Colchester United

Weston Homes Community Stadium

Capacity: 10,105 (all seated)
Address: United Way, Colchester, CO4 5UP
Telephone: 01206 755 100
Fax: 01206 715 327
Ticket Office: 0845 437 9089
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Club Nickname: The U's
Year Ground Opened: 2008
Shirt Sponsors: Weston Homes plc
Away Shirt Sponsors: Jobserve
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away Kit: Yellow and Black

Stadium External View
Stadium External View
Main and North Stands
Main and North Stands
Jobserve Stadium
Jobserve Stadium
Main Stand
Main Stand
North Stand
North Stand
South Stand
South Stand
External View
External View

In 2008 the Club left their Layer Road ground, their home for 71 years, and moved to a new stadium on the edge of town. The new Weston Homes Community Stadium as it has been named in a corporate sponsorship deal, was built by Barr Construction at a cost of around £14m. The cost was largely met by Colchester Borough Council, who own the stadium, with the football club as tenants. 

The stadium is functional and well presented, but as with a number of new stadiums built in recent years, it lacks character and is nothing 'out of the ordinary'. The ground is comprised of four separate stands. The Main (West) Stand on one side of the pitch is a little taller than the other three stands, which are the same height. All the stands are covered single tiered, all seated stands. The Main Stand has a row of executive boxes/corporate hospitality areas running across the top of it, whilst the others are simply seating areas. The Weston Homes Stand though, at the South end of the stadium, does have a Police Control Box incorporated into it, on one side beneath the roof. All the stands have translucent panels built into their roofs as well as a perspex strip just below them, which allows more light and facilitates pitch growth.

Alison Wells informs me; 'When the stadium was built the necessary foundations were put in place so that the capacity could be easily increased at a later date. This would include filling in the corners, which would increase the capacity to around 12,500. A second tier could also be added onto the Roman Cars (North), Weston Homes (South) and JobServe (East) stands, raising the total capacity still further to 18,000. There are no time scales as to when this may take place.'

Away fans are normally housed in the northern part of the JobServe Stand, which is situated on one side of the stadium. Around a thousand supporters can be accommodated in this area. For Clubs with a larger travelling support then the Roman Cars Stand (the North End), where up to 2,000 supporters can be seated, is allocated instead. As you would expect from a new stadium the facilities and view of the playing action are good. The stands are particularly steep, meaning that fans are kept close to the pitch and resulting in good sight lines. A varied range of food is available on the concourses, including Cheesburgers (£3.40), Hot Dogs (£3.30), Cornish Pasties (£3.10), Chicken Balti Pies (£2.90), Steak & Ale Pies (£2.90), Cheese & Onion Pasties (£2.90) and Sausage Rolls (£2.90). Adam Hodson a visiting Stockport County fan tells me; 'The ground is equipped with electronic turnstiles. The stadium is very similar to Shrewsbury's New Meadow with all four stands being of similar height'. John Hill a visiting Huddersfield Town fan adds; 'One pleasing feature was that at 6'2", I was still okay for leg room, which is not always the case at some other grounds. We caught the shuttle bus from the station and it worked surprisingly well. We got to the ground easily, and afterwards they let the buses out of the car park before cars, which led to a fairly swift return to the station and an easy getaway'. Peter Clark an Ipswich Town fan adds; 'There is no facility to pay cash at the turnstiles, so you have to buy your tickets from the Ticket booth if you haven't already bought them in advance'.

Mick Hubbard informs me; 'The ground is not in a great place. Like Chester in the past, the club has been dispatched to a far-flung part of town, sitting the the edge of a new business park, surrounded by wasteland.  Although the facilities were excellent, it is quite a depressing location for a "community" club'. Tony Cannan a visiting Plymouth Argyle supporter warns; 'Be careful when climbing the stairs to your seat row in the stand itself. It's very easy to misjudge these steps and lose your footing'.

