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: 01206 755 161
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The U's
Year Ground Opened: 2008
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: Weston Homes plc
Away Shirt Sponsors: Jobserve
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away Kit: Lime Green

Stadium External View
Stadium External View
Main and North Stands
Main and North Stands
Jobserve Stand
Jobserve Stand
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'. Whilst Sparky a visiting Bradford City fan adds; 'We always look forward to going to a game in Colchester, as we stay overnight in Clacton-on-Sea and then take the train into Colchester and back. The train journey time from Clacton is around 30 minutes.'

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 third 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 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.

If you require hotel accommodation in Colchester then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Colchester Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

From The North and 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 at 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 are 700 car parking spaces at the stadium which cost from £6 to £10, depending on how close to the exit you are parked. It is essential that you pre-book your car parking space in advance via the Colchester United website, as for most games the car park sells out. In this event 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.

Park & Ride Car Park

A new Colchester Town Centre Park and Ride service has been recently introduced, the car park to which is situated on the opposite side of the A12 to the Weston Homes Stadium (signposted just off Junction 28). This car park has 1,000 spaces and fans attending games are welcome to use the car park. It costs £3 to park there and it closes at 7.30pm for Saturday games and 10.30pm for midweek matches. From the car park it is then a relatively short walk five minute across the A12 bridge to the stadium. There is also a McDonalds restaurant located next to the Park and Ride.

Robert Charnock warns; 'Do not park in any of the side roads leading off Axial way, including the entrance to the Volkswagen garage. I and a number of others received £35 penalty tickets for parking there during a recent game. Apparently this side road and others are designated as a clearways, although there wasn't any obvious signage to that affect.'

The nearest railway 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.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Colchester United run a scheme whereby tickets bought well in advance of the game (4-5 weeks) are offered at an 'Early Bird' discounted price. 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. The different prices and how far in advance they need to be bought are shown below:

Roman Cars Stand

Adult
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £16
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £17.50
Saver (3-1 Week): £19
Advance (1 Week): £21
Matchday: £23

Over 65's/Concessions
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £11
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £12
Saver (3-1 Week): £13.50
Advance (1 Week): £15
Matchday: £17

Under 22's
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £12
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £13
Saver (3-1 Week): £14.50
Advance (1 Week): £16
Matchday: £18

Under 18's
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £9
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £10
Saver (3-1 Week): £10.50
Advance (1 Week): £12
Matchday: £14

Under 14's
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £3.50
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £4
Saver (3-1 Week): £5
Advance (1 Week): £5.50
Matchday: £6

Under 11's*
Early Bird (Up To Five Weeks): £1
Super Saver (5-3 Weeks): £1
Saver (3-1 Week): £1.50
Advance (1 Week): £2
Matchday: £2

* Please note, under-11s are eligible for a free ticket with a paying adult, otherwise additional under-11 prices apply. 

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

Official Programme £3

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

Ipswich Town, Southend United and from further away Wycombe.

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

Record Attendance

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

2016-2017: 3,973 (League Two)
2015-2016: 4,136 (League One)
2014-2015: 3,886 (League One)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Colchester United v Aston Villa
League Cup First Round
Wednesday 9th August 2017, 7.45pm
Gareth Davies (Aston Villa fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?
 
I'd never visited Colchester, let alone the football ground itself..Also I had some rare time off work, so decided to make a day of it.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The journey itself was appalling. The weather was beyond awful, and the tailbacks along the A12 and M25 were a complete nightmare. We left Cardiff (Welsh Villa supporters) at 12:15, and arrived in Colchester at 18:45. A total disaster of a journey from beginning to end. There were quite a few empty seats in the Villa away end, and I'm not at all surprised.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We had plans to enjoy the day, and check out the local pubs and bars. However, due to the nature of our late arrival, we headed straight to the ground and had a few Carlsbergs on the away concourse. The home fans seemed friendly enough. No issues as far as I could see.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Community Stadium?
 
My first impressions of the ground were impressive. The Weston Homes Community Stadium looks bigger from the outside than what the capacity suggests. Clean, modern and friendly. I was impressed.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game itself was okay. Villa came away with a 2-1 victory to send us in to round two of the cup. The stewards were more than helpful. Very friendly and the staff selling beers in the concourse were so polite and friendly. I've been to quite a lot of away games, and for me Colchesters stewards and staff were amongst the nicest. Top notch in fact.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away from the ground was easy. The club also provides buses for away fans to get back to Colchester Railway Station (roughly a five minute drive) A nice touch.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Overall, despite the appalling weather and travel conditions (seven hours to get from Cardiff to Colchester is a joke quite frankly), we thoroughly enjoyed the away trip itself. Highly impressed with the Weston Homes Community Stadium and their hard working staff. Excellent day out, and we'll be sure to come back again someday.

