After the bizarre scenario where Shirebrook accidentally double booked their stadium for a wedding on the same day as the playoff semi final, Semi-Professional were treated to a very different match day experience: watching a playoff game at the home of the league champions.

Naturally, this became a tough experience to rate due to Parkgate having control over some aspects of the day, and Shirebrook others.

However, as Shirebrook strolled to success with a 4-0 win over AFC Wakefield to make the playoff final, which they eventually lost but were promoted to Step 5 on points per game, in the end, the move from their Derby home to Rotherham hardly mattered.

However, how did Semi-Professional rate the slightly strange match day experience?

State of the pitch

It was early May to be fair, but it was a lovely surface for Step 6.

This was definitely deserving of a good score, and given that recently departed Shirebrook manager Stephen Bodle praised Parkgate’s management of the playing surface, we’ll give them the credit for this one.

Rating: 8/10

A picture of the pitch at Roundwood Pavilion.
The pitch at Roundwood Pavilion.


Travelling from Sheffield City Centre to Roundwood Pavilion was easy.

A quick tram was straightforward, as was the following 9 bus.

The only issue was the walking on a road to get into the club on foot, which I suppose isn’t ideal.

When that was sorted though, there was lots of parking because it’s shared with Rotherham’s training ground and the bowls club!

Very good facilities, that were easy to get to.

Rating: 8/10


Our notes quite simply read: “No burger?!”

We think that’s probably the most basic form of food for a football depending on your persuasion on pies, however, despite having just two options to pick from, the chip butty was good and cheap.

We were grateful to have only been set back £2.50 for the food, it would’ve been just £4 for the pie and peas, so whether it was Shirebrook or Parkgate in charge of it, we’ve given them another very respectable score.

Rating: 7/10


There was a fairly decent noise coming from the away fans, who brought more in truth, and also a younger section of home supporters all things considered.

Another very impressive mark, given they were also out of sight in this game at half time due to a Kieren Watson hat-trick, maybe Shirebrook should play here more often.

Rating: 8/10


It was a really nice ground. It felt very quaint, with a very homely feel, we were big fans.

Add a nice bar to that, with somewhere to eat, plenty of seats and standing area, Parkgate were onto a winner.

It was a really nice stadium.

Main issue would be that the only toilets inside the ground aren’t exactly the best, and for better facilities, you’d have to head to the other side of the turnstile and back to the bar, so that was mildly disappointing.

It’s probably not the best ground to go to when it rains either, and despite the rather miserable looking clouds above us on the day, we avoided that issue luckily.

With little cover and just the single stand, we did have to deduct a few marks, reluctantly.

Rating: 7/10


Overall, it was a combination of two great clubs who have both been promoted to Step 5 next season!

The Parkgate location was quite impressive, with great facilities for the level.

Shirebrook and their fans helped to bring the entertainment, and if someone had given us a burger, it would have almost been perfect.

A great effort, as we’d recommend giving both Parkgate and Shirebrook a watch if you’re in the area as a result.

Total score: 38/50

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