I couldn’t turn down the chance to go
to one of the biggest grounds in the division and
with Birmingham City being a former Premier League
team, it seemed likely that the match (and indeed
the whole day out) would be a good one.
As always, Peterborough had been entertaining crowds
up and down the country and I was hopeful that they
could maintain their top-half status with a good
result against the Blues.
We decided to catch an early train, which took us
straight to Birmingham New Street in about 1hr
45mins. We got a bit lost walking through the
enormous Bullring Centre, but once out of that we
had no problem finding the ground. The walk from the
station to the ground took about 20 minutes.
Birmingham’s a very big city and, unsurprisingly,
there's no shortage of pubs. As a group with plenty
of Irish heritage, we were delighted to find that
the main road leading to St Andrew’s had several
Irish pubs. We popped into The Dubliner hoping for
some lunch and discovered that a fried breakfast was
available all day for just £2! There weren’t
really any Birmingham fans in the pub, but it was
fairly early in the day. The Irish Brummies were
friendly, though we expected nothing less! After
some drinks we made our way to the ground.
From the outside, the ground looks pretty
impressive. It’s big, but the club make an effort to
help away fans find their way in, so you don’t have
to wander around the stadium looking for the correct
stand. The concourse areas in the away end are
fairly standard, perhaps a bit small but not a
Upon stepping out of the concourse into the actual
stand, the view of the ground is really quite
imposing. Though the stand to the left looks rather
dated, the two other ends are large and modern.
They’re joined at the corner too, which makes them
look even more striking. The ground wasn’t anywhere
near full capacity, but there was still a decent
turnout of around 18,000. I was sitting in the
second row, amongst roughly 1,600 other Posh fans.
The seats have lots of leg room and you get a good
view wherever you are in the away end. The stewards
were fine and just told you to go to the back if you
wanted to stand.
I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the
Birmingham fans. With the exception of the corner
right next to the away end, the ground was
practically silent for the whole game. Our fans took
a while to get going (understandably, given Posh’s
first half performance!), but were certainly making
the most noise in the stadium. As I’ve just hinted,
Birmingham completely dominated the first half. We
showed them far too much respect and it was no real
surprise when Marlon King put the hosts ahead after
22 minutes. As the half-time whistle blew, we
counted ourselves very lucky to be only a goal down.
I decided not to buy anything at half time, just
stayed in my seat and took some pictures.
Birmingham started the second half well, but after
about 50 minutes we began to grow into the game. We
had a good 10-minute spell in which the ball rarely
left the Birmingham half and after an hour had
passed, we won a free-kick just outside the area. At
first I thought it was too far wide even for our
captain and free-kick specialist Grant McCann, but
fortunately he proved me wrong with a peach of a
strike into the top-right corner. The away end went
absolutely mental and the level of banter between us
and the corner of Blues fans next to us rose
The game opened up a bit more during the closing 30
minutes, which made it all the more exciting.
Birmingham almost snatched the win in injury time
and when the final whistle blew there was an
almighty cheer from the away fans. A few months
before the game Birmingham had been in the Premier
League and we had been in League One, so to come
away from St Andrew’s with a point was a brilliant
achievement for us.
We had no trouble getting out of the ground after
the game had finished. We headed to the Birmingham
Irish Centre and had some drinks in the Connaught
Bar, which had a great feel about it. There were
several Birmingham fans present, all of whom were
very friendly and had the decency to congratulate us
on the result. We returned to The Dubliner for some
more drinks and then headed back to the station,
where a quick Burger King was followed by a very
rowdy train journey back to Peterborough.
All in all it was a great day out. There’s plenty to
see and do in Birmingham before and after the game
and the ground is a good one to visit. The result
was excellent and provided Birmingham don’t get
promoted (or dare I say it, we get relegated), I’m
looking forward to visiting St Andrew’s again next