Date: 30th July 2022
Ground: Post Office Road
Location: Featherstone, West Yorkshire
My tenth new ground of 2022 was on Saturday 30th July at Post Office Road in Featherstone, West Yorkshire. The game was Wakefield vs. Glasshoughton Welfare in the Northern Counties League East Division One.
Post Office Road is located close to the centre of Featherstone and is predominantly used as a rugby league ground for Championship side Featherstone Rovers. Terraced houses and the aforementioned Post Office Road itself are on the southern side of the ground with a new housing development to the east. There are industrial units to the west while north of the ground is a railway line and additional pitches and a cricket club just to the north-east. The venue is a stone's throw in a south-east direction from Featherstone railway station. Whilst this was the first game for Wakefield AFC at the stadium it has been home to Featherstone Rovers since 1908.
The west side of Post Office Road has an all-seater stand taking up the middle half. This is split into three sections with plastic seats in the middle section and wooden seats in the sections either side. There are club rooms and a media area at the back. Behind the stand is the entrance turnstiles with quite a bit of space which is partially taken up by picnic benches. To the south of this is a large uncovered concrete terrace with a flat section at the top and to the north the areas are given over to a clubhouse and corporate area with portacabins next to this towards the northern end.
The southern end has an uncovered concrete terrace consisting of 13 steps of viewing. This terrace extends round the south-west and south-east quadrant with the latter expanding up to a rather uneven 20 steps. This runs up to the first of two stands on the eastern flank - this larger stand, built in 1997, runs from the penalty area to just past the halfway line. Next to this is a smaller stand which runs up to the end of the field of play. The north end has a large stand which was completed in 2015 by reassembling the stand from Scarborough FC's Athletic Ground which closed in 2007. Finally the north-west corner has a digital screen in between the north stand and the north-east stand.
This was an opening day clash with Wakefield playing their first game at this level since promotion from the county leagues. The occasion didn't start in the best way for them though as the visitors took the lead before 5 minutes were even on the clock. A long ball found Kiyani Clayton who unleashed a 20-yard drive into the top corner of the net. This great start for Glasshoughton took a turn when they were reduced to ten men after just 15 minutes when Matthew Cunliffe received his marching orders for hacking down a Wakefield winger progressing down the wing. Despite the man disadvantage the away side were the better side for the rest of the half easily containing Wakefield. This continued into the second half and on the hour mark James Cooper dragged a shot wide from a corner missing the chance to go 2-0 up. In the 63rd minute Samuel Nelson was sent to the sin bin for dissent leaving Glasshoughton with just nine men on the pitch and this was the opportunity Wakefield needed to make the breakthrough. Just before the end of the sin bin period the ball was picked up by Jake Morrison down the right and he smashed the ball across goal into the top corner on the far side. Three minutes later the turnaround was completed as a cross from the right found Ray Sibanda some 15 yards from goal and his curling effort went just out of the keeper's reach and into the net. With ten minutes to go the hosts had the chance to secure the win after good footwork in the box lulled Kyle Fish into giving away a penalty. Jake Morrison dispatched the spot kick into the top corner to grab his second of the afternoon. After this the game was done for the visitors and it was Morrison who went close to a hattrick in the 93rd minute with only the keeper pushing a drive over the bar to keep the score at 3-1.
Result: Wakefield 3-1 Glasshoughton Welfare
Division: Northern Counties League East Division One