St Andrews - Birmingham City
Saturday April 2nd, 2005
V Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 3pm
By Martin Hart
League ground in England under my belt, today saw my first real
"adventure" south of the border - to the West Midlands and the St. Andrews
ground, the home of Birmingham City
I was very much looking forward to visiting St. Andrews because it gave me the opportunity to meet Duncan, who, thanks to two fantastic websites, has helped me achieve so much on my travels both in England and Scotland, but also because it meant visiting another ground I'd never been to before (before anyone asks, I have NO intention of doing all 92 !!)
The journey was fine - another 6am start (well actually it was 5am !!) on a
Saturday morning for the ride to the Midlands, and only a short delay at
Sheffield station stopped me from reaching Birmingham on time, but never the less, I still had plenty time to meet with Duncan and his wife, Amanda for a beer (or 3 !!) in The Anchor pub in Birmingham.
We left the pub at about 2:40pm for the 15 minute walk from the pub to the stadium - which is easily noticeable as it sits atop a hill. I was fairly
impressed with the look of the stadium from the outside, but with time
against me, only had the opportunity to see the Kop and Tilton Road Stands (the latter being where I was sitting), and armed proudly wearing my newly acquired Blues shirt (thank God for Ebay !!), it was time to head inside the stadium.
The first thing that strikes you about St. Andrews, certainly from the
Tilton Road End, is the size of the Railway Stand, and the slightly weird
looking affair that is the Olympic Gallery, which overhangs the Railway End. The other noticeable thing about the ground is the old Main Stand (which Duncan informs me has been there since 1952), which very much looks out of place in a modern ground. The Kop Stand is good on it's own, but the fact that it runs half the stadium (joining on with the Tilton Road End), makes it look even better.
On to the game itself - it was an entertaining affair, with both sides
having chances to go in front, but as the half time whistle went the score
was 0-0. Into the second half, and early into the 45 the inevitable
happened - Spurs hit the front with an assured finish from sub Stephen
Kelly, before 10 minutes later, local lad (and Blues fan), Darren Carter
scored the equaliser to make it 1-1, which was how the game finished.
The only real disappointment of the day
was the atmosphere from the home fans. Being that the game was a sell out,
I had built myself up for a marvellous atmosphere, but
unfortunately the Blues fans never quite
delivered. Don't get me wrong, it was noisy, but it could easily
better. From a stewarding perspective, I didn't notice any problems for the authorities at St. Andrews, it looked to be a very relaxed attitude from the police, the food was decent enough and reasonably priced, however the scramble for a beer at half time was not for the weakened heart - try to avoid it unless you're seriously choking for a drink (for the record, I chose not to have a beer in the ground.)
Getting away from the ground was easy, and also pleasant, as the plethora of burger vans around the ground gave off a wonderful smell, coupled with the fact that I was now walking downhill, this made for a much easier walk away from the stadium.
After the game, partly because I was unable to get home after the game, Duncan and Amanda gave me a very interesting tour of the city centre where I was staying (including quite a few beers along the way !!), I was also privileged to meet 2 Blues fans from Ireland before the tour started.
Overall, I had a magnificent day at St. Andrews, it is one of the ground that given the chance, I would visit again, as I said earlier, the only let down was the atmosphere, but other than that I had a wonderful day both at the game, and as a guest of Duncan and Amanda's hospitality. My own personal unbeaten record in England is still in tact (5 games), and another day south of the border which I'll remember for years to come.
Are you an away or general football fan who has visited St Andrews
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Click here to find out more
Return To The Birmingham City Page
Return To The Main Menu
© Duncan Adams 2009
All rights reserved