My journey from London Euston was to Wigan North Western, where after a decent late breakfast, I adjourned to The Anvil, a pub familiar to me. At this establishment I enjoyed a pint of Atomic Theory IPA (3.8%). This Jennings brew was excellent value at £2:50. I also visited The Moon Under Water (JD Wetherspoon), where Scaredy Cat (4.3%) from Moorhouses Brewery came in at £1:65 with my CAMRA discount voucher.
Bryn is the first station after Wigan North Western. I had intended to catch the 14:52 service and was actually sitting on the train. However, we somehow managed to lose our driver! Not to worry as the 15:21 ran to time and I was soon at Bryn. I would estimate that my walk from the station took less than twenty minutes to reach the ground (even less if you cut across the field just after the big church), where I was able to take some daylight photographs (just). With plenty of time to spare, I headed back to the area around the station where at “Mr English Traditional Fish and Chips” the haddock and chips was a tasty treat.
The ground pretty much backs on to the northbound slip road of the M6 (you cross over the motorway when walking from the station). All of the club and spectator facilities are situated on one side of the ground. A spacious clubhouse with a bar along with the changing facilities is housed in the main building. There are two covered seated stands. One is a long structure containing three rows of seats (there is a small area at the far end, which would also enable standing if the weather dictated so). The other smaller stand is marked for the use of officials but this was taken over by many of the visiting support for the first half of this match. My half time Bovril was purchased at the tea bar located in a converted shipping container. The remainder of the ground is railed off with hardstanding.
This match saw Ashton Athletic in 11th place pitted against 9th place Northwich Victoria. The well supported visitors took the lead with a deflected strike with little over a minute on the clock. Despite this setback, Ashton gradually grew into the match and levelled through Christopher Bandell midway through the first period. A super strike from Paul Watson and another goal from Bandell sealed the win for the home side and I believe the result to be a fair reflection of proceedings.
I have only seen a few matches in the North West counties League, but have always been impressed with the commitment on and off the field. The road immediately outside the ground is unlit and this pedestrian was grateful to those leaving after the match for acknowledging my presence. The 22:08 service from Bryn to Liverpool Lime Street ran as scheduled and I was at my hotel just before 23:00. I enjoyed my visit to Brocstedes Park and my only regret was that my gloves had remained in Hertfordshire!