After thirteen long year football has finally been played at Meadow Park again.
The home of Gloucester City AFC has been transformed into a modern stadium, with a 3G pitch, raised high above the site of the old stadium, destroyed in the floods of 2007.
Last night it finally hosted a game, and fittingly it was the new generation who had the first chance to enjoy the state-of-the-art playing surface.
In a FA Youth Cup tie the Gloucester City u18s won 2-1 against Cirencester Town u18s, with Spencer Martin making history this evening with the first goal scored at the new Meadow Park.
Co-chairman Alex Petheram confirmed work would continue at the ground after the game so the final work can be completed in time.
The new ground in Sudmeadow Road is build 10-feet higher than the old one and means the days of groundsharing (at Forest Green Rovers, Cirencester Town, Cheltenham Town and most recently Evesham United) are over.
The surface is designed to drain quickly, and added to the new height of the pitch and flood alleviation bunds around the site, should prevent a repeat of the famous scenes where flood water almost kissed the top of the crossbar as the River Severn burst its banks and flowed into the stadium in July 2007.
The FA Youth Cup game came just hours after Gloucester City announced the capture of midfielder Kevin Dawson.
The 30 year old former Republic of Ireland U-18 International, who lives in Gloucester, signs for City after making more than 200 combined League appearances at Yeovil Town and fellow Gloucestershire clubs Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers.
Dawson started his career in Ireland, first with Sporting Fingal before being signed by Shelbourne. In a two year stint there, he appeared almost 70 times and was an integral part of their promotion winning side.
In January 2013, he moved to England after signing terms with Yeovil. After a five season stint at Huish park with appearances in the Championship, League One and Two – he moved to Gloucestershire, signing for Cheltenham for the 2017/18 campaign.
He was a regular in the Robins first team in his two season stay, making 72 appearances and scoring 11 times. For the 2019/20 season he then made the short switch to the New Lawn after agreeing terms with Forest Green.
Manager James Rowe spoke about his latest acquisition;
“We are delighted with capturing the signature of Kevin. We had to be patient and understand that he had other options but I’m pleased he has committed his future to us. I’m sure our fans and everyone connected with the club will enjoy watching Kevin in a City shirt”.
Kevin was looking forward to getting started with the club;
“I am delighted to sign for the club. I am looking forward to the new challenge here. I’m aware of the great support the club has with living in the area for the last three years. With the new stadium and the squad that is coming together here I’m sure we can have a successful season.”
He joins the Tigers on a 1 year contract.