The Club allow access to the bar and toilets located on the concourse area of the Weston Homes Stand, before each home game (12.15pm for a 3.00pm Kick-Off). Drinks can be taken back outside the stadium to enjoy the pre-match entertainment such as live bands which are often playing under the marquee. This bar is available to both home and away supporters. Alcohol available includes; Lager, Bitter, Wine, plus Whisky and Brandy (all at £3.80). 

With the stadium being on the very outskirts of Colchester, then there is little in the choice of pubs. David Prior informs me; 'The Dog and Pheasant on Nayland Road, is probably the closest to the stadium, although it is till around 3/4's of a mile away. However, it is only admitting home fans'. Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool United fan adds; 'We visited the Dog and Pheasant and were admitted okay, although we weren't wearing colours. The pub had a good choice of beer and did food too. To find the pub, go down to the end of United Way, then at the end turn left into Boxted Road and at the mini-roundabout go straight over into Nayland Road. The Dog and Pheasant is on the right next to a fish and chip shop'. About one and half miles away on the Ipswich Road (A1232, off A12/A120) is the Balkerne Gate pub, which is part of the Brewers Fayre chain.

David Prior continues; 'If you are arriving at Colchester North Station then there are a few pubs within a five minute walk. Directly opposite Bruff Close (where the shuttle bus runs from) is the Bricklayers, which is more of a home pub. If you turn right out of the station and cross at the pedestrian crossing and keep going straight on down North Station road, you will come to the Norfolk, which is a Greene King pub and offers a good selection of lagers and ales. A little further on is the 3rd option being the Albert, which is a Beefeater pub'. John Hill a visiting Huddersfield Town fan adds; 'The Norfolk Arms, which is less than five minutes walk away from the station car park was happy to admit away fans and seems to be the designated pub. It looks like that it has recently been refurbished, plus they serve hand-pulled real ale. Plus Sky Sports on screen & a new-looking pool table, so definitely recommended'. Les Fry a visiting AFC Bournemouth fan adds; 'We and a few other Cherries fans drank in the Bricklayers pub near to the shuttle bus stop and experienced no problems.'

Alternatively you can take the short train ride from Colchester (North) mainline station to Colchester Town, around which there are plenty of pubs to be found. Ed Aitken adds; 'A decent bet for a pub near town station is the Odd One Out pub at the bottom of Mersea road (about a two minute walk). It is the most traditional real ale pub in Colchester, although swearing is banned!' A 5-10 minute walk away is the CAMRA listed pub, the Fox & Fiddler which serves a number of real ales. Also on St John's Street and almost next door is the Playhouse, which is a Wetherspoons outlet. This former theatre is a spectacular setting for a bar, as the original dress circle and stage of the theatre have been preserved and is well worth a visit. Alcohol is also available inside the stadium.

At long last the new junction on the A12 for access to the stadium has been completed, which means that the stadium is only a short drive from this trunk road.

From The North & M11: 

Leave the A14 and then join the M11. Come off the M11 at J8 (Stansted Airport/A120) and follow the A120 towards Braintree & Colchester. The A120 then joins the A12 and after passing the stadium on your right, leave the A12 at Junction 28. Turn left at the first roundabout, the turn right into United Way from the second roundabout.

From the South:

Leave the A12 at Junction 28. Turn right at the first roundabout. Go across the bridge and then go straight over the second roundabout, before turning right into United Way from the third roundabout. 

Post code for Sat Nav:

The postcode of the stadium is CO4 5UP, but you may find that your sat nav system does not acknowledge this postcode at present. It is recommended by the club to use CO4 5JS, which is the nearby Rapid Electronics factory.

Car Parking:

There 700 car parking spaces at the stadium which cost £6. As only a certain number of them are made available to away fans it is essential that you pre-book your space by calling the Ticket Office on 0845 437 9089. In the event that the car park is full, then the club direct fans to an overspill car park located on the nearby industrial estate (about a 10-15 minute walk away from the stadium) which costs £8. There is also an extensive residents only parking scheme in operation around the stadium, so you may need to journey to over a mile away, before you can find a legitimate parking space.

