Barnet

Hive Stadium

Capacity: 6,418* (Seats 5,318)
Address: Camrose Avenue, Edgware, HA8 6AG
Telephone: 020 8381 3800
Pitch Size: 102m x 65.5m
Club Nickname: Bees
Year Ground Opened: 2013
Shirt Sponsors: Toshiba
Kit Manufacturer: Jako
Home Kit: Black and Amber
Away Kit: White With Purple Sash
Third Kit: Amber and Black
Cup Kit: White With Amber & Black Sash

Main (West) Stand
Main (West) Stand
North Stand
North Stand
East Stand
East Stand
South Terrace
South Terrace

After spending 106 years at their Underhill ground and being unable to renew its lease, the Club moved in 2013, to a new purpose stadium at the Hive Complex. The complex which is also home to the Club's training facility, is situated in Edgware, which is just under six miles away from Underhill. 

The Hive Stadium itself is located within a sizeable park/playing fields area, with a London Underground line running behind one side of the ground on a raised embankment. If walking down through the park towards the stadium from the direction of Canons Park Station, then you can see the Arch over Wembley Stadium in the distance. 

The stadium has seen some investment recently with the building of a new stand at the North End of the ground. Replacing a small terrace, the stand was constructed in only four months during the Summer of 2016. The stand is covered, all seated and is of a good size, having a capacity of 1,890. Pleasingly it is of the same height as the Main Stand and has a very similar design. This end is given to away fans. The Main Stand on the West side of the stadium, is like the North Stand, single tiered and covered. It does though have a larger all seated capacity of just under 2,700 fans. On the opposite side is the East Stand. This is currently a rather plain looking affair, as essentially it is an office building that has had its roof extended outwards towards the pitch, and then had six rows of seats installed in front of it, leaving a large back wall exposed of the office building. Oddly the roof doesn't extend the whole length of the stand, meaning that some of these seats are uncovered. The Club do have plans to clad the back wall with club colours and hopefully this will help improve its look. This area has 750 seats, some of which (in the wing area) are not under cover. Both sides of the stadium have small electronic scoreboards mounted at the back. At the South End of the ground is a small covered terrace which is only a few rows high and has a capacity of around 800..The Hive Stadium is completed with a set of odd looking floodlights. 

With the building of the North Stand, the overall capacity of the Hive Stadium, has risen to over 6,400. However it was a condition of the local planning permission, when the Hive was first built that no more than 5,176 fans would be allowed to attend a match. This condition is still in place, so the Club now have a larger capacity stadium, than they can actually use, which is a bit bizarre....

For some odd reason the teams emerge from near one corner of the stadium between the East and North Stands, to "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns and Roses, which is played over the rather loud public address system. Not that I am complaining, I am in fact a big fan of the former Guns and Roses lead guitarist Slash!

Currently visiting fans are housed on one side of the of the Main (West) Stand, towards the North End. Up to 800 seats can be made available in this stand. At some point early in the 2016/17 season then the new North Stand at one end of the ground will be opened and away fans will instead sit in there. The facilities within the stadium are excellent, whilst the stewarding although vigilant is generally relaxed and friendly. I did notice that the most of the singing Barnet fans tended to be in the Main Stand, rather than in a more traditional 'home end', although a drummer was sporadically trying to get things going in the home terrace. Food on offer inside the stadium includes the standard fayre of Cheeseburgers (£4.50), Burgers or Hot Dogs (£4) and a selection of Baguettes (£3.50 whole, £2.50 half), but alas no pies.

Away supporters are treated to their own bar within the stadium, which is called the Jubilee Bar, which is located behind the Main Stand. This spacious, well presented bar has screens showing BT and Sky Sports. It serves beers such as Fosters and Johns Smiths (£3.80) and Heineken (£4). Cold baguettes are served here but located just outside the Jubilee Bar, there is hot food available, the burgers are particularly recommended. The bar is open throughout the game and for a short time after the final whistle. The only downside is that the beer is served in plastic glasses. Please note that where there is a large away following in attendance, away fans who are intending to stand on the terrace, are unable to access the Jubilee bar.

