Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


There was a pretty good selection of pre-season fixtures to choose from today but I was drawn to Tadcaster Albion v Doncaster Rovers, partly for the intrigue of watching two teams who play five leagues apart, and partly because I'd never been to Tadcaster.

Both teams won promotion last season: Tadcaster, as champions of the NCEL Premier Division, have moved up into the NPL First Division North, while Doncaster Rovers, having finished third in League Two have joined Bradford City in League One.

The expression "tidy litte ground" was made for locations such as this, tucked between the brewery and the River Wharfe. It has a nice, balanced feel to it, and has probably benefitted from being spruced up ready for the new season. They also take their branding seriously - with Tad slogans, flags and crests liberally adorning the ground.

With such a mismatch in teams you expect the difference in class to show and indeed Rovers enjoyed the bulk of possession and territory, despite changing the team completely at half-time. But Albion, aided by their former York City and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael Ingham proved fairly resilient in defence, and it was goalless at half-time. The pressure finally told though, and Doncaster took the lead early in the second half and doubled it through a penalty. 2-0 it stayed. You can read a full report on the Albion website.

Today's image features the aftermath of a Tadcaster corner - Doncaster had cleared the ball upfield and the players were racing after it.

I'd only arrived just in time for the match, so I spent a couple of hours afterward exploring the town and wandering up and the River Wharfe. I might have stayed longer, but the rain had set in and light went. Still, I had a chance to view the famed Tadcaster Viaduct, built for a railway that never was. I also saw the repaired and re-opened Tadcaster Bridge, which had been been badly damaged in the Boxing Day 2015 floods. And of course the brewery, which dominates the town.

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