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Hive Stadium
Barnet v MK Dons
  Saturday, July 27th 2013, 3pm
Friendly Match
Dan McCalla
(MK Dons fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I’ve enjoyed previous trips to Underhill to watch us play Barnet and wanted to see what their brand-new place was like. With it being a pre-season game and with cheap train tickets available from Milton Keynes, it was a good opportunity for an away day out in London without the ‘pressures’ of it being a competitive game.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

As easy as it can be – once you get onto a Stanmore-bound Jubilee line train, you pass right next to the West Stand just before you get off at Canons Park station, and you can clearly see the floodlights (and the Wembley arch) from the Canons Park platforms. Then it's a five-minute walk, left out of the station, and right down a footpath alongside Barnet's training pitches to the away end.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

The group of us that went had a couple of pints apiece at the Wetherspoons at Baker Street before jumping on the Jubilee line for the half-hour trip to Canons Park. We were going to get up to the ground early to visit the Hive Bar, but while at Wetherspoons we’d got conflicting reports as to whether or not it was open to away fans. We decided to stay at Baker Street a little longer before heading to the ground, and indeed found the Hive Bar to be home fans only and had bouncers on the door when we got there. However, there is an away bar that serves alcohol under the West Stand that can be accessed by away fans with both seating and terrace tickets.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

My first impressions were of a ground that’s still a little rough around the edges, but as it was finished just days previously that can be forgiven. The view from the away (North) terrace was good as long as you weren’t stuck in the middle, in which case your view will be obscured by the net itself, but you’re right up close to the pitch, which is great. The home terrace is identical. The large West Stand seemed to offer good views (although charging £23 a seat for a pre-season friendly was ridiculous!), while the seating behind the dugouts (the East Stand) seemed mainly populated with corporate-types, club staff, unselected players, etc.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was typical pre-season fare: a slow game made slower by the hot temperatures. Nothing of any interest happened in the first hour (apart from some good-natured banter we enjoyed with Barnet goalkeeper Graham Stack) until Barnet scored. Then the Dons brought on some fresh legs and ran riot, Izale McLeod scoring twice against his former club, before an own goal and a Patrick Bamford strike sealed a 4-1 win.

The away bar was covered and spacious, and you could get out in the open to drink behind it (home and away fans being separated by a metal gate). Drink choice was good, with the likes of Bombardier and Young’s Gold, but was all in bottles – no draught stuff, at least for the time being. Atmosphere was practically non-existent from the home fans, but it was a friendly, so not necessarily representative of Barnet fans normally. Stewards were friendly and polite, and the bacon sarnie I bought from the snack bar behind the terrace at half-time was excellent.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Leave ground. Walk back up path. Turn left. Back at Moranos bar at Canons Park by 5:05pm. Job done.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An excellent day out overall at a smart ground that will look even smarter once the rough edges are polished off. Even if it is only a temporary measure until they can get back to Underhill, it’s a ground Barnet can be proud of nonetheless.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the Hive Stadium recently?
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Guide to the Hive Stadium Barnet FC

Conference Premier Guide

Football Ground Guide Index