Saturday 24th March 2018 15.00
Midland League Premier
Coventry United 3 Stourport Swifts 0 HT: 2-0 Att: 213 Ent: £7 Prog: £1.50 Coffee: £1
McDonald 2,71 og 20
from Butts Park Arena
Firsts obviously become less and less likely the more football you watch, but I picked up two today: 1 – really obvious idea, but obviously never been thought of before, by any other club I’d seen – an A6 programme. Now there may be a reason for that, but full marks for originality. It didn’t irk me as much as my first A4 programme, at Ashton United, repeated at other grounds since, such as Radcliffe Borough. At least A6 can nestle neatly amongst the large bell curve of standard A5 programmes, unlike the gawky Frankenstein’s monster A4 horrors.
The second was a fantastic idea – a pocket guide to the club with everything you need to know about Coventry United in it, including in-depth stadium guide. This was A6 also, but that’s ok, as it’s the first I’d seen of its kind, it can set the standard. Both programme and guide were great publications in which a lot of thought had gone into.
As gleaned from the guide, Coventry United were only formed in 2013, becoming the fourth Coventry-prefixed club in the Midland League, along with Sphinx, Copsewood and Alvis. They won consecutive promotions from Midlands League 3,2 and 1, while playing at ‘The Cage’ , the Alan Higgs Centre, just down the road from Coventry Copsewood. Their programme is still called ‘The Cage’. On promotion to the Premier League, they changed venue to the impressive and floodlit Butts Park Arena, home of Coventry Bears Rugby Club.
It is dominated by a 3,000 seater main stand, with a continental looking backdrop of pastel coloured apartments.
There was ample parking in the car park, I guess the rugby club get much bigger gates, although there were a hefty 213 here today – great attendance for the level. The ground lies next to the railway line, which comes out of Coventry, looping round the west of the city and back up towards the Ricoh Arena.
Trains could be seen behind the stand opposite the main seated stand – a small covered terrace that was out of bounds for some reason, but didn’t stop me investigating it. On closer inspection it had rooms at the back and was more than just a cover.
United were midtable with Stourport lying 3/4 down. United raced into a two goal lead within 20 minutes. Their second was the best comedy own goal of the season. A scramble came to a Swifts defender, who just needed to boot it clear. He did a looper which went in the air and back towards the goal. The ball bounced up into the roof of the net with defenders rushing back and Shaquille McDonald making sure for Coventry.
Coventry never looked troubled and should have won by more than three. Although their third was another strange one, but this time just bad luck on Swifts, who saw a pin ball scramble roll in off McDonald’s shin.
Butts Park Arena was an attractive stadium with interesting backdrops. Coventry United are a well organised and well supported club. Their programme and pocket guide were excellent; the pocket guide a non league innovation! I’ll forgive the A6-ness of the programme.