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What’s the low-down with Longlevens AFC and Gloucester City AFC?

gloucester city

One of the best groundhopping trips I’ve had this season was to watch a big local derby between Longlevens and Gloucester City in the FA Cup. The two clubs are less than three miles apart and the tie was switched to Gloucester’s stadium on police advice with a Sunday afternoon kick-off. For Longlevens of the Hellenic League Premier Division, it was heralded as the biggest game in their history dating back to when the club was formed in 1954. So I set off on a 250 mile round trip in eager anticipation.

 

Where was it played?

A chance for me to take a look at Gloucester’s revamped and realigned facilities at New Meadow Park – where the pitch has been elevated to avoid flooding at the original Meadow Park. As a result, the club have been able to end 13 long years of playing in exile. There is a 3G artificial playing surface, two good stands providing 800 seats and extensive covered terracing behind both goals.

 

new meadow park

new meadow park away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloucester City co-chairman Alex Petheram told me:

“We played our last match at the old Meadow Park on 17th July 2007. A few days later, the area experienced one of the most devastating floods in living memory forcing us to evacuate. We groundshared with Forest Green Rovers, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and Evesham United before finally returning home in September 2020.

There were complex planning and environmental issues to overcome as well as the small matter of financing the construction! The footprint of the stadium was moved and raised by six metres, which in itself was a huge undertaking. The support since we returned home has been fantastic. Like all Non-League clubs, we ultimately dream of playing in the Football League. As we hopefully continue to grow and progress, then the stadium development will follow.”

What’s in the programme?

Despite this being a home game for Longlevens, Gloucester City produced the programme. It consisted of 20 glossy pages and sold at £2.50p. There was good use of stats, club history and colour photos.

gloucester city flood

Flooding at Gloucester City's old ground. Photo credit: Neil Phelps

 

 

 

And the match itself?

Played in front of a bumper crowd of 2,320, Gloucester City of the National League North won through in the end courtesy of a Danny King hat-trick (13, 49, 80 minutes). However, Longlevens played very well and their 400 supporters went absolutely berserk when Cam Williams curled home a delicious 25 yard shot for what was undoubtedly the goal of the match on 33 minutes.

Longlevens manager Craig Martin told me:

“The game meant so much to everybody involved with this club. Our chairman was in tears when the final whistle sounded with it being such an emotional day. The post-match party lasted way into the earlier hours of Monday morning.”

 

Facts and figures

Score: Longlevens 1 Gloucester City 3

Where: New Meadow Park, Sudmeadow Road, Gloucester, GL2 5HS

Competition: Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying

Attendance: 2,320

 

You can follow Tony on Twitter at @TonyIncenzo

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