Pirelli Stadium - Burton Albion
Saturday, April 10th, 2010
Vs Bradford City, League Two, 3pm
By Eamonn Lynch
I was looking forward to this fixture as an opportunity to visit another new stadium. Burton’s brewing history must surely put this venue at the top of the list for visiting supporters and those from Bradford didn’t leave disappointed.
I went by car and the journey took just under two hours. The traffic on the A38 Derby can be very heavy, particularly when heading away from the ground. It’s advisable to leave yourself plenty of time. The A50 links the M1 and M6 and provided a quicker getaway after the match.
I went to the Great Northern, which is only a two minute walk from the ground. This place is more ‘Early Doors’ than ‘Hooters’, but serves an outstanding pint of Bitter as well as a decent selection of sandwiches. It boasts a beer garden (which I didn’t venture in to) and has a large screen with Sky TV. The Great Northern is away fan friendly and I will certainly be heading there before next season’s encounter. A friend who went by train tells me that Cooper’s Tavern in the town centre is very quirky and well worth a visit. Burton fans are friendly enough and wherever you go you can expect a trouble free day out.
The Pirelli Stadium is a new ground and I had a ticket for a seat in the Main Stand. Like all new stadiums it lacks character, but it is functional and provides a good view of the action. The away terrace behind the goal is a reasonable size and it would be possible to create a decent atmosphere if there was anything to play for.
Unfortunately, this was a meaningless end of season game for both sides. Although Burton were clearly the better team, we were fortunate enough to take an undeserved lead before the hosts equalised eight minutes from time. It was definitely a game that won’t live long in the memory. I would describe the catering as good with a decent range of pies, and chips were also available, however I opted for the faggots and peas and wasn’t disappointed. The police and stewards were superb in my opinion and helped make for a relaxed day out.
Getting away from the ground was easy, as the car was parked on a grass verge just outside the stadium. It’s only a two minute drive to get to the A38.
Overall, Burton is a very good day out and is a welcome addition to the Football League. My only gripe would be that we went there with so little at stake. I look forward to returning for a far more meaningful fixture next season.
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