Colchester United v Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two
Saturday 22nd Apil 2017, 3pm
David King (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Stadium?

After our unexpected home thrashing of Newport County and confirming promotion Argyle fans were in good spirits. This was my first visit to the new home of Colchester United.

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

I decided to park at Colchester (North) Railway Station where parking is £2.40 for the day on Saturday. From here it is a 20 - 25 minute walk to the town centre.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

After walking into the town centre from the station I had a look around for an hour before heading to the Fox and Fiddler pub on St John's Street. sadly this appeared to be closed despite it being lunchtime so I headed next door to the The Playhouse, a Wetherspoons establishment. This pub has a truly amazing interior and retains a lot of it's former character of being a former theatre Despite being really busy I managed to get served and had a couple of drinks here. I then walked back to the station and to Bruff Close intending to visit the Bricklayers Arms however it was restricted to home fans only. I then got on the shuttle bus to the football stadium. A return ticket was £2.50.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Stadium?

As others have stated the Weston Homes Stadium is miles from the town centre and is situated right next to the A12 road. The stadium looks impressive from the outside and we were made to feel welcome. There was pre-match entertainment in the form of a man singing from inside a converted storage container, children's face painting and a few other things. The match programme was one of the best I have seen this season and well worth the £3.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

I had a pie and a cup of tea before the game in the away end and it was quite good value and tasty. The toilets did not seem to be big enough to cope with a large crowd. There were only two cubicles per toilet block and both had broken door locks. There were also no hot water and no soap dispensers at the sinks. Rather disappointing as it is a relatively new ground.

Both teams started well with some attractive passing football being played. Argyle had a fair amount of possession but little end product whilst Colchester had a real threat in front of goal but were wasteful with their opportunities. Most of their chances were off target with Chris Porter missing at least one good chance. Colchester had the better of the late part of the first half and this continued into the second half however Argyle goalkeeper Luke McCormick was not seriously troubled. Argyle upped the tempo later in the second half with a couple of tactical substitutions however chances were few and far between. The game ended as a goalless draw. The atmosphere seemed rather muted at times despite both sets of supporters trying their best to make a noise. Perhaps this was down to the corners of the ground not being filled in.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the final whistle the Argyle fans stayed on for a short while to celebrate with the players and coaching staff. the shuttle bus back to Bruff Close was well organised and had it's own route avoiding most of the traffic. Then it was a short walk to the railway station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Colchester is a lovely place to visit and spend a weekend. The Weston Homes Stadium however is rather remote and soulless. Layer Road was a ground with character and although past it's best on my last visit will be remembered more fondly than the new ground.

Colchester United v Mansfield Town
Football League Two
Tuesday 14th March 2017, 7.45pm
Jack Richardson (Mansfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Stadium?

It was Mansfield's first visit to the Weston Homes Stadium and also mine so I was looking forward to the game. It was also a big 'six pointer' in both sides quest for the League Two play offs.

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

We left Mansfield shortly after 2pm and arrived at the Weston Homes Stadium just before 6pm. We opted to park at the stadium which costs £5 If you are doing this option please remember to print off your ticket rather than show a booking confirmation, the stewards weren't very happy with me!

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Well...this is where my opinion of Colchester as an away day comes crashing down. There is nothing in terms of pubs/supporters bar at the stadium, they do open up the home end turnstiles for you however this doesn't have the same as a proper pub/club bar. I couldn't believe a new stadium based in the middle of nowhere didn't have a purpose built bar for home/away fans. We opted for the away turnstiles for a beer. I did note that there was a McDonald's outlet across the road from the stadium.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Stadium?

The Weston Homes is a typical new stadium really, a bit boring and very similar to our arch rivals, Chesterfield. Only three stands were in use due to the low attendance and the fact it was a Tuesday night. The home fans had a drummer and did create a bit of atmosphere but with the lack of supporters in the stands it often dried out. The away end is very spacious and the concourse had Sky TV showing. There was also a nice note thanking the Mansfield fans for attending.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was very frustrating, we lost 2-0 but everyone in attendance will wonder how Mansfield didn't at least get a point. After the game the Colchester chairman stated their team had been hammered. The stewards were friendly and low key, the food outlet was popular and had varied choice.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy as we decided at 88 minutes we were never going to score, it just wasn't our night. Roadworks ruined the journey home and we arrived back into Mansfield shortly after 12.30pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A very poor away day experience, it may be different on a Saturday with more time to explore and other possible modes of transport to get there. A club bar would add to the experience, I still can't get my head around why they haven't done this!

