Grimsby Town v Barnet
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 12th November 2016
Kick-Off 3:00 pm
Stadium: Blundell Park, Cleethorpes DN35 7PY
Telephone: 01472 605 050
Club Colours: Black & White
Nickname: The Mariners
After Paul Hurst’s departure to Shrewsbury Town, physiotherapist Dave Moore took charge of the club on an interim basis.
However, Solihull Moors manager Marcus Bignot took over earlier in the week and his first match at the helm will be Wednesday’s EFL Checkatrade Trophy clash against Sheffield United.
Brief Directions by Road
The first thing to remember is that the ground is in Cleethorpes and not Grimsby. For you motorway enthusiasts the M1 and M180/A180 will take you straight into the heart of Grimsby and staying on this road you will see the stadium.
However, the trusty A1 will get you to Newark-on-Trent where you take the very pleasant A46 signposted Lincoln. This road is basically all you require as when you reach Grimsby, look for signs for Cleethorpes and signs for the ground. Failing that head for the seafront and you will see the floodlights!
No car park, I am afraid, but all the local streets are unrestricted.
Directions by Train
A train from Kings Cross to Cleethorpes will take around 3 hours including a change at Doncaster or Newark.
Cleethorpes Station is only a goodly 25-minute walk to the ground. Basically, turn left out of the station and head for the sea front. You will eventually see the ground on your left.
Please note, Grimsby station is a long way from the stadium. If travelling by boat from the North Sea head west towards Cleethorpes and you will see the floodlights straight ahead.
Eating and Drinking Locally
Inside the ground away fans are offered a dedicated bar with TV which serves up a very decent pie and peas.
Outside the ground is The Imperial and the Blundell Hotel which are advertised as a home only pubs, but I had a very pleasant drink in there without a problem on our last visit. They are adjacent to the ground on Grimsby Road. The Rutland Arms, also on Grimsby Road, is a ten-minute walk north from the ground and offers real ales in abundance.
Haddock and chips is in the blood of folk from this part of the world and The County Fish Bar at 277 Grimsby Road is perhaps the best place to sample it takeaway style, don’t miss out!
I found the Ocean Restaurant in St Peters Avenue in the town an outstanding option for a sit down job. It has an extensive menu including steaks, ribs and fish at very reasonable prices and is my personal recommendation for a pre-match meal. In fact, I have received numerous texts over the years about the quality of this establishment and a personal recommendation from the late Dennis Signy as he took his wife Pat for dinner there on a couple of occasions – oh how I miss that gentleman.
For a good old-fashioned fry up or all day roast dinner, seek out Browns Restaurant on Cleethorpes’ Promenade.
With a capacity of just over 9,000 the tall Carlsberg Stand, formally the Findus Stand, was built in 1980 and is the focal point at Blundell Park – it dominates the ground. It seats around 3,000 in two tiers and the view from this stand is one of the finest in football – it can be clearly seen from the ferry on the Humber Estuary.
To the left is the Pontoon Stand and to the right the Osmand Stand which is the area reserved for visiting fans. They both provide covered seating for around 2,000.
Finally, we come to the main stand. A section of this remarkable stand is, I believe, the oldest surviving structure at a Football League ground. It dates from 1901 and is the central section closest to the Pontoon stand. The stand was extended to meet the Osmand Stand in 1931 and now seats 2,300.
The club hoped to relocate to a new ground on the western outskirts of Grimsby at Great Coates, adjacent to the A180 dual carriageway, but this fell through. Another site is being considered at Peakes Parkway, about two miles from the current stadium.
Osmond Stand: Adults: £20, Concessions £13, U15s £7
Previous Meetings and Memories
We last met in the Vanarama Conference in January 2015 when a John Akinde penalty was not enough in a 3-1 defeat in front of the BT Sport Cameras.
Our last Football League meetings were in League Two in 2009/10 when each team won at home. The 3-0 Barnet win featured goals from John O’Flynn, Albert Adomah and Yannick Bolasie.
A 2-0 defeat at Grimsby in May 2010 was a lifeline for the Mariners at the time, but they were still relegated to the Conference a week later. Barnet’s only win at Blundell Park was in September 2008 when a Neil Bishop goal bought home the spoils.
Overnight Stay Factor
Oh yes, it’s seaside time once again. Candy Floss, toffee apples, doughnuts freshly prepared while you wait, bingo and, of course, “in and out shops” galore!
One of my countless Barnet FC related dinner party stories is the one about Mrs Reckless and I sleeping in the same bed as comedian Ken Dodd (not at the same time I hasten) as he stays in the Tudor Guesthouse when he is on tour.
He first stayed there in the 1960s. Diddy? No Doddy! Seriously, lovely hospitality and run by the same family for 50-odd years and they take great pride in recounting stories of the comedy legend. (Smoked kippers were even on the Breakfast menu – splendid). I am available for after dinner speaking by the way, reasonable rates etc.
The following F-list celebs and Barnet players have been spotted on the seafront over the years: Big Daddy, Captain Birdseye, Roy Chubby Brown, Gary Breem, Kevin Mullett, Lee Roach, Robert Codner and Elton John, of course.