Donald Oates a visiting Huddersfield Town fan informs me; 'I was disappointed to find that there was no alternative but to park at the stadium at a cost of £6 parking. Everywhere around the stadium the side roads have signs prohibiting off street parking, which is enforced by stewards. I was even more disappointed at the end of the game, having to wait 30 minutes before I could exit the car park. There seemed to be no clear markings, even though there were literally acres of land which could be used. Reece a visiting Portsmouth fan informs me; 'We arrived five hours before kick off and managed to park okay on a nearby housing estate. There were no formal parking restrictions on display (such as no yellow lines, street signs etc..) but nearer kick off time signs are manually put out and stewards placed at the end of each road to quiz entering drivers whether in fact they are a local resident. It all seems a rather odd affair.' Mick Hubbard adds; 'There are a number of local businesses in the area also offering parking for around £5'.

Park & Ride

A new Park and Ride service has been recently introduced. Alsthough primarily for travellers going into Colchester town centre, it is also stops (on request) around a five minute walk away from the stadium and therefore can be handy for supporters. It is located just off Junction 28 of the A12 (Post Code CO4 5JA). It is currently a free service, but this is likely to change in the near future (the bus will then cost £3 per Adult, £1 per Child). It is only suitable for Saturday games, as services cease at 7pm. Buses depart every 15 minutes on a Saturday. See the Colchester Park & Ride website for more details.

The nearest station to the ground is Colchester North which is just under two miles away from the stadium. Located near to the station at Bruff Close is a free shuttle bus service that will take you to the ground. It takes around 10 minutes to reach the stadium. I have heard of some fans paying to park at Colchester North Station, where there is a fair sized car park (which costs £2.10 on Saturdays, £4.10 midweek) and then taking the shuttle bus. Apparently there is some street parking to be had on Mile End Road near to the Bricklayers pub.

Shuttle Bus to the Stadium:

A shuttle bus operates from Bruff Close, which is close to Colchester North station (at the end of the station approach turn left and take the second exit at the roundabout, the buses park behind the "Big Yellow" storage facility that you can see from the station ). For 3pm kick offs it runs from 1pm, with the last bus returning from the stadium at 6pm. For 7.45pm kick offs, the service commences at 6pm with the last bus returning from the stadium at 10.15pm. The cost of the bus is £2 return, but it is free for OAP's, who can show a senior citizen bus pass. The journey time to the stadium is around 10 minutes.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Home Fans*:
West Stand (Centre): Adults £30, Concessions £24, Under 18's £16
West Stand (Outer Centre): Adults £28, Concessions £22, Under 18's £15
West Stand (Wings): Adults £26, Concessions £20, Under 18's £14
West Stand (Outer Wings): Adults £24, Concessions £18, Under 18's £13
JobServe Stand (Centre): Adults £30, Concessions £24, Under 18’s £16, Under 14’s £9, Under 8’s £5
JobServe Stand (Outer Centre): Adults £28, Concessions £22, Under 18’s £15, Under 14’s £8, Under 8’s £4
JobServe Stand (Wings): Adults £26, Concessions £20, Under 18’s £14, Under 14’s £7, Under 8’s £3
JobServe Stand (Outer Wings): Adults £24, Concessions £18, Under 18’s £13, Under 14’s £6, Under 8’s £2
Weston Homes Stand: Adults £22, Under 21's £17, Concessions £16, Under 18's £13

Away Fans*:
Roman Cars Stand: Adults £22, Under 21's £17, Concessions £16, Under 18's £13 
JobServe Stand: Adults £24, Concessions £18, Under 18’s £13, Under 14’s £6, Under 8’s £2

* The ticket prices above are for tickets purchased on matchday. The club offer substantial discounts on these prices if the tickets are bought prior to matchday. For example an adult ticket in the JobServe Stand (Outer Wings) costs £16 if bought when they first go on sale, 8 weeks in advance of the fixture. The Club then increase the prices of the tickets in increments (every two weeks or so) in the run up to the day of the match, culminating in the prices above charged on the day of the game. Did you get all that? Anyhow I believe this also applies to tickets for the away section.

