Burton Albion v Barnet
Npower League Two
Saturday 26th January 2013
Stadium: Pirelli Stadium, Burton Upon Trent, Staffs, DE13 0AR
Telephone: 01283 565938
Club Colours: Yellow and Black
Nickname: The Brewers
Official Club Website: www.burtonalbionfc.co.uk
Manager: Gary Rowlett
Directions by Road: From the South (M1) the nearest junction is 22 signposted Coalville and Ashby. To reach the ground from here believe me is fairly complicated. Anyway, stay on the A511 into Burton (17 miles or so) cross over the Trent Bridge into Horniglow Street. Turn right under the old brewery flyover, through the industrial estate and over the railway bridge to the ground – sounds straightforward but isn’t.
However the quickest (all dual carriageway) and the most hassle free is to stay on the M1 to junction 24 and take the A50 signposted Uttoxeter and Stoke and then the A38 into Burton from the North –the ground is in North Burton. Pick up the A5121 Derby Road until you reach the ground on your left – sounds straightforward and is!
Car Parking: Car parking at the ground costs £2. The Ryknild Trading Estate also offers parking for the same price. Its entrance is by the roundabout leading to Princess Way. Street parking is also available for those early arrivers.
Directions by Train: My chosen route again this season – London Euston by Virgin or Central Trains require a change at Tamworth and will take about 2 hours 10 minutes. Burton Railway Station is situated half a mile west of the Town Centre, past the Breweries on Station Street, on Borough Road. It’s a good twenty-five minute walk to the Pirelli from the Station. A cab will cost £4-£5, made for sharing.
Supporters Coaches: The Club are running a coach to this game and it will leave the Pavilion at 11.15am with a ticket price of just £20. The Pavilion will be open from 9.45am for pre-journey refreshments and the pickup point is from Barnet Lane. Discounts on travel are available for season ticket holders and club members. Bookings can be purchased online or by calling 020 8449 6325.
Eating and Drinking Locally: The Great Northern in Hawkins Lane which is a five minute walk from the ground towards the river Trent is a favourite haunt of the locals and serves its own beers. A short walk up Derby Street is the Beech Inn, a very popular Marston’s pub where you are assured of a warm welcome. Marston’s Pedigree and Bass beers are in abundance in the area for you real ale enthusiasts. I shall try and persuade my comrades to visit either, or both, the Devonshire Arms, 86 Station Street, the scene of much merriment last season, or The Cooper’s Tavern in Milton Street, which is cosy but the beer was exceptional as was the company of the Bloo Family. The town centre boasts some fine chippys and cafes but close to the ground you will only find the usual ‘they are everywhere’ fast food establishments. The old Eton Park caterers inside the old ground were very proud of the fact that their refreshment bars served only quality ‘brand name’ food. Thankfully they have continued the tradition in the new stadium. The meat pies are spectacular, as are the chip butties. I was fascinated to find out that ‘faggots in gravy with peas’ was also available, and if you have never experienced a ‘faggot’ then you haven’t lived!
The Social Club: The social club is out of bounds to visiting supporters but alcohol is available on the ground and away supporters are offered their own bar area called – “Plastic Glassesland”.
Ground Description: The club left their Eton Park home in 2005 to reside in the £6.5 million Pirelli Stadium. The main stand which holds around 2,000 is the focal point of the ground and a fairly typical 21st century construction on a modest scale but it offers all the usual corporate hospitality and more than copes with the demands of League 2 football attendances. Happily the remainder of the ground is terraced, fully covered and offering a reasonable sight line as the rake is quite steep – very comforting. Our home for the afternoon will be the Coors East Stand Terrace. Plenty of room, hopefully three gorgeous Irish singing sisters, and good acoustics await us.
Admission Prices: Adults £16, Concessions £14, U16s £6.
Our Last Meeting & Memories: The game that could have relegated us back into the Conference in May 2012 was nail biting but goals from Mark Byrne and Mark Hughes saw us through 2-1 to survive in League 2 and I don’t really remember getting home that night!
Previous to that April 2011 was when we were afforded a wonderful virtuoso performance by Steve Kabba who grabbed all four goals in a 4-1 win. Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2003 saw a two goal Giuliano Grazioli in fine form as Barnet ran out 3-2 winners. It doesn’t get much better than Barnet 10-0 Burton Albion in the Southern League 1970 with Les Eason and Billy Meadows scoring 4 goals each. ‘Those Were the Days’ by Mary Hopkin was riding high in the charts at the time, I thought they’d never end!
Overnight Stay Factor: The area is a paradise for beer drinkers, as the famous Bass Brewing Museum is a beer map fling away from the ground although Burton ale is now allegedly brewed in Leeds! So don’t forget your stylish ‘Geography Teacher’ jacket the ones with the patches on the elbows, and a warm home knitted sweater. For you kiddies Alton Towers and white knuckle extravaganza is also close by. OSF 5/10.
Odds and Ends: Without the town of Burton we would never have sampled the delights of Branston Pickle (essential with mature Cheddar cheese in a sandwich) or Marmite on toast. Crosse and Blackwell had a factory in the Branston area of the town where they invented the wonderful sweet pickle and the Marmite Food Company was formed in 1902 and used the surplus brewery yeast extract to manufacture a very salty paste – I love it! Sunday evenings after a hot bath, lightly toasted real bread (you know the stuff you cut yourself?), lashings of slightly salted butter and a good dollop of the old black stuff – nice work. Bovril is also as good – discuss!