TT No.81: Mike Latham - Saturday 30 April 2016- The Hallmark Security Cheshire Football League Division One;       Egerton 2-6 Altrincham FC Reserves; Attendance: 30 (h/c); No admission or programme. 


Matchday images (22)

It's very hard to find a game with something riding on it at a ground you've never previously visited at the end of April, even harder to find it postponed an hour or so before kick-off.

That was the fate that befell the Premier Division clash between the top two teams in the table, as second placed Whaley Bridge were due to entertain leaders Knutsford. Arriving early to find the pitch saturated after heavy overnight and morning rain the portents did not look good; a further downpour made the referee's decision a formality.

Ah well, such is life, especially in this season of extreme weather. I'll look forward to going back to Whaley Bridge one day; it looks a splendid ground in a lovely, scenic part of the world.

Fortunately there was time for Plan B and, as luck would have it, a ground I'd never previously visited and on my way home. Egerton FC play in Knutsford, close to the Knutsford entrance to Tatton Park on Mereheath Lane and their senior club operates in the second tier of the Cheshire League.

What an amazing facility is, providing opportunities for children's, youth and adult football in a lovely environment with some stunning views. From under 7s to veterans there are opportunities for both sexes and all ages to get involved and Egerton is also home to the Cheshire FA Disability Team. Not surprisingly they are an FA Community Charter Standard club.

The website of the club adds: "Our club also has an active social side with Sportsman's Dinners, Family Fun Days and Christmas Parties all arranged for our members to both promote the social aspects of our club and to aide fundraising. EFC is affiliated to Egerton Youth Club and we have responsibility for all football activities at the Youth Club.

"Egerton Youth Club own the facility we play at and have financed the development of the new 3G pitch and bar/cafe /changing room extensions with a 1.2million loan. EFC have supported the development with 600,000 of funding from the Football Foundation.

"We have a membership of over 350 young players and 100 adult players from Knutsford and the surrounding areas.  We run a Saturday Club each week with over 100 participants aged 3 -7 years.  We operate 27 youth football teams and seven adult teams."

Fortunately the pitch had managed well with the downpours though there was some standing water around the surrounds. Altrincham Reserves played some impressive football and their coaching staff were refreshingly positive and encouraging on the sidelines.

3-0 up early in the second half, the visitors then were pulled back to 3-2 before dominating the last half hour of a really enjoyable game that reflected well on the league and which was well refereed.

I really enjoyed my visit to Egerton FC and would recommend the ground and the surroundings to groundhoppers who are happy at this level of football. A post and rail fence, two dug outs and rural surroundings even though the traffic was thundering by on the M6 two fields away and the ground also seems on the flight path of Manchester Airport. And I've still got Whaley Bridge to look forward to.

contributed on 30/04/15