Matlock Town
Causeway Lane

Ground No. 116
Visited - Saturday 13th January 2007
Result - Matlock Town 5-1 Kendal Town
Competition - Northern Premier League, Premier Division
Attendance - 264

Thanks to continued wet weather, and a postponement the previous week, there had been some doubt as to whether Matlock’s home game against Kendal Town would take place, but having passed an early pitch inspection I set off for the Derbyshire town in a good mood.

The train journey up there went well, changing twice in Birmingham and Derby before finally arriving into Matlock just before midday. From there I decided to go straight to the ground as there had been more rain since the inspection, but after making the short walk through the town centre I was relieved to see that the pitch was in good condition, and that the match would definitely go ahead as planned.

Whilst there, I took a few pictures, and was pleased to find that the ground looked every bit as good as it had when looking at it online the previous night. Being sited not just close, but actually in the town centre, it made for an interesting, and easily accessible venue, although that of course made it hemmed in on all sides, not that that detracted from it at all. 

Going in through the main gates in the corner of the ground, there is a small terrace situated behind the near goal that runs for half the width of the pitch, starting from the opposite corner, and is a fair way back from the edge of the pitch, with hard standing in front of it. On the far side is the Main Stand, which has four rows of rather unusual seats, and sits on the halfway line, with open terracing flanking it either side. The far end of the ground is shared with the town cricket club, although at this time of year there is a temporary barrier and fencing behind that encloses the ground, however there is no hard standing here, although fans are able to stand behind the goal, but unsurprisingly no one decided to take up that option with the grass being very wet and muddy underfoot (I tried!). Finally, along the near side are the most interesting stands. First of all the exits, turnstiles and club shop was at the top of this side, with two separate stands taking up the rest of it. Set back from the pitch (with hard standing in front), both were slightly raised and featured a mix of plastic and bench seating, with ‘MATLOCK TOWN FC’ written across the back wall. Another notable feature was the number of pillars, although the far stand was slightly more decorative, reflecting its status as the elder of the two, believing to date back to the 1920’s. One thing that helped add to the charm of the ground was that instead of having the normal metal/wooden pitchside barriers, on three sides there was a stone wall, with a bigger drop on the pitch side than the spectator side. In addition to this, the scenery surrounding the ground is as good as anywhere in the country. Behind the Cricket Pitch End is a huge hill with a castle on top, dominating the skyline, whilst at the Town End and Main Stand side are yet more hills in the distance, although these have been built on with houses and other buildings, but as with the rest of Matlock and the Peak District generally, it looks beautiful in comparison to other parts of the country.

Having taken a few pictures, I went off on the short walk back into town, taking the time to look around, before finding a pub to watch the Liverpool vs Watford game in, prior to making my way back to the ground and going in.

Thanks to the weather, it had been nearly three weeks since Matlock had last played a game, but they didn’t show any signs of rustiness when they took the lead on 12 minutes. Ian Holmes was the goalscorer when he managed to slot the ball past the Kendal goalkeeper with relative ease. Gary Webster made it 2-0 fifteen minutes later, and shortly after that Holmes got his second of the day, but despite the scoreline, Matlock weren’t exactly dominating the game, with the visitors having plenty of possession, and they put themselves back in it just before halftime when Ian Kilford got one back.

If the first half hadn’t, then the second half definitely reflected the scoreline, and Kendal offered little resistance to the hosts as they added another two goals courtesy of Steve Warne and Simon Barraclough and at the end of the 90 minutes, Matlock were worthy of the 5-1 win in what had turned out to be quite an entertaining game.

After leaving the ground, I made my way back to the station and was able to get back in good time, having quite enjoyed the visit to Derbyshire. Whilst some might criticise the lack of modern facilities or good views from the seats, it would be totally missing what a fantastic ground Causeway Lane is. With interesting stands, a fantastic setting, nice town and easily accessible it’s difficult to think what else you could ask from a ground, and for anyone who hasn’t been, it’s worth putting towards the top of your ‘must visit list’!

Welcome to Causeway Lane

Exit Gates

The Club Shop and Offices

The Town End

The Far Side

The Main Stand

Seating in the Main Stand

The Clubhouse

The Cricket Pitch End

The Cricket Pitch End

The Cyril Harrison Stand

The Near Side

Ready for Kick Off
 (note the Riber Castle overlooking the ground)

Second Half

Causeway Lane Panoramic


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