Concessions apply to Over 65's, the disabled and members of the armed forces.

Official Programme £3

Ipswich Town, Southend United and from further away Wycombe.

10,064 v Norwich City
League One, January 16th 2010.

At Layer Road:
19,072 v Reading
FA Cup 1st Round, November 27th, 1948.

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 3,735 (League One)
2012-2013: 3,530 (League One)
2011-2012: 3,865 (League One)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the 
Level Playing Field website. 

Colchester United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

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Colchester United v Peterborough United
League One
Saturday, October 26th 2013m 3pm
James Prentice (Doing the 92)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I wasn’t relishing the prospect of a trip to Colchester United’s new home given that I’d heard it is just a re-run of Shrewsbury Town’s ground – which hardly grabbed my imagination! However, I was willing to give it a go and tick it off my ever-diminishing 92 list. I never made it to Layer Road so I thought I would go to the Weston Homes Community Stadium with an open mind and booked a ticket for the visit of free-scoring Peterborough.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I had looked into going to Colchester by train, but given that I’d have had to make a laborious journey via London and then get a shuttle bus to the ground I decided it might be better to go by car. I was due to make the journey with a friend who sadly couldn’t make it so made the journey alone; however, this can be a real advantage as one can set one’s own agenda and not have to worry about anyone else! The journey from Lincoln took just under three hours and I found the ground easily, being located right next to the A12. After seeing that parking options are few and far between I booked my space on-line and was sent the permit via first class post. I was pleased I had taken up this option – I normally try to find a free space but managed to park less than two minutes’ walk from the turnstile.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Pre-match entertainment options are extremely limited to say the least, in keeping with many out-of-town grounds, so I was glad I didn’t have too much time to kill before the match. I went for a look in the club shop and bought a badge and programme before going for a walk around the stadium, taking a few pictures along the way. The refreshments stand in the Weston Homes Stand (the home end) was open before the game and there are a few picnic benches outside. There is also a café located next to the reception in the Main Stand, with seating inside and out. I went for a drink and watched Sky Sports News on the concourse – home and away fans were mingling pretty freely, with no signs of any aggro.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Before I knew it, it was time for kick off and I headed towards my seat in the home end. The incline of the stand is extremely steep – similar to Tynecastle and Rugby Park – and this gave an excellent view of the action. Whilst on the small side, the stand I was in felt pretty comfortable and looks like a replica of the away end, which was about two-third full with Posh fans. To my right was the Jobserve Stand, which was almost identical to the two aforementioned stands. Part of this stand closest to the away end was cordoned off but vacant – this area is used when the visiting team travel in numbers, with the rest being sparsely populated by home supporters. The final stand is the largest in the stadium and is home to the directors’ box, the media area and a row of executive boxes. In keeping with many new grounds, the boxes have a balcony so that those inside can feel like they are part of the crowd rather than watching the game from behind Perspex.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

The home fans gradually got noisier as the game wore on, with injury-hit Col U growing in confidence throughout. The Posh fans, however, were pretty quiet and seemed to expect to turn Colchester over with minimal effort. After a quiet first half, the game sprang into life when Posh’s Lee Tomlin was sent off and there followed a spate of bookings and bad challenges from both teams. Although Peterborough had the better of the possession, Colchester grabbed the only goal 20 minutes from the end and held on for an unexpected victory.

