Walsden C&FC’s search for a home ground has ended after they agreed a deal to use the Kingsway Sports Centre in Rochdale.
The facility is roughly seven miles from Walsden which means that even though they are at home the club could be forgiven for thinking that every match is an away game.
It brings to an end two years of misery for the football club. In 2013 they were denied use of Walsden Rec when they were told the changing facilities were not fit for purpose.
Hopes of playing at Todmorden High School also came to nothing as they only wanted junior teams to use the facility
Club official Kenny Gale had been led to believe there were a couple of pitches on Todmorden Park but discovered that the Environment Agency, who are undertaking flood alleviation work in the area, had placed some of their equipment on them
While it is far from a satisfactory outcome, Gale said that it had come as something of a relief and that it was up to the players to make it a ‘home from home’.
“It has been very frustrating but at least we have got a home pitch now and that is the main thing,” said Gale.
Walsden enquired about the availabilty of the pitch after playing on the neighbouring 3G facility, which is used by Rochdale Asia, the previous week when they beat their rivals 4-3
They found out it was available and negotiated its use for the remainder of the season.
“We played there a couple of weeks ago and noticed the pitch next door,” added Gale. “We asked the question and it went from there.
“It is reasonably sized, flat and with good changing facilities.
“I understand they like to keep it for cup semi-finals and finals so it is in pretty good condition.”
Walsden will christen their new home this weekend when they host second from bottom Sudden in a Rochdale Online Alliance clash.
That marks the first of four consecutive home games as the club look to build on their current fourth place in the table.
Walsden will also looking to secure the league double over Sudden having beaten them 3-0 last month.
Walsden boss Dan Howley has reported no injury problems and as a result feels confident that his side can start life in their new surrroundings with a win.
That means he will be looking to the likes of Gary Brown, Gary Brierley and Josh Gale to maintain their high level of form.
“We’re just hoping the new pitch suits us,” said Howley.
“It looked a bit narrow which means it could be difficult to play with any width.
“We have four games in a row there so it would be nice to bed ourselves in.
“I just hope I can get a 90 min ute performance from the players.
“That is an area where we have struggled.
“The last time we played Sudden we were battered in the first half but then outplayed them in the second and won 3-0.
“Then two weeks ago we were brilliant in the first half against Asia but didn’t perform in the second half.”
ROCHDALE ALLIANCE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
P W D L GD Pts
Woodbank 8 6 2 0 15 20
Rochdale SH 4 2 3 4 0 14
Fothergill/Whitt 6 4 1 1 10 13
Walsden C&FC 7 4 1 2 -2 13
White Lion 7 3 3 1 12 12
Falcon 1st 9 4 0 5 -5 12
Rochdale Asia 7 2 0 5 -1 6
Sudden 6 1 1 4 -13 4
Balderstone 7 0 0 7 -20 0