THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

LAST summer we made the fantastic move to play our football in Barnton.

As a club we are already seeing the benefits of playing for the first time in Northwich, not only as a fanbase but as a community.

With some excellent success so far on the pitch to rising attendances at home, we are seeing the club become more of a family week after week as we continue to lead the pack at the top of the North West Counties Premier League with a five-point lead over Rylands and with two games in hand on them.

Since moving to Barnton, we’ve seen our average attendance increase to 282, which compares to the 238 we finished with at the Barton Stadium during the 2018/19 season.

The results on the pitch and the rising crowds have created such a feel-good factor around the club in our quest for promotion.

However, results on the pitch are just one part of our season.

The connections we have made in the community make 1874 exactly what it is.

When we first moved to Barnton we wanted to create a proper community football club which is inclusive, caters for all and is performing well on and off the pitch.

Since moving into Northwich our fan engagement team have created several links with local charities and businesses to help improve our surrounding area.

This season we’ve partnered with charities such as Mind UK and The Samaritans who have visited Townfield Lane numerous times this season as we look to promote the excellent work that they do in the area around us for the community.

On some match days we’ve welcomed Bombay Quay and Lean Body Kitchen to cater for us, while our ‘GoalCam’ footage is sponsored by Lean Body Kitchen.

It’s this move to Barnton that has allowed us to gain these fantastic relationships within our community.

Another of these relationships is with Barnton FC themselves.

They welcomed us with open arms and together we have managed to develop the ground and the playing facilities to the benefit of both sides.

With this being our first season playing at Townfield, it’s an exciting time for both clubs to see how far this relationship can go.

At the end of last season, beating league champions City of Liverpool in the Macron Cup Final left everyone with a sense of excitement heading into this campaign and since then we’ve gone from strength to strength.

From being unbeaten in the league since November, to scoring 74 league goals already with 12 games to go until the end of the season, it has been a fantastic campaign so far.

And as we head into the run over the next month, it promises to be one of the most exciting times in the club’s short history.