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Artificial pitch landmark celebrated with win

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A 2-0 win over Loughborough Dynamo in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League on Saturday helped Sutton Coldfield Town celebrate playing the 1000th game on the artificial turf surface at Coles Lane.

The Royals reached the 3g milestone in the First Division South fixture four years after laying the surface, pictured, in 2011.

As well as an incredible demand for local community use, the 3g pitch now hosts fixtures played by four Royals teams, the first-team, youth and over 35s at Romulus, Aston Villa Ladies' first-team and development squad and a number of BMet College sides.

Royals chairman Nick Thurston is delighted by the success of the club’s switch to an artificial surface.

Thurston said: “Many people were surprised at our decision to change and called it a brave decision. It was absolutely the right decision when you see what we have achieved in the last four years and it is pleasing to see so many other clubs who are now making the change.

"Maidstone United, Bedworth United and Merthyr Town have all installed a 3g pitch over the last two or three years and they will be followed by Sutton United, Maidenhead United, Redditch United and many others over the next couple of years."

He added: “Football clubs at our level cannot ignore the benefits of making the change as they will see greater community engagement, increased footfall into their stadiums as well as the financial benefits.”

Royals general manager Neil Murrall said: “We are really pleased to hit this milestone after just four years since installation and as well as those games, we have all the other use of the pitch for training, soccer schools, small sided games, etc.

"A natural pitch simply could not cope with that demand and usage. Nor are we normally troubled by bad weather postponements. We have not lost any games to the weather over the last two winters.”

Source: www.evostikleague.co.uk

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