Tuesday 27 September 2011

Colchester United

I visited the new Colchester United ground for a Friday night televised match early last season, an npower League One clash with Carlisle United, on Friday 27th August 2010. I was fortunate enough to have been at the very last game at Layer Road, which was a youth team friendly against Dulwich Hamlet.

There is a special football bus service from the town centre, as the gorund is out on the edge of town.

Here are some of them lining up.

Cheap enough as well.

On the bus, approaching the stadium.

The new access road, named after the club.

An all-weather community pitch & large car park outside.

Getting closer...

Almost there, outside.

Club shop in the main stand.

Inside the shop.

They clearly don't like their local rivals!

Moving along, behind the main stand, is the ticket office. We're going to complete a circuit of the outer perimeter.

The main entrance to the stadium.

Inside the foyer is this photo of the ground.

The full title of the ground is the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Reaching the far end.

A shot of it through a gap in the gates.

And from same spot across the pitch.

Moving round, this is the back of the stand behind the goal.

Stadium sponsors displayed in lots of places.

One of the visiting fans, I had to stop him & ask to take a picture of that shirt, with their famous Eddie Stobart sponsors of course.

One of the many turnstile entrances.

Modern ground, modern cycle shed.

Now behind the main home end, which is where my ticket is for. How retro is this? Germanic football fashion in Essex!

Getting closer to kick off, plenty of people now milling about outside. Notice that tent...

It's pre-match entertainment!

It's organised by Keep Colchester Cool.

Full set of signatures for this young match listening to them.

Food stands doing a good trade.

Inside the ground now, there were also refreshments under the seats on the concourse.

Now up in the main home stand behind the goal, in the South Stand. That's the main stand. the West Stand, to our left.

The stand at the other end is the North Stand.

And to our right is the East Stand.

The home end again, to our right.

And to the left.

The main stand, from the bottom of our one.

A box at the top corner of our stand, possibly a crowd control area?

Along the South Stand, from the bottom corner.

A lone 'corner flag' shot.

The other side of the net, to the East Stand.

Club crests on the big scoreboard, at the far end.

A pic of a goatee on one of the players in the warm up.

Mustn't leave out the mascot.

There won't be that many balls in the back of the net during the game!

On goes the sprinkler.

Back in my seat, not long til kick off.

The players come onto the pitch.

The away fans are in the far corner of the East Stand; the designated away end behind the goal not opened this evening.

Time to waste time with the handshakes.

Ready for kick off, with the floodlights now on.

Same shot when the sun has completely set.

East Stand to the right, by night...

As well as the main stand to our left.

Attendance on the scoreboard.

Final score, after a late Carlisle equaliser.

Time to go home!

I asked this chap, who was sat a couple of rows in front of me, & a little drunk, why he was dressed like that. Turns out he's celebrating the birth of his daughter!

With the game finished I moved into the main stand, to get a full photo of the home South Stand.

The main stand, from the bottom corner.

In the concourse underneath it were some old photos from the past, to make it feel more 'homely'.

Some fans stay behind, rather than sit in the car park queues I suppose, to catch the post match comments on the box.

One 'lucky' fan picks up his winnings from the on-site bookie.

A final look at more pictures on the concourse & it's time to head back to London.

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