There is also the Hive Bar at the stadium but this is for home fans only. The nearest pub is Moranos on Station Road, only a short walk from Canons Park Underground Station (come out of the station, turn right and it is in the row of shops further down on the right). This Irish themed wine bar is quite comfortable and has a number of large screens showing the early kick off on BT Sport. It is then only around a 10 minute walk to the away turnstiles, cutting through the playing fields (see by Tube below).

Quite close to Kingsbury Tube Station there is a Wetherspoons pub called JJ Moons (which will be familiar to many who have travelled to Wembley Stadium which is not far away). If travelling on the Jubilee Line from Central London, then Kingsbury is only two stops before Canons Park. The address of the pub is 553 Kingsbury Road. Simply turn left out of the station and the pub is down on the left.

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Leave the M1 at Junction 4 and take the A41 towards Edgware. At the first roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A410 towards Harrow and Stanmore. At the next small roundabout turn left at the Esso Garage/McDonalds towards Edgware. After passing through a set of traffic lights with the Masons Arms on one corner and then a Peugeot Garage on the left then at the next set of traffic lights turn right into Camrose Avenue. The entrance to the stadium is down this road on the right.

There is a large car park at the stadium, with 500 spaces, costing £5 per car. However with only one exit available then expect some delays after the game on leaving the car park. Otherwise street parking. although no parking is available on Camrose Avenue itself. There are also 150 car parking spaces at  Canons Park Tube Station which costs £2 all day on a Saturday. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: HA8 6AG

The nearest London Underground station is Canons Park which is on the Jubilee Line. It is around a ten minute walk away from the away end of the stadium (or 15 minutes to the home Main Stand seating). As you come out of the station turn left and at a convenient point crossover to the other side of the road. You will come to some metal railings where there is an entrance to some playing fields which you can walk through to the ground. This also brings you out at the North Terrace End of the stadium which is reserved for away fans.

For travelling across London by public transport I recommend planning your journey ahead with the use of the Travel For London Plan your journey website.

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Home Fans 
Main (West) Stand: Adults £25, Concessions £14, Under 16's £5
East Stand (Centre): Adults £25, Concessions £14, Under 16's £5
East Stand (Family Area): Adults £19, Concessions £10, Under 16's £5 South Terrace: Adults £19, Concessions £12, Under 16's £5

Away Fans
Main (West) Stand: Adults £25, Concessions £14, Under 16's £5 
North Stand: Adults £23, Concessions £14, Under 16's £5 

Concessions apply to Under 19's and those aged 65 and over.

Programme Price: £3.

Barnet FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Enfield are the traditional rivals along with Stevenage.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the 
Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

At The Hive: 5,233 v Gateshead Conference Premier League, April 25th, 2015.

At Underhill: 11,026 v Wycombe Wanderers FA Amateur Cup, February 23rd, 1952.

Average Attendance

2015-2016: 2,358 (League Two)
2014-2015: 1,956 (Conference Premier)
2013-2014: 1,705 (Conference Premier)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Mikey Cleave for providing a photo of the Main Stand and to Paul Willott for a the picture of the North Stand.

Thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram of the Hive Stadium.

Barnet v Colchester United
Football League Two
Saturday 17th September 2016, 3pm
Ian Hutley (Colchester United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

This was to be my first visit to the Hive Stadium, plus I was visiting London so it was an opportunity to take in in football also.

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

Straightforward via the London Underground Jubilee line to Canons Park. The journey from London Waterloo mainline station, took just over 30 minutes.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I visited a great kebab shop near Canons Park station (turn right out of the station and it is located 50 yards down on the right), Probably the best chicken kebab I have ever tasted! It was excellent. It was then a very pleasant walk through the playing fields down to the Hive Stadium.

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

The Hive Stadium is a small ground, but tidy and well sited for ease of access. I was sat in the away section on one side of the Main Stand where the view of the game was good. The new North Stand at the end to our left also looked good, but has yet to be opened for use (apparently the Club are awaiting on the local Council to commission it).

