Coles Lane

Ground No. 101 (return visit)
Visited - Sunday 17th September 2006
Result - Romulus 6-0 Shirebrook Town
Competition - FA Cup, 1st Qualifying Round
Attendance - 83

When the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup came around, I was faced with somewhat of a dilemma. Go to a new ground, and miss Barnsley vs Wolves, or return to a ground that I had visited just a few weeks previously. As it was, I decided to do both, Oakwell on the Saturday, and Coles Lane once more on the Sunday.

In the run up to the day, I wasn’t overly looking forward to returning, so made the journey down to Birmingham in a half-hearted mood, changing trains at New Street, before arriving into Sutton Coldfield without much time to spare before kick-off.

As expected, despite it being a different team playing, the feel of the ground was much as for the Sutton Coldfield match, so after having bought a programme, I found a spot to stand in, and waited for the match to start.
Romulus started the brighter, and it took them only four minutes to take the lead when Seb Hamilton found the long kick of his goalkeeper and managed to beat off his marker to put past Shirebrook’s Louis Sprigg. Buoyed by this, and with just another eight minutes gone, they doubled the lead when Lee Hatfield picked up a pass on the edge of the area and was allowed to burst inside the box and knock the ball into the net. They didn’t have it all their own way though, and Shirebrook looked to have been saved when Tyrone Fagan hit the post from a penalty in the 24th minute. With that, the visitors started to get back in it, and at half time had kept the score down to 2-0.

The second half though was all the home side, and they soon went 3-0 up when substitute Richard Allen was allowed space inside the box to pick his spot and smash the ball home. A few minutes later there was controversy when after a fairly innocuous tackle, Hamilton? completely overreacted, and started to hit the Shirebrook player who had fouled him. With that, a mass brawl started, which resulted in Romulus’ number 6 being sent-off. Being reduced to 10 men didn’t seem to do any harm to the home side though, and six minutes later Fagan made it 4-0, with a well taken shot at goal. He made it 5-0 on 83 minutes and was able to grab his hat-trick in injury time, when he was allowed to tap into an empty net after a pull back from the right to make the final score a resounding 6-0, putting ‘The Roms’ through to the next round.

Despite my fears about returning to the ground so soon, it hadn’t been all that bad. Standing on the opposite side to the Main Stand (where I had sat two weeks previously), made it almost feel like visiting a new ground, so that was good, and the game had been surprisingly entertaining, despite the scoreline making it seem like a walkover for Romulus!

Whilst visiting the same ground for two different teams might not appeal to some, there was a different enough feel between a Sutton Coldfield game and a Romulus one to make the ground worth visiting twice, and I have no doubt that I’ll probably be back there again one of the days for another revisit!

Welcome to Coles Lane

Entrance to the Ground

Side of the Main Stand

The Near Side

The Far End

The Far Side

The Main Stand

The Clubhouse End

The Clubhouse

Coles Lane Panoramic


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