Colchester United v Portsmouth
Football League Two
Saturday 11th March 2017, 3pm
Steve Burghard (Portsmouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

The Weston Homes Community Stadium is yet another ground I've never been to before and, with it being relatively close to Portsmouth, I thought it was high time to pay a visit to north Essex.

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

The journey could not have been simpler: A3; M25 (not forgetting to pay the Dartford Crossing toll charge online the previous night!) and A12. All amazingly quiet for a Saturday morning, allowing us to arrive in Colchester town centre late morning. Having checked beforehand, the plan was to have a drink in the town centre then drive a little closer to the ground later and park on a side street. We did this, parking in Mill Road, then it was a 25 minute walk via Boxted Road to the stadium.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As mentioned above, we stopped off in town beforehand, had a drink and a sandwich in the local Wetherspoons (The Playhouse) allowing ourselves plenty of time to get to the ground. There weren't a great deal of home fans in the town centre, but the ones we later encountered walking to the stadium seemed friendly enough.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

The ground and its location - almost in the middle of nowhere - was very reminiscent of Yeovil's ground. However, once inside, the ground is far less sparse than Huish Park. The concourse where the catering outlets are based is very clean and spacious. We had tickets for the Jobserve Stand, along one side, adjacent to the behind the goal stand where the majority of the away fans were situated. It was still a pretty good vantage point though.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game saw what was probably Pompey's best away performance for a very long time. Despite not being in with the main batch of our fans, we still managed to create a great atmosphere in our stand, and it was nice to see the stewards smiling most of the time, as we celebrated each of the goals in our 4-0 win. As we were right down at pitch level, just three rows back, we were ideally placed to see the three second half goals, and watch the delighted players celebrating right in front of us. That's not something I usually get to experience form my seat much higher up in the home end at Fratton Park!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As I mentioned above, we had a 25 minute walk back to where we'd parked, the only glitch then being that we had to retrace our steps in the car afterwards to get onto the A12, which took us back to the main roundabout outside the stadium. However, we were moving all the time, and managed to get back onto the main road far quicker than has been the case at many other away venues.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Another ground ticked off, a GREAT win and a brilliant day out!

Colchester United v Portsmouth
Football League Two
Saturday 11th March 2017, 3pm
Ricardo Platten (Portsmouth fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

I had never been to this stadium before and heard good stuff about it so decided to give it a try.

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

The stadium is well signposted with brown tourist signs and is very easy to find. Parking is straightforward with 700 spaces at the stadium and 1000 odd at the nearby Park & Ride which is about a 5 minute walk away, which is where we parked. 

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went and watched some live music that was going on outside stadium with home fans who were very friendly and supportive.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Stadium?

Both the interior and exterior of the ground was modern, clean and well presented. All stands are similar in looks and offer great views from all areas due to being a modern stadium. Only thing I could fault was that the seats in the north (away end) were filthy and made a mess of my coat! I assume this is due to being the stand closest to the A12 and maybe it is not used very often but they could clean/pressure wash the seats every now and again!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The atmosphere was good throughout and was quite the opposite of what I was expecting! The away stand including the concourse and toilets were modern and very clean even come the end of the game which was great. Stewards were good and the food not too expensive either and good quality.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We walked straight back to Park & Ride via Boxted Road and the stewards helped guide pedestrians away from stadium safely so relatively easy.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Colchester is a great modern stadium and a very family friendly club with plenty of activities. Will definitely be coming back in the future and would recommend as is a great away day, especially with the family & children. Only things I could fault were the seats being filthy in the North away stand and no half-time entertainment apart from a few kids taking penalties and some lame music no-one had heard of. Other than that a great day out and nothing to fault!

Colchester United v Leyton Orient
Football League Two
Saturday 12th November 2016, 3pm
Bob Watson (Leyton Orient fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

Not really, as Orient are in a mess both on and off the pitch. As I only live 20 minutes away I thought I might as well. The main reason for going was to prove to my dad just how far we have fallen.

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

We drove from Dunmow, straight up the A120 towards Braintree. Past Coggeshall and on the A12. We parked in the park and ride as it was only £3.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We got there 30 minutes  before kickoff and getting the tickets was the priority.

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

Getting to the ground coming from the Park and Ride is a joke. They expected us take a 800m diversion to the ground. We simply walked beside the slip road to the A12 and walked through a dirt track and ended up right outside the away stand.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was a success as Orient won 3-0. The stand does not offer much in terms of cover as we were seven rows up and still our seats were wet.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Left as soon as the final whistle went and get out of the car park to beat the traffic.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great result, nice and easy to get to. Hoping is like this for the rest of the season!