Unfortunately the £25 ticket price to get in, makes it one of the most expensive grounds to visit in this division. Rip off when consider you can watch Premier league game as an away fan for £30. They should put a cap on these ticket prices too. We really shouldn't have to pay more than £20 to watch League Two football.

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

The game was not a great spectacle, but Colchester took the lead after just six minutes and had much the better of the first half. Barnet came back in the second half and equalised on 82 minutes. The draw was probably a fair result. The home fans were rather subdued, whereas there was a good atmosphere generated by the Colchester supporters, singing throughout. The visiting fans also showed their appreciation to the players at the end of game, despite conceding an equaliser eight minutes from time!

The facilities were very good and were located just below the stand. The seats and leg room in the Main Stand were also very good and comfortable. There were plenty of stewards present, although from what I saw, they very much kept to themselves.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A ten minute stroll back to Canons Park Station and back on the tube into Central London.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The Hive was a pleasant day out. It is a lovely neat stadium but lacks some home atmosphere. Although unfortunately very expensive to get in!

Barnet v Accrington Stanley  
Football League Two
Saturday 13th August 2016, 3pm
Paul Willott (Neutral fan)

Main Stand At The HiveFirst and foremost I am a Preston North End fan exiled in North Kent. However, given Preston’s place in footballing history as founder members of the league, I’ve always taken an interest in the fortunes of the team from Accrington. In my younger years, for me they were very much the “missing link;” the ones that had slipped away out of the original 12 founding league members, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only general football fan who wondered whether one day they’d be able to secure a return to the league. Now much as I’m aware that the current Accrington Stanley is not the same club that set out as founder members of the league back in 1888, indeed its not even the same club that resigned from the league in 1962, for me the townsfolk that support such clubs provide enough continuity for me.

Therefore, I undertook to always try to cheer on the Stanley at least once a season when they played in the south-east. Happily the club then achieved what many older fans wouldn’t have dared to dream about ; a return to the football league proper.  Today’s fixture in north London was a perfect chance to keep my mission of cheering them on going strong so I set out from Chatham just before mid-day to catch a train up to London Victoria and thence onto the Underground to connect with the Jubilee line to Canon’s Park, the station nearest the ground.

I was looking forward to this. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but whenever I think of Barnet, I think of Barry Fry, and a plucky little club from north London that kept just missing out on promotion to the league until they made the leap as Conference champions back in the early 90s, and then even flirted with the third tier for one season. Since then, Barnet have fallen out of the league twice; most recently since my last visit to Underhill Stadium one midweek a few years back when they entertained Morecambe. However, they seem just too big for the Conference these days as they soon bounced back again.

The tube journey itself provides a good view of the Hive Stadium; as the underground line approaches Canon’s Park, the ground can be viewed to good advantage to the right with two stands of some reasonable size and a set of modern looking floodlight pylons that look very similar in style to the ones at Notts County. Upon exiting the tube station , from whose platforms one can see the Wembley Arch, once across the road and a right turn it is then a very pleasant little stroll through some greenery towards the ground, with training pitches dotted about the periphery. As I approached I could see that the new North Stand , although structurally finished, is still waiting some superficial touching up and hasn’t been fitted out in any way on the interior, so it may be a few months yet before that gets fully commissioned. However, it looks very smart, and has been built in an almost identical style to the West Stand.

Rear Of New North Stand

Rear Of New North Stand

I had a little wander around the outside of the ground to start with, and was suitably impressed with the facilities on offer on the East Stand; a very smart little club shop and a plush looking bar for home supporters to enjoy. The East Stand and South terrace are a little dwarfed by the West Stand and the new North Stand, but if first impressions are anything to go by, this was a vast improvement on their former home at Underhill. In preparation for the opening of the North stand for away fans, the “new” turnstiles are already in use, meaning you then walk around the front of the new stand ( and that’s when you can really see from the piles of rubble inside just how much work still needs to be done ) along to the section of the West Stand that is segregated off for away support. At £25 for an adult to enter, I did think it was a trifle expensive for fourth division football.

