Causeway United
The War Memorial Athletic Ground

Ground No. 140 (return visit)
Visited - Sunday 15th November 2009
Result - Causeway United 3-2 Newcastle Town
Competition - The FA Vase, Second Round
Attendance - 135

One of the great things about groundshares is that they regularly throw up Sunday fixtures in the cups, and with Causeway sharing at Stourbridge then it was a chance to finally tick them off the list. I’d been to the ground several times before, but not for a Causeway fixture, having last seen them when they were playing at Tividale, so it was a good opportunity to finally get them done.

The club derive their name from the Causeway Green area of Oldbury, having been founded there in 1957, but they’ve spent most of the last 15 years homeless after playing at Halesowen and Tividale before finally settling in Stourbridge at the start of the 2007/08 season, replacing Dudley Town as tenants after they’d left to play at The Dell. The ground is one of my favourites and even for one that incorporates a cricket pitch on one side, it still feels more enclosed than many. Sitting on the High St (yet far more out of the town centre than that might suggest) the entrance is marked by a large brick built arch that leads through to the car park and turnstiles with the clubhouse just inside. The cricket pitch is on the near side of the ground, with an impressive pavilion in the far corner, but once going past the clubhouse you come to the near end, which has a few steps of terracing which leads around the corner to the far side where the Main Stand sits in the centre, flanked by two covered terraces. At the far end is 'The Shed', a large covered terrace with a pitched roof, whilst the near side is cordoned off for spectators.

Having not gone anywhere on the Saturday, then I was itching for a game. Making the short journey down on the bus with no problems, but almost straight away on arriving, there was a catastrophe… the last programme had been sold at 2:30pm, the bloke two in front of me getting the last one! (Especially, annoying given I could have gone in before him, but for taking a picture of the arch!) It's always worth asking in the clubhouse though, and the guy from behind the bar managed to find a spare one and track me down after initially suggesting there were no more, so disaster averted thanks to the friendliness that is so typical of non-league football.   

The visitors Newcastle had only lost one game all season (FA Cup vs Westfields), and having won 17 from 17 in the league, it was going to be a big ask for Causeway, but boosted by Midlands non-league superstar Mark Bellingham turning out for them they nearly took the lead in just the 8th minute when their left winger Carl Hind hit a shot that took a deflection and looped over the goalkeeper only to rebound off the bar. On the half hour mark they made it 1-0 thanks to Duncan Willetts who curled a free-kick out on the left straight into the far corner. He'll probably say it was intentional, but it did look more like a cross! It didn't take the visitors long to get back into it, two minutes to be exact when Mike Douglas hammered a header home from a corner to keep the scores level at the break. The second half had barely started when the hosts took the lead again, Ben Stretton heading in from a Causeway corner, and it was turning into a pretty good game with both sides putting on a good show. Newcastle pulled themselves level once more in the 62nd minute thanks to a deflected goal after their left winger had hit a shot/cross in, Jordon Johnson getting credited for it, but straight from kick-off Carl Hind who had been pretty impressive on the left wing ran virtually half the pitch past several defenders before being tripped in the area. Bellingham stepped up and made no mistake with the penalty, but only ended up getting himself booked for kicking the ball away afterwards (it looked like he was trying to hammer it back into the net, but unfortunately for him it went wide!) After that, both sides continued to go for it in the last half hour, but Causeway held on for the win, to make Newcastle's only two losses this season both against Midland Alliance sides.

A pint in the clubhouse following the final whistle (Sunday busses...) and it was away, the journey from this ground back to Wolverhampton ironically taking less time than it does to get back home after a match at Molineux due to the traffic. It's a good ground for me, my first visit seeing an 8-1 win for Stourbridge, seven goals the second time and another good game today with a five goal haul, but even without the high scorelines it’s one I enjoy going to and will hopefully return to again, albeit not in the next round of the Vase, Causeway being rewarded for their win with another tie against a Potteries side… away to Biddulph. 

Entrance to the Ground

A busy schedule for the groundsman!

The Turnstiles

The Clubhouse

The Cricket Club

The Near End

The Main Stand

Bench Seating in the Main Stand

The Main Stand

The Shed End

The Cricket Pitch Side

Ready for Kick Off

The Shed End

The Main Stand

The War Memorial Athletic Ground Panoramic 1

The War Memorial Athletic Ground Panoramic 2

The War Memorial Athletic Ground Panoramic 3


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