I had a steak pie (they had unfortunately sold out of Balti pies) and it was fairly tasty, while the stewards seemed really friendly and laid-back. The concourse and toilets were the standard breezeblock build but were pretty clean, which is more than can be said for some grounds.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I left a couple of minutes before the end and, happily, was able to get straight out of the car park and was back on the A12 in a couple of minutes. However, I’d imagine that if I’d left it until after the final whistle it would have taken quite some time to get out, given that there is only one road in and one out of the stadium. I got home in just under three hours, with minimal fuss and got to enjoy the delights of Sports Report and 606 whilst driving.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The stadium is slightly better than I’d imagined it would be. It is functional and well maintained but, like a lot of new builds, does lack a bit of originality and could do with a bit of thought in allowing the club to put their own mark on it. I would seriously recommend driving to the ground if you are travelling quite a distance, as I’d imagine that waiting around for a shuttle bus after the game and then facing a long train journey home would be frustrating. Out-of-town grounds always make me pine for visits to the homes of clubs like Newcastle, Exeter, Everton etc, whose grounds are close to railway stations and pubs, chippies and other amenities. However, the stadium has probably had some unfair press since it opened and certainly offers a comfortable, if unspectacular, afternoon out.

Colchester United v Yeovil Town
League One
Tuesday, February 26th 2013, 7.45pm
James Starling (Yeovil Town fan)

Having been to only one 'new' ground in my life which was the Ricoh Arena, I was looking forward to seeing how Colchester's relatively new ground would fair up against the traditional old school grounds.

The journey to the ground was a simple one for myself as I live on the outskirts of Ipswich I got the train into Colchester and arrived two hours before kick off. I decided after reading reviews before hand on this Football Ground Guide website to visit 'the Norfolk' pub. It served plenty of different beers and ciders, and had Sky Sports on in the background. The pub is mainly dominated by Colchester fans, but after they spotted me in my Yeovil shirt and then had 4 or 5 lads sit down with us and have a drink and discussed the game before hand. Fantastic banter between the two sets of fans, As I left one of them shouted 'don't worry about tonight, you'll thrash us the form we are in' ...famous last words. The actual pub itself was one of the best I've ever been to, it was fantastic, next time I'm in Colchester I will go back again.

The shuttle bus to the ground was very easy to find and it took 10 minutes to get to the stadium and not badly priced at £2.50. Nothing to really complain about in that respect.

The stadium itself upon arrival looked very nice from the outside. Very modern looking and well equipped with a massive car park and overall very nicely laid out, everything you would expect from a new ground. When you go inside, then you can see it is very modern and exactly what you expect from a new stadium. They served alcohol and food. The bar staff were friendly. Exactly what you want when visiting an away ground.

As mentioned before, the Yeovil fans were situated in part of the Jobserve Stand on one side of the pitch. The view was good of the whole pitch. If your side has a larger following then you may end up sitting instead in the stand behind the goal. Yeovil fans sang their hearts out for the full 90 minutes. Colchester supporters perked up a bit after they took the lead and you could hear them quite loudly after that and they cheered their team on from that and won 2-0 on the night.

I had no issues with the stewards, you barely noticed they were there. The atmosphere was a bit flat at times but once it did pick up was okay. if Colchester had a full ground week in, week out it could be a very intimidating place to come visit. It does seem the crowd react to how the team is playing. The game itself from a Yeovil point of view was awful, but for Colchester it was a massive win.

On leaving the ground there was a bit of a wait for a bus, but no issues and once on board a simple bus journey back to the railway station.

To some up my visit; brilliant pub, very nice ground but could do with being full week in, week out. It does like a waste of stadium being half full and to be honest I can't understand why more fans are not going to the new stadium, especially when it only costs £2.50 on the shuttle bus to travel to the game. I will differently in the future go back to Colchester's ground given the chance and hopefully next time we will get the right result!

Colchester United v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

Normally I visit a new ground with a degree of nostalgic wistfulness over another lovely old ground having gone to the history books, but for me this was not the case. I considered Layer Road to be a poor venue hardly fitting league status and my first ever visit there caused me when spotting floodlight pylons to end up at a railway marshalling yard!
 