Unusually to my experiences these days at modern purpose built stands, the refreshment and food counters were located not in an internal concourse but outside to the rear of the stand, whereby on a cold and wet winters afternoon it may be less than pleasant to queue for the obligatory burger. Again, bring plenty of cash as the cheeseburgers weigh in at a mouth-watering £4-50……but alas they were fresh out of cheeseburgers despite me being an early bird…….so made do with an ordinary burger at a mere £4. ( the onions came free as an optional extra though, says he with a touch of irony ). There is an inside bar area, but it has to accessed from the back of the stand. It’s fairly spacious, and I watched the last 25 minutes of the Hull City v Leicester City match on Sky Sports whilst consuming a soft drink (£2), whereas those wanting alcoholic beverages weren’t getting much change out of  a fiver. 

New North Stand

New North Stand

 

Mr Bumble Barnet MascotPrior to kick-off there wasn’t much of an atmosphere at all; it all seemed very tame and muted. That may in part be attributed to the low numbers of travelling supporters. Accrington are reputedly by some margin the smallest town in terms of population to support a football club of league status, and as their small band of “noisy” fans didn’t rock up until just before 3pm, perhaps small wonder coupled with the warm weather that the atmosphere didn’t really get going in any sense until the match actually started. I noticed that the terrace behind the goal , the South Terrace, given to home support was sparsely populated; the vast majority of the home support seems to prefer being alongside the pitch in the West Stand. Not only may this be due to the vastly superior view of the playing action, but I suspect it may also be cultural; on my visits to Underhill I was aware that by far and away the largest congregation of Barnet fans preferred to stand on a terrace alongside the pitch as opposed to being behind a particular goal.  They also loved to sing “twist and shout”……..but I didn’t hear that at the Hive. However I was pleased to see that the Barnet mascot 'Mr Bumble' had come home to the Hive.

I noticed with interest that Barnet had in their ranks this afternoon a certain John Akinde. I’d seen him play a number of years ago at a Brentford v Wycombe Wanderers match ( I was desperate to avoid Saturday afternoon shopping with the ex and her mother ) where he was the hat-trick hero for the Chairboys; he stood out then as a real handful being very tall and pacey so I looked forward with interest to see how he performed. As this guide says, the players enter from an aperture to one side of the East stand to the music of Guns & Roses; some green artificial turf has been laid out on the few steps down to the pitch from the doorway in question.

South Terrace

South Terrace

 

The first 20 minutes were scrappy all round, until Barnet seemed to settle somewhat after that point and emerged as the stronger side in terms of possession and ball control. Managed by the legendary Martin Allen, the side scrapped for the ball in the midfield and defence in a style typical of their manager in his playing days; they were committed and uncompromising without being unsporting. They never let Accrington get comfortable with the ball, and it was little surprise really when John Akinde broke the offside trap and rifled a shot in despite the close attentions of two Stanley defenders to put the home side in a deserved lead before the break.

The second half continued in a similar vein to how the first half finished; Barnet always looking dangerous with Akinde leading the attack and I never really sensed Accrington Stanley being able to get a foothold in the match. On several occasions, the home side fashioned good attacks with passing and movement off the ball, hence the air of inevitability about the second goal when it finally arrived courtesy of substitute Jean-Lousi Akpa-Akpro, although the influential Akinde had played a massive part in the build up. The last 20 minutes were a little laboured as a spectacle; Barnet were happy now to sit deep and defend, which they did with relative ease, whilst taking a speculative punt with the odd counter-attack. The result was never really in doubt by this stage, and I don’t recall their keeper being seriously stretched or tested throughout the 90 minutes. So the final whistle confirmed what I think everyone knew would be the outcome, and I made a brisk exit and walked back towards the underground station at Canon’s Park with a view to heading home.

East Stand

East Stand

One other point of note was one of the referee’s assistants, a certain Lisa Rashid. I’d not knowingly witnessed a lady run the line at any league match previously, but in a sign of how the game has changed for the better, not one single disparaging comment was made at all during the 90 minutes within my earshot. I’d enjoyed the afternoon, even if the match itself wasn’t a classic.Far too often, we bemoan clubs leaving much loved old stadiums to new identi-kit soulless places in fields far away from town centres, so its pleasing to find a club that have actually embodied plenty of positives with their move to a new ground. I think The Hive is a massive step up from what Underhill had to offer.

