“Oh god Andy, this isn’t going to be like the time you did only Scottish grounds for about eight months solid, is it?” Firstly no, although I’ve a few Welsh grounds in the bag, and secondly I do wish this blog didn’t attract such a blatantly racist audience. You all make me sick.
But aside from your far right agenda, this is a stunning ground that I have absolutely no right to have enjoyed so much, and it still irks that I did.
Firstly, the club’s history is odd. You’ll probably know The New Saints better under their previous name – Total Network Solutions. They were named after their principal sponsor until BT took them over in 2006 and the name was no more. But they still had Jeff Stelling declaring on TV that “they’ll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions” every time TNS won a game during the classified results.
Anyway, aside from the club’s various mergers that don’t make for particularly pleasant reading, the ground is also home to a bowling alley. Yes! You read that correctly! I’m fairly certain that’s something I should detest. Oh and they have an artificial pitch as well. We’re hitting some severe negatives here. So why did I love it so much?
Put simply, this monster of a stand. It’s insane. It’s very similar to Newtown’s stand from last week, only far, far bigger. It’s absolutely bonkers – it seems to serve largely as a home to the dugouts, then the upper deck has some wooden seats and desks for press. I would not fancy sitting up there on a windy day.
A couple of other perfectly pleasant stands surround two other sides of the pitch, as well as some wonderful floodlights, and that’s pretty much it really. This is a ground that on paper I definitely should have hated, yet a couple of nice touches and I was in love. Absolutely worth a visit.
Woodhorn Lane Update
A big week at Ashington as Championship side Preston North End visited, with Premiership referee Michael Oliver officiating. Not much noticeably different to the stand, although it was used for a couple of people videoing the game.
My book appears to be reduced by 30p at the moment, so fill your boots.