Bright yellow daffodils, the warm spring sun shining and the trees almost ready to burst into leaf; it seems ages since we’ve been able to sit and enjoy a ‘healthy’ burger van lunch in such relaxing surroundings. FC United’s Broadhurst Park already feels different to all the other football grounds we’ve been to this season.
FC United were formed in 2005 by disillusioned Manchester United fans and have created something special in their short history. The stadium is really impressive and whilst we sat eating our chips, the locals came across to chat and wished us an enjoyable day. We’ve not encountered such a warm and friendly welcome anywhere else on our travels. With a full price adult ticket of just £9, the club have an aim for accessible affordable football for the local community and have generated a significant fan base with this policy.
The ground, opened a couple of years ago was paid for by the supporters, a cost around £6.5m and holds around 4000 fans. One end has the stand terrace from Northwich Victoria’s old Drill Field ground and the other end is given to the away fans, a covered area without any terracing. The main stand comprises seating and various paddock areas for standing. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the colour around the ground with over 60 individual football flags hung all relating to old fashioned football culture.
With nearly 600 travelling Shaymen in attendance it was a great atmosphere at kick off; the talented drummer had arrived along with various flags and banners in blue and white, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
By half time it was game over, 3-0 up and it could have been more. A great chance for FC United to equalise when it was 1-0 was the turning point, a miss kick six yards from the FC striker wasted their best and only real chance of the day.
The second half was more controlled, nothing special, just a great atmosphere and perhaps the most relaxed second half of the season. Credit to the 2500 or so home fans though, they continued to make noise right to the end.
Driving back and it’s been a great day; almost every result elsewhere was good, up to 3rd and things are looking really bright. Next up it’s another tricky away game at Kidderminster Harriers, can’t wait and the pies are something special too.
Total miles on the road this season 3278, total Goals 48
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