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Ground: Weston Homes Community Stadium

Visits: 1

Date: 9th August 2017

Match: Colchester - Aston Villa  1-2  (League Cup)

Attendance: 6 603

The weather forecast for Wednesday was not exactly something to smile about. Heavy rain was forecasted throughout the day in south east England. I was pleased to find out Colchester United had put on covers to protect the pitch though. With the rain pouring down there was not much sightseeing I wanted to do today. At noon I met up with Stefan and Jocke for lunch and a cup of coffee before returning to my room. At 16.03 our train then departed London Liverpool Street and 45 minutes later we arrived in Colchester. Heavy rain here as well but our newly purchased umbrellas proofed useful as we headed for a nearby pub to get something to eat and drink. We noticed on Twitter the covers were taken off and the referee said the pitch was in a perfect condition and it was definitely game on. Weston Home Community Stadium is situated in the outskirts of Colchester but the club put on shuttle buses and an hour before kick-off we were outside the ground. It was still raining.

Since the 1950s Colchester United has mostly been playing in the third tier of English football. In 2006/7 the club played one season in the Championship though and in 2016 the club was relegated to League 2. Until 2008 the club played at Layer Road but with that ground being old and outdated the club looked at other options. With the help of Colchester Borough Council a new ground, at Cuckoo Farm, was built and in August 2008 the club moved to Colchester Community Stadium which has a capacity of 10 150. For me this was more than just another ground visit. Weston Homes Community Stadium, as the ground is officially called, was to be my 500th football ground and as Colchester United had picked this up on Twitter they announced this both before the game and during half-time. A nice gesture which was much appreciated! Colchester v Aston Villa was a game in the 1st round of the League Cup and playing two division higher the 1 600 travelling fans expected their team to win tonight. The game started with Aston Villa taking the lead in the 7th minute. A minute later Colchester were, after some clumsy defending, awarded a penalty. The penalty kick was saved and 12th minute laster Aston Villa scored again to make it 0-2 on the scoreboard. Shortly before half-time Colchester pulled a goal back and after the first half it was 1-2. At times it was torrential rain coming down but the pitch coped with the conditions. The second half was not as good as the first. Colchester had a few chances but Aston Villa could hold on to their advantage and are through to the next round. It took a while for us to get on a shuttle bus but we still managed to make (the delayed) 22.12 back to London.

The fans who travelled the furthest for this game were most likely Leif and his daughter Fanny. They started the day in Tärendö in the very north of Sweden and as my train arrived at Liverpool Street I could meet up with them. They were in the stand closest to the shuttle buses and made an earlier train. I haven't met Leif since that dramatic night two years ago and it was of course nice to meet him again. Three football matches and a few days of World Championships athletics for them in the coming days. My trip was coming to an end though and having been to three Ligue 1 games as well as three games in England I had to be more than pleased with my week!


Bricklayers - the pub we visited


Rear of the West Stand


Welcome to West Homes Community Stadium


Ticket office


Rear of the East Stand


South Stand


West Stand


North Stand


Players and officials entering




South Stand


View of play


West Stand


View of play


Penalty, Colchester (saved)


North Stand


Aston Villa fans


Under floodlights