Once again, I can report on a ground being both map-proof and sat-nav proof. As you cruise up the A12 you literally trip over the ground on the easterly side of the main trunk road.
 
Having heard some people complain about the ground being another 'soul-less' example of modern grounds, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I disagreed and liked what I saw on first arriving. The stadium looks well laid out and quite distinctively designed and was pleasing to the eye. The car-parking charges are a trifle steep, and there is a lack of refreshment options nearby though, which is of course the price paid for a new out-of-town venue.
 
That said , all the facilities at the ground such as ticket office booths and turnstiles are state of the art, and it is quite clear that alot of thought has gone into the design of every aspect of the stadium.
 
During the game though I noticed that the atmosphere was somewhat flat, and was puzzled that the home fans haven't turned out in greater numbers.  The stewarding in the away end seemed fairly relaxed, and this was proven when during the second half sections of the away support turned on each other and it was dealt with in a fairly low-key and calm manner.
 
Did I enjoy the match?  Not really, as Preston North End played pretty poorly once they conceded a goal, hence the end result was never really in doubt, and the home side cantered to an easy 3-0 win. In truth, we were lucky to get Nil!
 
After the game, we had to wait a short while for the shuttle buses to leave before the cars were allowed to depart. This only heightened my surprise at the low turnout of home supporters.  Not only have they been given a quality new home for their football, but there is clearly a well organised public transport infrastructure to get people to and from the town, so I remain a little mystified as to why?
 
Colchester's new ground is good quality, well managed, well stewarded, and car parking carefully and sensibly controlled, so no complaints there; once we got moving we were soon on the A12.
 
My one consolation is that living in Kent, I had a much shorter journey home than most of those who may have journeyed from Lancashire to witness such a dire performance!

Colchester United v AFC Bournemouth
League One
Friday, January 14th, 2011, 7.45pm
Tino Hernandez (Bournemouth fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Had not been to the Colchester ground since the club moved from Layer Road. Layer Road was one of the grounds I least liked visiting so was keen to see the new Weston Homes community stadium.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I don’t drive so travel to all games by train. The journey to Colchester from London Liverpool Street was just over an hour. As we were possibly about to lose our manager, Eddie Howe, to Burnley I wanted to make sure I was at the ground when the team coach arrived so I could shout ‘Stay Eddie!’. (I did – but he subsequently didn’t!). So I jumped into a taxi from the railway station rather than look for the shuttle bus. The taxi was quick (10 mins, £6) and after turning out of the station it seemed to be one long straight line drive to the stadium.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly? 

I went straight to the ground.  I was very impressed that the outside catering outlets did not just offer the usual burgers and chips – but also donuts, hot chocolate, pork sandwiches and for the first time in my experience at this level of football: double espressos. Don’t drink so I love my espresso hit. Sadly the espresso machine had not yet warmed up properly so I had to make do with a normal coffee.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

This is a great stadium. People have complained about its out of town location, but that’s where the land is and you end up with a great facility. Ticket purchases are not on the gate but from the front of the stadium. Could be a problem if you were to arrive lateish and head for the turnstiles first. Inside the ground the catering areas are spacious and well staffed. I like watching the game from behind a goal, but here you are in the East Stand at one side of the pitch, unless you bring a huge traveling support – 800 Bournemouth fans, was not considered big enough.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc.

As this game was on Sky and it was a Friday night there were barely 3,000 there and not much atmosphere from the home fans until they scored their late goal. Stewards were fine although as ever its off putting having so many sat so close to you and watching you during the game. As ever, a noisy away Bournemouth contingent kept up the singing throughout. Food was entirely respectable. The Chicken balti pie lovely and hot. We went a goal up and then let in two late goals so not a happy ending in our promotion bid.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Caught the shuttle bus back. The buses are very easy to spot once you get back to the front of the stadium. Other reviews said you had to pay but not on the one I got on – driver waved me past. A word of warning if you are heading back to the train station on a dark night, then try to take motice, as its not immediately obvious that you are at the train station stop and the bus then heads onwards into Colchester.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Well worth a visit. Even with an out of town location its easy to get to and from and the outside of the ground catering is really good. Fans are friendly. Proper football.

