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the hell are Northwich Athletic?
name Witton Albion can be traced to a team based in the area as early
as 1887 – so this bunch have certainly been around a bit. The
fledgling Cheshire non-leaguers were conscripted into the Northwich
and District League in 1892, the first of a number of funny sounding
provincial leagues that they joined in their formative years.
In 1920, Albion
became founder members of the Cheshire County League, enjoying considerable
success in the following decade, sweeping league titles and cup
triumphs galore. Perhaps unluckily, Witton were overlooked when
the Northern Premier League was formed but in 1979 they stuck it
up the blazers’ arses and won promotion to the division on
merit anyway. Ten years of mid-table obscurity followed before Witton
made any tangible impact. In 1991, they finallyly won the NPL Premier
Division title and secured promotion to the top-flight of non-league
football. Even more excitingly, the promotion also secured them
an appearance as a playable club on Premier Manager 2.
The step up
proved too much, too soon, and Witton were relegated in 1994. It
was the first relegation in their history, but another followed
just three years later as Albion found themselves languishing in
NPL Division One. They would return to the Premier Division, but
only as a consequence of the pyramid reshuffle.
The last two
seasons have seen something of resurgence in fortunes and Albion
fans can count themselves as quite unlucky not to have won promotion
to the Conference North. In 2006/2007, Witton were denied the title
by one measly goal, with Burscough scraping home. They were defeated
in the playoffs by Telford.
that narrow miss possibly weighing on their minds, Witton went one
better the season before last and somehow contrived to blow a huge
fourteen point lead at the top of the table. The choke of all chokes
allowed Fleetwood to pinch automatic promotion and left Albion to
flop in the playoffs again, this time to Buxton.
- 2nd in Northern Premier
- 2nd in Northern Premier
- 8th in Northern Premier
for a club at this level, Witton were embroiled in what some have
audaciously termed a ‘worldwide controversy’ after an
incident during the 2004 Cheshire County Cup Final.
Oddly, the final wasn’t being streamed live
to 8.3 billion people but an incident during the match involving
a streaker and Witton captain Brian Pritchard would become the focus
media attention. Controversy raged when, with the match
between Witton and Woodley Sports delicately poised, the streaker
raced onto the pitch, organs a’danglin’, evading what
little security was present at the venue (which you probably won’t
be surprised to learn was Altrincham’s Moss Road).
The Witton skipper was, understandably, less than
impressed and decided, as many disgruntled sportsmen do, to take
matters into his own hands. And why not? He was a policeman by day,
after all. Pritchard tripped the naked man, sending him tumbling
briefly to the pitch. The streaker was shortly afterwards apprehended
and escorted away.
Then, Pritchard, to the disbelief of the crowd, received a straight
red card. Indeed, the crowd were so engulfed in raging disbelief
that they started punching each other. That’s the kind of
thing that happens when you visit Moss Road. Thomas Pitt would have
been right at home: “Draw your sword, rascal! Take that!
eventually lost the game 2-1.
Where do they keep getting caught offside?
proudly proclaim Wicham Park to be one of the finest non-league
grounds in the country. Is it? Fuck knows, we've never been. So
here's another lazy cut'n'past job from Windows Live that will
have to suffice until we've visited and passed our oh-so-important
judgement on the place.
are based in Northwich, home to some other non-league chancers we
can’t remember the name of. And Northwich is, of course, the
self-proclaimed salt capital of the United Kingdom.
The salty heritage of the town is simply inescapable. Salt has been
mined in the area since the Romans were around, which means we could
quite conceivably simply cut and paste the entry for Nantwich –
which also fancies itself as a salt powerhouse – without you
Thankfully, it appears that the great salt rivals
have not allowed their historical industrial heritage to impinge
on football matters. Try as we might, we simply couldn’t find
any evidence to back up our fears that fans of Nantwich and Northwich
gather in pub car-parks and chuck at each other before police arrive
to disperse the sodium chloride ruck.
the salt industry has left Northwich with a unwanted legacy. Abandoned
salt mines snaking under the town have caused massive subsidence
problems, problems surpassed only by a certain Victorian sewer in
Boston. A project to remove salty water from the mines and replace
it with a sludgy ash to support the unstable ground above was completed
fans' pub guide thing
us more about Witton, recommend a pub or try and obtain our bank details