Evesham United
Common Road

Ground No. 95
Visited - Saturday 22nd July 2006
Result - Evesham United 1-2 Worcester City
Competition - Pre-Season Friendly
Attendance - 156

At the end of last season, it was announced that Evesham would be spending the 2006/07 season at nearby Worcester City’s ground whilst their new stadium was built, so it meant that I had missed out on seeing Common Road, but a reprieve was in order when they decided that they would play their pre-season friendlies there prior to the builders moving in. 

Looking through their list of friendly games announced, the one that stood out most for me was the match against their soon to be landlords Worcester, so checking on the train times, I decided to go for it, and see one of the last games to be played at the ground.

The journey down to Evesham went well, changing in Birmingham and Worcester, before arriving into the town itself just before 2pm. Unfortunately, after leaving Worcester the skies had suddenly gone very overcast, and after stepping off the train, the heavens opened!

That meant the walk (or more accurately, the dash!) down to the ground ended up with me getting soaked, so after going in, I soon found cover behind one of the goals. After waiting for the rain to stop, and paying a visit to the club shop I was able to take a few pics and have a look around the ground. Behind the near goal was a flat area of covered standing, spanning not much more than the width of the goal itself, whilst next to it was the clubhouse, changing rooms and various other buildings. Along one side was hard standing, with a steep railway embankment directly behind it, whilst the far end was undeveloped, with only hard standing. The fourth side was more developed, with the Shaun Hadley Stand sitting on the halfway line. Raised from the pitch, this part of the ground offered five rows of seating (plastic tip-up seats for the directors, and wooden benches for us plebs!). Despite looking a bit run down, and undeveloped on two sides, with trees behind the far end and the embankment along one side, the ground did have quite an enclosed feel, and was overall, quite a pleasant location.

Despite the rain starting to come down again, the two teams came out, with the unusual sight of the Evesham goalkeeper lining up for Worcester. Apparently Worcester had had a few injuries in the week leading up to the match and had made a last minute loan. Goalkeepers sorted, and it was the visitors who kicked off, dominating the early proceedings. They took a deserved lead on 15 minutes when Adam Webster was sent free to poke home beyond the oncoming goalkeeper from the edge of the box. Despite this set back, the hosts looked to have got back in it when one of their strikers was pulled down in the box, but the resultant penalty kick was poorly struck, which gave the Evesham keeper (playing for Worcester!) an easy save. That mistake would soon prove costly when Worcester next drove forward, with the ball coming to the number 2 who was allowed time to run, before driving home a long range shot from all of 30 yards, scoring a goal that would have looked good at any level of football. Capitalising on their good play, the visitors continued to go forward, and were awarded a penalty of their own soon after their second goal when their left winger was bought down in the box. Once more though the penalty was poorly struck, allowing the Evesham keeper (playing for Evesham!) to keep it out. After this, the game started to become more even, and with time running out, the home side managed to get one back when a long ball lofted forward met the head of Mark Owen, who delicately lobbed his headed effort over the goalkeeper to make it 2-1 at half-time.

During the break, the rain had begun to ease off, but as soon as the second half started, it came back with a vengeance, which would lead to a scrappy second period, with the pitch becoming quite boggy in places, and the players sliding all over, unable to get any real control over the ball. Despite this, the game was still played in a competitive manner, and Worcester looked to have increased their lead when they hit the post on the hour mark, but it was Evesham who were to have the best chance with Mark Owen rounding the goalkeeper, only to see his weak shot hit the side netting. Unfortunately for the home side, there wasn’t much more to play, and so the referee finally blew his whistle to signal the end of a fairly entertaining game, with Worcester coming away with a 2-1 win.

After stopping to take a few pictures of the outside of the ground, I eventually got back to the town, and onwards to the train station, getting back in one piece, with of course the rain having stopped by now!

Overall, I was quite glad that I had had the second chance to visit the ground. It might not have been the best in the world, but it was a nice place to watch football.

Welcome to Evesham United

Rear of the Car Park End

The Clubhouse

The Turnstiles

Rear of the Shaun Hadley Stand

The Shaun Hadley Stand

Seating in the Shaun Hadley Stand

The Far End

The Near Side

The Far End

The Embankment Side

The Embankment Side

The Car Park End

The Shaun Hadley Stand

The Near Side

Just a typical English Summer afternoon!


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