Worcester City FC
St Georges Lane
Ground Number: 241
Monday 11th February 2013
Worcester City 1-3 Solihull Moors
Blue Square North
For a rare Monday night game, I had decided to go to Worcester City before the ground was demolished at the end of the season. It was one of the few opportunities that I had a free day to go there and only planned it in around a few weeks ago. The opposition would be Solihull Moors who I was supposed to be going to see last week but due to lack of company I decided to go local instead. Worcester would be sharing at Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough Stadium next season, a ground where I had already seen a game at, before hopefully moving back into the town, sometime in the near future. As it was a Monday, I was working before the game and after finishing at 1 I had a couple of hours at home for a bath and relaxing before leaving at 3.45. I filled up with petrol and headed over to Aylesbury to pick up my regular travel companion Anwar, arriving around 4.20. After a fairly traffic free trip, we got to Worcester at 6.20.
I had done my research prior to the game, finding a pub called The Firefly, which came recommended for having good cider. I got to try a new one - Sandford Orchards Devon Red which was very nice. We were a bit pushed for time so I stuck at a half and headed off to the chip shop across the road for 2 sausages, curry sauce and chips for £2.30, which was great value and very nice for the price. One good point was that despite it being right in the town centre, parking was only 30p for the half-hour period that we needed. After eating our dinner we were off to the ground, getting there for 7.15 and parking in a nearby side street as there was no car park at the ground. Fine on a night like this when only 653 turned up (it actually looked less) but I would imagine it will be chaos when 4000 fans descend on the stadium for its final game against Chester on 27th April. After paying to get in I also got a programme for £2.50, which was well presented and was about average for the level of reading content. I went into the club shop which was a bit of a letdown, selling random sportswear and a few overpriced Worcester City items (£13.95 for a scarf?) There was however a table selling a good range of badges outside at £3 each which was pretty good if you are into that sort of thing. After going around and taking some pictures of the ground we settled on a place on the side terrace, which offered a decent view of the game.
Considering the fact that Worcester were just outside the playoffs and Solihull Moors were way down in 13th, it was surprising that the visitors dominated the opening spell, especially as they had made several changes to the starting line up due to injuries and players being tired having only played on Saturday. They got their reward on 8 minutes when Dior Angus put in a cross for the slightly tubby striker Gary Birch to head home - the ex AFC Telford man was one of the best players on the pitch, despite his less than an athletic figure. This woke Worcester up and they had 3 corners in quick succession but it was still Solihull that were having the better of the game. On 33 minutes they went further ahead when long-serving player Junior English's shot went in off the right post. This sent the Moors fans, who had been vocal all night into raptures. I got chatting to a few of them and they were really friendly and most surprised to see two random people from Wycombe at the game. The home side did get a goal back before half time, Michael Taylor bundling in after the initial shot was saved. At half time I was still hungry, despite the earlier dinner and a pack of Mr Kipling French Fancies. But the chips I bought were disappointing, well overpriced at £2.20 and not very nice either. Although I was going to eat them anyway at that price! The second half continued in much the same vein as the first and Moors two goal lead was restored shortly after the restart when Jay Denny scored the best goal of the night after good work by his teammates. From then on in the home side got more into it and really should have had one back near the end. But the visiting keeper Jasbir Singh pulled off a great point-blank stop to deny Taylor his second goal. Football-wise and pre-match wise it had been a good evening and another enjoyable night out. I did feel very tired driving home and after dropping Anwar home, I was glad to get home just before midnight, having a decent nights sleep owing to me being off work the next day. I also booked a hotel for Wakefield for my 3 games in one day NCEL groundhop on Easter Saturday, after discovering that I did need sleep after all and driving home after a 22 hour day would not be wise. I must be getting old!
ST GEORGES LANE is a really traditional and old non-league ground situated about a mile from the City Centre. The 1000 seat main stand is impressive looking if a little dated, and costs £2 extra to sit in. The 2 sides to the left and opposite of that are fairly shallow terracing which is pretty large for this level. There is an area of cover down the far end of the side terrace which runs for about a third of the pitch, holding around 500. This far end is a smaller terrace, but it is raised from the pitch by a couple of feet, giving a different view than you would get at most grounds and quite similar to the covered one at Halesowen, although this one has no roof.
The club bar is pretty good, located under the main stand. It has both Strongbow and Stowford Press on tap - whilst both are fairly mainstream, it's good to get a choice, as you get with beers. There are also a choice of bottles available if neither of these take your fancy. The club shop and tea bar fall short though, as previously mentioned. The club shop looks to have a very basic range and seems overpriced. And both items I bought fro the tea bar were not as good as elsewhere. Already mentioned are the chips, I also had a Bovril at the fairly standard price of £1 which could have been a bit stronger. And looking at this, I wasn't the only one disappointed by the chips! Don't let this stop you from visiting a classic ground though, especially as it will soon be gone. Though I would recommend going into town beforehand, especially with its good range of pubs and takeaways.