Colchester United v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 3rd September 2016, 3pm
Ryan Pugh (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

Seeing as our home form is currently dreadful, I was hopeful that I'd see a win by going away, however I wasn't particularly optimistic beforehand. Prior to going, I saw other people quoting the area as "depressing", so I was a bit skeptical.

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

Traveled via the supporters coach, left at 7:15, arrived around 12:55. Although for someone driving without directions, the stadium is quite obscure.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

There was about half an hour before the gates opened, so I purchased a cheeseburger for £3.40 which was quite nice. Went onto the concourse and bought a coke for £2(!) One of the home fans came over to us and was very kind to one of our disabled supporters, and wished us good luck - good to see.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

Upon driving into the car park, the ground looked fairly big, especially in comparison to our St James Park. Inside the stadium, it was alright, nothing to shout about.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

There were a lot of empty seats, as well as a fully empty stand to our right (presumably it was closed for some reason) There was a small group of home fans with a drum making some atmosphere, and we tried to make some noise despite being only 253 of us. The stewards were friendly enough, and the toilets were clean. The game itself was very enjoyable, with Exeter winning 3-2, although the last five minutes holding onto that lead were very nervy!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problems getting away, got on the coach and we were on the road within five minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The game itself made up for the long journey, and the day in general was great, contrary to what I was told beforehand, the area that the ground was set in was quite nice, and I would certainly come back again!

Colchester United v Cambridge United
Football League Two
Saturday 13th August 2016, 3pm
Rob Dodd (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

First time to Colchester and my quest to complete the 92 down to single figures and long journeys from Merseyside! First part of a double header in the South.

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

Train from London Liverpool Street to Colchester (not Colchester Town and if Colchester used to be called "North", it isn't any more! Shuttle from nearby (see previous reviews) which was excellent value at £2.50 return.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Snacked at the ground. Everybody in good spirits enjoying the sun and was entertained outside the stadium by an AC/DC rock tribute band; no complaints there!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

I was impressed! Yes, it's on the corner of an estate and somewhat out of the town but I've seen much worse higher up the leagues. I sat in the West Stand, with a good view. The away end was well populated and there appeared to be uninterrupted views from all sides.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Colchester were worthy winners, 2-0. They play an exciting brand of football trying to get their wingers, Dickenson and Wright, into the game at every opportunity. I was a tad disappointed with Cambridge as they'd finished last season so strongly and had a good cup win in midweek against Sheffield Wednesday. However, it's too early in the season to put any money on either side challenging for promotion. There was a good atmosphere, no doubt helped by a large gathering of Cambridge fans.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Shuttle bus from outside the ground to the railway station and I was back so quickly I got an earlier train back to London. The Club should be applauded for this service!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed the day. Talking to some Colchester fans, it was great to hear how they had got over the Club's relegation and were really looking forward to the season.

 

Colchester United v Millwall
Football League One
Saturday 2nd April 2016, 3pm
Jack Pittman (Millwall fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Weston Homes Community Stadium?

Colchester is only up the road from me (will be my home from October as I'm going to university up there!) so an easy trip to hopefully watch the lions pick up another win against a rejuvenated Colchester side. My previous trip here in 2010 was a good one so all signs pointed to a good day out.

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

We drove by car from Thurrock up the A12 and it took about and hour and a half. From there we stopped at a nearby car park and took the ten minute walk towards the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We got a burger outside the ground which was reasonably priced and tasted good. There was a band playing outside the stadium and there were plenty of kids attractions and rides so the atmosphere was pretty good for a club staring relegation in the face. The home fans were very chilled out and the police were relaxed which made a nice change compared to other away games.

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

The Weston Homes Community Stadium is still relatively new and that is evident in the four tidy stands. The pitch was in good shape for an early April match and the sun was shining, which set a good scene. The views were good from all sides of the stadium and the Colchester fans were in good voice (despite having an annoying drum!).

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The concourse had a good selection of pies and beers at very good prices and to top it all off the kiosk staff warned us that the beer wasn't very cold! You would never get that down The Den! With 1,700 Millwall fans filling out the away end behind the goal the atmosphere was buzzing. However the game itself took a while to get going. We looked complacent and let Colchester pin us down but in the second half we finally put our foot down and were unlucky not to nick all three points but overall 0-0 was a fair reflection on the game even if it does hamper our promotion chances. For a team with the worst defence in the league Colchester looked solid and have definitely not given up on survival yet.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy as it was getting to it. A short walk back to the car park and we were soon on our way back to Thurrock. No trouble from either sets of fans and overall a relaxed experience.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A decent and friendly day out (even if the Colchester fans did have a drum) that I'd definitely recommend. Will be visiting again next season when I move up to Colchester!

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.

Why not write your own review of the Weston Homes Community Stadium in Colchester and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 14th September 2017

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