Colchester United v Dagenham & Redbridge
League One
Tuesday September 28th, 2010, 7.45pm
John Hubble (Doing The 92)

I had this game earmarked for a while as we were on a weeks holiday at our caravan near Great Yarmouth and having played golf in the morning, the “near perfect day” was concluded with a match at a ground I needed towards my current 92.. (very understanding wife!!). Having read various instructions on driving to the ground, I erroneously forgot to print off directions from the AA website so had to rely on the Sat Nav, however the ground post code was not recognised and so whilst arriving in Colchester without any problem, I had to ask a couple of locals for directions, arriving at the ground at just gone 6.00pm.
I had read that there were 700 car park spaces and whilst the car park spaces on the immediate left and part right as you drive down the one road into the ground, were tarmacced and laned, the rest of the parking area was a mass of hardcore gravel with water filled pot holes and for which the club charge an over priced £6. I would just about accept a fee of £6 if the parking area was a decent surface but not for something which rivals the area of a building site.

I went round the ground taking a few pictures and managed to get an obliging steward to let me in to take a few photos inside.The usual club shop visit followed with the purchase of a badge and match programme and then it was time to get some refreshment. Fancied a beer after a tedious nearon 90 minute drive but was shocked to find beer (albeit pints) was priced at £3.50. Whilst I could consider it normal practice for say Wembley Stadium or London Premiership clubs charging at this level, Colchester is not Wembley, not in London and not in the Premiership so an unacceptable level of profiteering here. The chairman has called on local Anglia TV for fans to turn up and cannot understand why gates are so low for a team doing reasonably well. Suggest he looks at his parking and refreshment prices for a start....

The ground, I have to admit is one of the better designed newer stadiums that have been built over the past few years. I am a fan of four separate stands rather than the bowl structure which a few teams have (such as Southampton, Leicester, Middlesbrough etc..) The North and South stands behind both goals are of similar structure but the East and West stands are different giving the ground an individualistic feel and, as I’ve said, is something I prefer. The North Stand which normally houses visiting fans, was closed for this game with the 1,000 or so Dagenham fans being located in a segregated East Stand.

The game kicked off with both teams going for the early goal, which went to Baz Savage for the visitors who tapped in from close range from a cross from the right-Dagenham were the better team in a competitive first half and deserved their half time lead. Colchester, came out in the second half and really took the game to Dagenham from the restart and it was no surprise that they went into a 2-1 lead with goals from Vincent and Mooney. Dagenham pressed for an equaliser and this came near the end from Vincelot who bravely headed in from close range and was then taken off following a collision with a Colchester defender. A 2-2 draw was probably a fair result for this Essex derby and maintained Colchester’s hitherto unbeaten start to the season.

The way out is also a problem at the moment with just the one single file road out of the ground and even though the crowd was only four and a half thousand, it took me half an hour after the final whistle to leave. The issue here is that the A12 slip road which is currently being constructed and which, according to the programme is not now likely to be finished until well into next year, will alleviate some of the traffic issues in getting to and from the ground, but until then, anyone travelling to The Weston Homes Community Stadium is going to experience the kind of traffic problems I encountered.

All said and done, it was a ground I enjoyed visiting even though as mentioned there are still a few teething problems traffic wise which one would have thought would have been sorted as the club are now in their third season at their new venue. Would recommend travelling by train and getting the Shuttle bus from town or travelling by coach if your team plays there, rather than driving until the A12 slip road is completed.

