My Big Mouth: Non-league football – the greatest spectacle for any football lover?

By Jim Coldwell

After witnessing a seven goal thriller on Saturday, with two goals coming in the first five minutes, it started me thinking, is there any better viewing for a true football fan than a wet and cold non-league tie?

Any football fanatic wants one thing when they attend a match, goals, and 90 minutes of a non-league clash is almost certain to satisfy that requirement.

The football may not be filled with sumptuous Spanish technique or Brazilian elegance but it provides drama and therefore only adds to the appeal.

Don’t get me wrong there is still a host of bright talents playing at this level and the games are often packed with eye catching events and all for a fraction of the price of a league game.

There’s something slightly addictive about spending a portion of your weekend weaving your way through housing estates to find a small rickety ground in the middle of nowhere.

The grounds are a far cry from the terraces of Camp Nou but they throw you back to what football is all about, standing with a cup of Bovril or a steak and kidney pie and cheering on your favourite local team.

Some of the venues even boast the most modern of luxuries, plastic seats, which offer a comfortable platform to watch the action, with no latecomers pushing past you and enough room to ensure your knees aren’t wrapped around the lug holes of the spectator in front.

The crisp winds and driving rain hammering on your cheeks is something that has to be expected but you get that at any top stadium.

When you go to a fixture within the football league you get the feeling of just being a piece in a very large jigsaw but attending a non-league tie you get a sense of belonging.

The sacred team sheets that are only available to the most elite of football goers at top grounds around the country are readily available at non-league encounters.

To top it all off you can even share a pint of beer with the players a short time after the final whistle, a stark contrast to waiting for hours on end outside the stadium to catch a glimpse or, if you’re lucky, the most sort-after squiggle on the page of a programme.

So fellow football fanatics, I urge you to get down and support your local non-league team the next time you have a free afternoon. Leave plenty of time, wrap up warm and take a couple of quid for a pie.

I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed!      


Related Articles