I reflected that I’d still yet to see a team I supported even earn a draw at Barnet; twice in the mid 90s I’d watched Preston North End succumb to 1-0 defeats, and in more recent times I’d seen Morecambe lose to a Barnet side containing a then little-known Yannick Bolasie….. So Barnet remains a “bogey” side for me…….guess I’ll have to visit again to try and break that run! I should imagine the ground would look quite impressive as you walk towards it when its floodlit for a midweek winter match, so I’ll keep a look out for further fixtures that may tempt me to return.

Plus Points for The Hive

The Hive Stadium Barnet Floodlights1.    Perfectly located for public transport

2.    Pleasing on the eye ; it looks like a football ground, not an industrial unit

3.    Proper Floodlight Pylons to enhance that “proper” footy ground feel

Minus Points for the Hive

1.    At £25 , it seems expensive for fourth tier football

2.    Queuing for food in inclement weather could be unpleasant

Barnet v Notts County
Football League Two
Tuesday 19th April 2016, 7.45pm
Paul Smith (Notts County fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

Having enjoyed the old-school character of Underhill, I was intrigued to see the difference a modern stadium would make to the club and the atmosphere. Being a London-based Notts fan, it's also one of my easiest trips of the season.

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

Very simple. Being a Tuesday evening I went straight from work, jumping on the Jubilee Line from London Bridge all the way through to Canons Park station. It was rush hour so the train was fairly packed to begin with, but thinned out very quickly as it moved north, with hardly a Barnet or Notts fan in sight. After a pub stop off next to the station, the walk from Canons Park was very straightforward, across the road and through some playing fields with the ground immediately in sight.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We followed the advice of Football Ground Guide, backed up by my companion Anthony's search on Beer in the Evening, and visited Moranos, a stone's throw from Canons Park. From the outside it looks like a restaurant, in the middle of a row of shops, but it was a very welcoming bar. With live Sky Sports on the TV screens and a good selection of lager. Disappointingly there was a lack of real ales, but a good atmosphere inside.

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

The Hive is a modern stadium, very clean, and with good facilities, just very much on the small side, with a Non-League feel. Outside, the Hive is surrounded by lots of other pitches, some used by Barnet to train on, others for local leagues, it's an impressive complex. The pitch was in great condition for an April Tuesday evening, and the small stands placed you right on top of the action.

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

The game itself was surprisingly lively for an end-of-season affair with little on it for either side. It was fairly entertaining, with four goals of varying quality, and plenty of other chances. Notts defended woefully and deserved to lose. The atmosphere was more akin to a friendly match, with both fans already looking to the summer and starting again. The away end was comfortable, and the bar underneath was very pleasant, with Sky Sports, shelter and warmth. However the lager was a bit flat.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Very simple walk back through the playing fields and on to an empty tube. With a crowd of just 1,500, it was never going to be an issue leaving quickly.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A friendly atmosphere, and a simply journey with a good pre-match pub and half-time bar made ticking off Barnet's new ground a pleasant experience. The result was a poor one, but it was still well worth the trip.

Barnet v Oxford United
Football League Two
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Christopher Still (Oxford United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

This was my first visit to the Hive as an away supporter. I had previously been to a Neutral match with some close friends of mine who are Barnet supporters; but this was Oxford's first visit to the Hive. So I opted to stand on the North terrace, hoping to get another good result on our current great run of form!

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

Journey took around 40 minutes, straight down the M1 to Stanmore, follow the Edgware Road until the ridiculously laid out right turn junction for Camrose Avenue. Parking at the stadium itself was fine, plenty of car parking space, and easy access in and out.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Arrived early, and sat with my friends in the club bar. Stewarding was friendly and relaxed, as were the home fans. Food and drink were not overly extortionate, £4 pint of Heineken, cheeseburger (of good quality for football grub) and chips £7.

