St. George’s Lane – Worcester City

26 Jan

Worcester City – 0

Colwyn Bay – 1

Football Conference North – 21st January 2012

I have overall enjoyed this season in the Conference North, often going to new places that both me and my beloved Colwyn Bay FC have never been to. This time last year I couldn’t even spell Worcester, and 12 months later I was making my first trip to the city to watch the seagulls play against Worcester in the latest round of Conference North action.

Worcester are unfortunately located for a football club, as they can easily be moved around the leagues, so much so that since their promotion to the Conference North/South level they have moved a few times between the two leagues. However, they make up for it, as everybody said that the place was “lovely”. As there is no guarantee of us playing them next year it was a definite away trip for me. The deal was sweetened with a random occurrence from another groundhopping exploit that serves as a lesson on why you should speak to strangers.

A month or so before, I was in Sheffield to watch Sheffield United play Torquay United. I talked about meeting a Liverpool fan and having a beer or two with him. Anyway he added me to Facebook and said that his mate was a director at Worcester City, and may be able to get me in for free. I would’ve paid anyway (and spent more than enough in the bar), but it was a nice. Sure enough, three days later I was informed that I was in for free as a guest. Bonus.

The day began early at 8:45 as I was heading down to Worcester on the bus. After a few stops and a drive down a road with probably the most football stadiums in easy view to it (passing The Hawthorns and Walsall’s Ground), we arrived a few minutes early into Worcester. The town was pretty, and being the most technologically advanced member of the Seagulls away day faithful, I was charged to find theĀ  best pub near the ground. After a plea for help to @nonleagueshow which was answered by some members of the Worcester faithful, we had a target.

Bay fans are easily pleased with pub games

Which was immediately ignored the second I stepped off the bus, with the faithful heading to the bar closest to the ground. In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad, plus it was the first bar I have ever been in with a skittles alley in it. I was rubbish at the North Walian rules of “hit as many as you can”, but still it passed the time.

I haded into the ground, and almost causing an argument between two stewards who couldn’t find my guest pass (it was there), the mood was lightened when I was told that I wouldn’t be allowed in with “fancy dress” (I was wearing my Bay shirt). Oh them.

I usually write the blog posts first and then add the pictures later. As such, the pictures remind me of things. It was only when I looked at the pictures I realised the game had a female referee. The fact it required photos for me to remember that the game had a female official shows how well she did her job. Seriously she was brilliant!

In all seriousness, everybody I met in Worcester was really really friendly, with supporters mixing in the clubhouse and outside. I mean – ridiculously friendly. Absolutely no segregation, and Worcester had a fair few fans when the game kicked off. The ground was wonderful as well, a proper old school ground, that reminded me a bit like the early seasons in Premier Manager where you upgrade areas of the ground whilst leaving other areas derelict. It looked a bit haphazard, but it added to the charm. With plenty of eating places too, it was easy to get a snack at half time.

The game kicked off and a nervous start was had by both teams. Worcester were playing with a team devoid of confidence whilst Colwyn Bay played with a team that were wary of the opponents strong record at home. Worcester had the slightly better start, until Shelton Payne broke down the left win to square to Rob Hopley, who bundled the ball into the net after the keeper parried his original shot. 1-0 to the visitors after 11 minutes.

Hopley after scoring

James Dormund’s miserable afternoon got worse a few minutes later when an innocuous goal kick saw him collapse injured and Worcester made their first substitution early on. Worcester pressed for an equaliser but bar a free kick which bounced awkwardly from Chris Sanna’s grip that was hooked away by the Bay defence, they lacked chances. In fact, Colwyn Bay came closest to doubling their lead with Jon Newby hitting the bar with the keeper well beaten with a deft chip. After 45 minutes, the score was 1-0, a comfortable 1-0, as Worcester offered little.

At half time I headed to the pie stands to get a pie. I must admit I was disappointed, with the pie cremated, absorbing all the rich gravy into a globby lump that meandered between the steak pieces that were inedible. It seems like the Worcester faithful agreed with me on Twitter.

Frank Sinclair came close

The second half began, and then carried on, and ended. It was a dull drab affair that occupied the game. Neither team made chances. Not that it mattered for me, as the Seagull’s unbeaten run continued to four. Worcester were beaten for only the second time at home all season. We headed to the bar to share stories.

I liked Worcester, the fans were top notch – a friendly bunch that made the Seagulls’ virgin voyage to St George Lane a pleasant, as well as profitable visit. For me I loved the free entry (that I more than made up with in the bar – the day got a bit hazy). I even forgived the rubbish pie, as the people and club associated with Worcester City were as lovely off the pitch as the team was rubbish on it.

About Rhys Wynne

Rhys Wynne is the editor & creator of You're Supposed To Be At Home. For his sins, he is a Colwyn Bay & Liverpool fan, and a serial blog creator. You can follow Rhys on twitter here.

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