Rochdale v Barnet
npower League 2
Saturday 1 September 2012
Stadium:The Spotland Stadium, Willbutts Lane, Rochdale,
Lancashire, OL11 5DR Telephone:08708 221907
Club Colours: The DaleNickname:Blue and Black
Official Club Website:www.rochdaleafc.co.uk
Useless but Interesting Info
Division Club (and probably will be for evermore) to have reached a League Cup final. They lost to Norwich in 1962. Before promotion in 2009-10 the club had been playing in the Football League’s lowest division since 1974- at 35 years this is a record. Their previous piece of silverware was for promotion from Division Three in 1969. They have reached the play-offs three times, two semi-finals and one final in this century. The locals used to use the line “My bank account is like Dale’s trophy cabinet, nothing in it!”thRelegated last season, Dale are the only 4
John Coleman Manager had a 20 year playing career mainly for a host of non-league in the North West of England from 1979. A prolific striker who scored over 500 goals in that time, John was appointed player Manager at Ashton United before joining Accrington Stanley in 1999. He moved to Spotland in January 2012.
Brief Directions by Road:The most straightforward way to find Rochdale FC is via the M62. Whether you approach it from the A1, M1 or M6, exit the M62 at its junction 20. Follow signs for Rochdale A627(M). After about a mile on the dual carriageway you will reach a slip road where you turn left into Edinburgh Way signposted Bury A644 (A58). At the next roundabout take the second exit, effectively straight on, into Roch Valley Way (signposted Blackburn B6452) where you will begin to clearly see signs for the stadium and some green fields. At the crossroads with the Cemetery pub (see below) continue straight on into Sandy Lane. You will find the ground a further 1/2 mile down this road on your right.
Car Parking:Street parking close to the ground is fairly easy and mostly unrestricted.
Directions by Train:Rochdale station is around three miles from Spotland and a bit of a trek so a taxi is probably your best option and should cost around £4. The 436 bus is available every half an hour from the station and passes the ground.
Supporters’ Coaches:Barnet Football Club are running of Official Coach Travel for this season. The coach will leave the Pavilion at 08.45am and the ticket price is just £25. The Pavilion will be open from 7.15am for pre-journey refreshments. Discounts on travel are available for season ticket holders, club members and Supporters Trust members. Bookings for coach travel for all 2011-12 season away games can be purchased online or by calling 0208 6325. (See ad on page 22 for the season’s itinerary)
Eating and Drinking Locally:
Further from the ground and dead on the corner of Sandy Road and Bury Road you will find the Cemetery Hotel a popular away fan haunt which offers a great range of real ales and spirits! Directly opposite the away turnstiles is the very welcoming Willbutts Lane Chippy whose Curry Sauce is legendary according to a supporters’ website – personally I think contaminating chips with curry sauce is not very appealing but all to their own. Saving Grac(i)e are the pies and pasties at Spotland – miss out at your peril!
You will not have to walk too far in Rochdale to find a beer! The Dale Bar is a pub situated in the club car park behind the main stand and Sandy Lane terrace. Studds Bar can be found underneath the Pearl Street Stand. Both will entertain away supporters.
Ground Description:Spotland has always been a pleasure to visit mainly because the people are so nice. It is The Football League equivalent of the old Leigh RMI as far as hospitality is concerned although a few stories have came back for previous visits regarding some overzealous stewarding. These days the club now have a smart and friendly ground to go with their cheerful disposition although the old arena was very quaint with its ramshackle roofs aplenty.We start with the Thwaits Brewery stand or Sandy Lane end which is the only standing area remaining at Spotland. It is a fairly shallow terrace with a refurbished roof and has room for around 2,000. At the other end of the pitch is the very popular Pearl Street Stand. It has 2,500 seats, which includes a Family Area. It was constructed in 1997 to replace the old cinders and railway sleepers terracing which was probably the last of its kind in The Football League. The main stand stretches the length of the touchline and has 1,700 seats plus twelve executive boxes and was built in 1990. Finally our home for the afternoon will be the very impressive Willbetts Lane Stand, formally the Willbutts Lane terrace. It was constructed in 2001 and has room for some 3,500 and reputedly offers the best catering facilities in the league. Whether you prefer standing to seating at matches there is no doubt the view from this stand is superb. It is a far cry from our visit in May 1998, only some fourteen years ago, when the visiting fans gents toilets were positioned high on the uncovered Kop section of the terrace and one could quite clearly view the game over a wall while doing what was necessary. You try and tell kids that today and wouldn’t believe you!
Rivals:Bury, Burnley and Oldham,
Admission Prices:Willbutts Lane Stand Adults £20.00, Concessions £12
Our Last Meeting & Memories:
We last met Dale at Spotland in October 2009 when the Bees narrowly lost a Cocoa Cola League game 2-1. Jake Hyde grabbed our goal on the day.
In brighter news the Albert Jarrett goal which beat Dale at Underhill the following May in front of close to 5,000 was the goal that kept us up for another season!In season 200-01 we witnessed a comprehensive 3-0 win at Underhill in April – and it was the defenders’ day as the goals came from Greg Heald (2) and Mark Arber. April 1996 featured a stunning Bees 4-0 away win, made extra special as Lee Hodges bagged all four goals. The previous season Barnet crushed a Rochdale side 6-2 at Underhill and that game featured another four-goal haul this time from Dougie Freedman who was simply unstoppable on the day.
Celebrity Watch:Roly poly MP Cyril Smith and legendary old time music hall entertainer Gracie Fields may well have stood on the Pearl Street End at some time and singer Lisa Stansfield allegedly applied for the physio’s job before jetting off Around The World while gorgeous actress Anna Friel also grew up here. Bird watching ex Goodie Bill Oddie was born here, as was snooker player John Virgo and Don Estelle, the little chap with the silly hat in TV sit-com It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.