Colchester United v Sheffield Wednesday
League One
Saturday August 14th, 2010, 3pm
Shaun Hush (Sheffield Wednesday fan)

I didn’t go to one single away game last season so was determined to make the first away trip of the year no matter who it was against.
The journey down from Sheffield was fine. Our little group of 5 left Sheffield at 10 am and were parked up just after 1 pm. Having read the reviews we decided not to park up at the ground and instead opted to park at the North train station where there was plenty of parking spaces (£2.10) and catch the shuttle bus to the stadium. There were plenty of buses put on from just around the corner from the station, it cost £1.50 each for the bus ride.

Once parked up we asked the local police welcoming party at the station where we could have a couple of beers before we caught the shuttle bus, they directed us to a pub called the Norfolk just around the corner which was a designated away fans pub. We left the pub at around 2.15 and walked over the road to where we were told the shuttle buses departed from. There was a mix of home and away fans on the shuttle with no problems at all.

The ground is very neat and tidy just as you’d expect. One thing we noticed straight away is that there would have been no problem finding a space in the big car park at the stadium. Also there are no burger vans outside the away end so you have to either walk back around to the home end or grab something inside the ground which is what I did.

Inside the ground was a little cramped on the concourse, the away end was full so suppose that was to be expected. I queued for around 10 mins for some food, there was the usual choice of pies, burgers etc, they had run out of a few things already so I went for the foot long hot dog at £4. Nothing special but it filled a hole. The atmosphere on the away end was quite good but you couldn’t really hear the home fans apart from a 5 minute spell in the 2nd half when Colchester went 1-0 up and really should have got a second. Wednesday managed to get an equaliser late on which we didn’t really deserve looking at the game as a whole but we had been pushing for the last 10 mins or so. The away fans celebrated the goal well and a few people ended up on the pitch with the players, all but one of them were thrown out by the stewards but apart from that the stewarding was quite lenient. We were allowed to stand up the whole game with no hassle.

After the game we decided to walk back to the station as there seemed to be a fair sized queue for the buses which were also being held back for some reason. This turned out to be a mistake as the buses soon came whistling past us and what we were told was a 20 min walk proved to be nearly double that.
Overall it was a good day out and we managed to get a point that maybe we didn’t deserve. Had we lost I would have probably thought it be too far to drive, just to go straight back home after the game and not make a night of it.

Colchester United v Wycombe Wanderers
League One
Saturday  March 27th, 2010, 3pm
Joe Myall (Wycombe Wanderers fan) 

I was looking forward to our first visit to the Weston Homes Community Stadium. it was the first game of our very strange derby ever to be played there and it was also another new ground to tick off my list. I was also looking forward to it because with Colchester in the play offs and us scrapping for our lives it looked due to be a good game.

I took the supporters coach up to the stadium due to the fact the nearest train station  is 2 miles away. However as you approach on the motorway it is easy to see the stadium and it is quite well sign posted with the brown football ground signposts. I just went into the stadium before the game as I couldn't see any pubs or chippys anywhere. the home fans however seemed a bit frosty towards us but that probably had a lot to do with our weird rivalry
 
The ground itself is well built and the view from the back row of the away end was very good as the stand was very steep. There is also a lot of leg room. However the place seemed characterless and dull but most new grounds are like that. The steps going up to the seats are quite small and are very easy to trip on, as I  found out the hard way.

The game itself was very good with chances for both teams and Wycombe getting a very dubious last minute equaliser that appeared to go in off the hand of our winger. The atmosphere in our end was fantastic in what was probably our biggest away game of the season with giant flags, lots of balloons and blue strands of what appeared to be tissue paper. The stewards were good about all this and generally just let us get on with it. Even the one time they did tell us to sit down they seemed to give up quite easily

After the game I would recommend waiting around for a bit before leaving as there was a long queue trying to get out the one road. However once we got onto the motorway the traffic seemed to disappear.
 
Overall I would definitely go back to the stadium again but I would recommend a supporters coach if your club offers one.

Updated 20th April 2015

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