Wednesday, 9 May 2018


Daten  7  Cheadle Town Reserves  2

Cheshire Football League – First Division

Stood at the bar in the Culcheth Sports Club, my curiosity was getting the better of me.

Firstly, where the hell did the resident football team’s name ‘Daten’ come from, and why were they nicknamed ‘The Atoms’?

The Daten
Apparently, the Sports Club in the Cheshire village located on the outskirts of Warrington, is also nicknamed ‘The Daten’, so, there was only one thing I could do, ask the bar staff.

“Department of Atomic Energy” – an acronym, because it appears the social club used to serve the government department that was located nearby in Risley. The site is no longer operational but the name has stuck. So mystery solved, and probably not a lot of people outside of Culcheth itself know the story of the name. Must remember that for when I next get invited to run a pub quiz….

What made me go to Nukesville then on May Day? Well Daten are looking nailed on to get promotion from the First Division of the Cheshire League, and with me being a completeist in terms of the Premier Division, it was an opportunity to get a visit in before they became a fully-fledged Step 7 club.

The Culcheth Expanses
Not only that though, they are also quite clearly an ambitious club because they applied for Step 6 football earlier in the campaign. Given the number of applicants who already operate at Step 7 from the same league, jumping ahead of them in the pecking order was always going to be unlikely, but you have to admire their intentions.

I must admit though, I went more in hope than expectation that the game would actually be taking place. Two days earlier the reserves of Cheadle Town were unable to raise a side for the away game at AFC Macclesfield, so did that bode well for them making an appearance on a sweltering Bank Holiday?

With Added Tennis Courts
I tried to make contact via phone and Twitter, but didn’t have any luck, however with a back-up plan at Ford Motors not too far away, I decided to gamble on it. Lo and behold, as I pulled into the large car park, two sets of players were busy warming up, we had a game!

Two wins from three games would see Daten win the title ahead of nearest challengers Egerton, while Cheadle sat next to bottom of the table, so to be fair I was expecting to see a home victory, but before I come onto the game, what about the facilities?

The ground is located very close to the centre of Culcheth, and consists of two full sized and railed pitches sitting next to the large Social Club. There was plenty of al-fresco drinking space available and on a beautiful day a decent sized crowd was gathering for a combination of refreshment and football. The social club is a very smart facility indeed, as you would expect of one that once served some of the finest nuclear boffins in the land, probably!

Match Action
The game went the way the form book suggested. By half time Daten were 4-0 up and coasting, and despite a couple of defensive lapses in the second period they went on to score three more goals. The best goal was the seventh effort which was a superb lob from inside their own half that beat the back peddling Cheadle goalkeeper and bounced perfectly into the back of the net.

I expect Daten to go on to wrap up the championship on Saturday when they take on West Didsbury & Chorlton Reserves at home. Bit how will they fare in the top flight? Pretty well I expect, and with facilities that have scope for development, certainly from a space perspective, maybe that dream of achieving Step 6 football might not be that far away.

The Crowd Gathers
The Borough of Warrington certainly has room for another team higher up the football pyramid, and with a clutch of local clubs in the Cheshire League vying for position as top dog, Daten have the potential, and are as well placed as anyone to make the step up.

As their profile raises and their progression gets noticed, they can expect a few more people asking the very same question I did. The Department of Atomic Energy in Cheshire might be set for a revival!

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