Match Information

  • Sutton United 2-4 Shawbury United

  • When: Saturday 4th November 2023

  • Kick-off: 3pm

  • Where: Coleshill Road Stadium, Coleshill Road, West Midlands, B75 7BA

  • Competition: Midland Football League Division One

  • Attendance: 154

Not to be confused with a similarly named South London team appearing in the EFL League Two. It was in fact an excursion for me to Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham.

Indeed, this version of Sutton United often helpfully add the explanatory bracketed suffix of “(Birmingham)” to the club’s title. Originally founded in 1947, they are currently 2023/24 newcomers at Step 6 of the National Non-League Pyramid in the Midland League Division One.

The competition’s Second Division title was dramatically clinched by a point from AFC Coventry Rangers last season. Therefore I needed to groundhop Sutton’s artificial 3G pitch home venue - no chances of sport betting here.

It was a very wet day and Non-League fixtures were being rapidly called off all over the country. So I identified a perfect opportunity to visit Coleshill Road Stadium since the synthetic surface meant my targeted game would definitely go ahead.

Consequently I set off on the 200 mile round trip to Sutton Coldfield which is a large town housing 110,000 residents located eight miles northeast of Birmingham city centre.

Meticulously checking through my extensive records, I remembered I had already ventured to the immediate area four times before for football: 

23-04-1984: Sutton Coldfield Town 0 Alvechurch 1 (attendance 603), Southern League Premier Division at Central Ground, Sutton Coldfield.

30-04-1988: Paget Rangers 3 Banbury United 2 (attendance 41), Southern League Midland Division at Springfield Road, Sutton Coldfield.

01-01-1999: Paget Rangers 1 Stamford 2 (attendance 127), Southern League Midland Division at Vale Stadium, Castle Vale.

07-05-01: Boldmere St Michaels 0 Sandwell Borough 0 (attendance 68), Midland Football Alliance League at Church Road, Sutton Coldfield. 

Ground Description

A brand new amenity that was finished in 2022. Some football grounds within 3G cages feature extremely limited spectator access – often restricted to one or two sides of the arena.

Yet the lay-out at Sutton United is excellent allowing viewing opportunities from each of the four perimeters. There is a 100 seater prefab grandstand near the halfway line and three steps of terracing are presently undergoing piecemeal development behind one goal.

An electronic digital clock illuminates the dressing rooms entrance doorway. Additionally, an external seven-a-side 3G pitch is part of the complex plus what is described as a “Kick About” area.

Sutton United Diary of a Groundhopper

Meanwhile, car parking spaces are plentiful. Furthermore, the recently extended clubhouse sports bar was doing a roaring trade all day supplying drinks and hot food.

Sutton United acquired the site in 2016 and plans to upgrade facilities to meet stringent Step 6 grading standards received local council approval four years later. Club chairman Pete Lugg invested around £1.1 million pounds to fund the entire project.

Overall, Coleshill Road Stadium offers real community value in my opinion. It not only benefits the senior footballers but also their 35 junior sides catering for boys and girls aged Under-7’s up to Under-18’s.

A youth match was concluding on the main pitch when I arrived an hour before kick-off. This was followed by a training session for the young mascots while the first team warmed up. 

Programme Details

Priced £1.50p at the entry gate.

A total of 24 pages containing details of numerous club sponsors, editorial notes, individual player photos, appearance stats, league table, results and goalscorers, action pics, histories of both teams and the respective line-ups. Naturally, there were no football betting markets on this fixture.

The Match

It was eighth versus 15th in the Midland League Division One rankings. Joe Gildea (3 and 90+4 minutes) scored twice at either end of the game for Sutton United.

However it was opponents Shawbury United who edged matters courtesy of well-taken strikes via Reece Jacobs (8 mins), Jack Howse (13 mins), David Howell (44 mins), Brendon Price (46 mins).

Sutton United Tony Incenzo

The second half was contested amidst incessant torrential rain and I am sure proceedings would certainly not have been completed on a grass pitch. I was subsequently asked to report on matchday experiences at Sutton United during my Sunday night in-vision slot on Talk TV.

Incidentally, Shawbury are playing at a temporary home this season next door to Football League club Shrewsbury Town FC so I hope to visit them soon ahead of their move to a permanent new stadium in 2024/25.

*Credit for the photos in this article belongs to Tony Incenzo*

Tony is an experienced football broadcaster who has worked for Clubcall, Capital Gold, IRN Sport, talkSPORT Radio and Sky TV. 

His devotion to Queens Park Rangers saw him reach 50 years without missing a home game in April 2023.

Tony is also a Non-League football expert having visited more than 2,500 different football grounds in his matchday groundhopping.

You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo.