Moore Lane Park (Newton Aycliffe FC)

This was a brilliant treat after a gig for the wonderful Hilarity Bites in Newton Aycliffe on a random Tuesday night. A quick look at the Northern League’s website suggested the town’s football team were playing at the same time.

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I finished my set and hot-footed it across to Moore Lane Park, part of the Moore Lane Sports Ground that also houses a cricket club, in time to catch the last half hour of a lacklustre home defeat to the hands of Durham City.

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The ground itself is pleasant if a little nondescript. I visited on a dark night so it was hard to tell if you’d be able to see much from the outside – the fact that you have to walk around the cricket pitch to get to the stadium at the back of the complex means I don’t hold much hope.

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Once inside it houses two stands, both sheltered, one for standing and one for sitting. They’re both virtually identical to the off-the-shelf Northern League stands that most new grounds at that level seem to have, so it’s hard to really compliment them.

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The subs’ benches are quite pleasant to look at. Clad in perspex they’ve a continental look about them and it’s an often overlooked area for individuality. So many clubs at this level just have ugly brick structures, so thumbs up on that front.

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The standing area is named The William Finley Stand which is a nice touch and sets it apart slightly, so kudos too for that. The rest of the ground is just hard standing really. There’s plenty of room and I suspect on a sunny day it’s a wonderful place to take in a game, but for a night match there’s not much else to look at other than the football.

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