a little more matchday income that they have massively missed over these last few months! It looked like the clubhouse could also be used for functions and events so fingers crossed that we get back to a place where Wombwell can make the most of their facilities again.
Beer - 7
A good score of 7 awarded for the beer, a decent range available given the circumstances and sensibly priced. Glad to report that it was very much enjoyed by the spectators pitchside!
Programme - 7
Now it's imporant to note that I didn't see the programme but the fact that they put something together like a programme/team sheet for free under these circumstances was absolutely brilliant. Spectators were asked to make a small donation if they wished to and people were obviously more than happy to do so.
Match Quality - 8
FOOTBALL! ACTUAL LIVE FOOTBALL! It was back and we loved it! We were buzzing to be back in a local ground and the match didn't
disappoint either. Belper made the most of their large squad by playing two different sets of 11 each half. Despite this and the difference in leagues between these two teams Wombwell gave a great account of themselves and looked like a fit side. It was far from obvious that these two sides had a few leagues between them and that was down to the committed and organised Wombwell defence. This bodes well for their upcoming season as hopefully they'll end the season in pole position! Admission Price - 10
FREE, free football! To be honest I would have liked to see them charge for this match as a way of recuperating losses of income over the last few months but fair play to them, they chose not to! There was an option to donate if you wished to and when we threw a £10 into the donation bucket they were so appreciative it was untrue! Sure, it makes you feel good about yourself but it does really hit home about how such a small amount can help these clubs out. The next time you get to your local ground, make sure to get yourself an extra pint, a bit of merch or just ask to make a donation. We've missed these places and they've REALLY missed us, so let's make it count!