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

The Main Stand is of very good size and towers high above all the other sides of the ground. The Oxford fans were allocated 600 seats on the North side of this stand, along with 1,000 terrace places. Terrace was very basic, corrugated iron roof, checker plate steps. Home terrace is a similar affair, and the other side seems a bit peculiar, with a few rows of seats placed in front of what looks like an office building.

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

The home side dominated the first half, putting pressure on us all over the park, winning everything in the air and in the challenge, but were unable to capitalise on any chances they created, apart from one good tip around the post from our keeper. Oxford came out all guns blazing in the second half, causing them nightmares down the wing, and holding solid at the back. O'Dowda scored two very well worked goals, and Hylton came off the bench to add to a scoreline which could have been far greater than it suggested. Atmosphere in the terrace was great, despite being small you can really get some great noise with a good following. Stewards were laid back and friendly, bit of banter throughout the game with one steward, but they all took it in lightly in good heart. Only downside would be the terrace facilities; one portacabin for Gents and Ladies toilets. The queue for this stretched around to the other side of the stand, and once inside it was fairly cramped.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Traffic down the Edgware road was bad, but other than that, it was quite easy to get out of the ground, having paid for a parking token at reception on arrival.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A really good day out at a nice small modern ground. Great result for us, and results elsewhere went in our favour on the day to holding second place and hopefully securing automatic promotion.

Barnet v Oxford United
Football League Two
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Dave (Oxford United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

I was generally quite excited for this game as it was our first visit to the hive and have heard positive things about the Hive Stadium, since Barnet moved there.

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

We got the train from Oxford and then the tube to Canons Park which was relatively easy (as easy as the underground can be). A few friends of mine drove to the game and had to pay £5 to park at the stadium, although there was plenty of parking available at the Tube station.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We found a little bar just down the road from Canons Park, called Moranos, which was packed with away fans (our chairman even joined us!). There seemed to be plenty of fast food options and shops such as Tesco around for anyone who wanted some food before the game. We didn't really encounter many home fans considering Oxford made up 48% of the attendance but no unpleasant experiences either.

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

We passed the ground on the train just before we reached Canons Park. It looked very modern and I liked the look of the away terrace. It looked like they managed to keep that traditional feeling of a lower league ground whilst clearly greatly improving the facilities. When I got into the ground I was quite impressed, especially having being to Underhill. That place was awful!

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

From an Oxford point of view, the game itself was brilliant. A dominant second half display secured a 3-0 win for us after being bullied in the first 45. The atmosphere in the home end was poor throughout, even when they were playing well. The travelling yellow army were exceptional with a non stop party atmosphere all the way through the game. The stewards were fine and joined in with a bit of banter whilst being helpful enough. Only complaints would be that the toilets in the away end were very small and the food and drink stands had extremely slow service. Good selection, mind. Burgers, hot dogs, crisps, chocolate, pies, pasties, soft drinks and beer.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Again, easy. A short walk back to the tube station which is no longer than 10 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Brilliant day out for the club, but I wouldn't go back as a neutral. It's a nice enough ground but is absolutely built for non-league football, and so are Martin Allen's route one tactics!

Barnet v Oxford United
Football League Two
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Jon Thomson (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

I was interested to see what the standards of League Two are like, given that my team (Sheffield United) might be ending up there in a couple of seasons at this rate! Oxford are one of the League's promotion chasers so I was hoping for a good game. Plus a visit to the Hive would allow me to check another ground off the list.

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

Easy enough, was no more than a 10 minute walk from Queensbury tube station. Looked to be a good amount of parking by the ground as well as ample street parking.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I did similar to what I do whenever coming down from the north for a London-based game - first a pint in the Euston Tap, then one or two nearer the ground. I opted to try JJ Moons (a Wetherspoons pub) one tube stop earlier than the ground. As I had read that near the stadium there is not much in the way of pubs. Inside JJ Moons it was easy enough to get served and find a seat but the beer quality was questionable. At the pub and en route to the stadium I didn't see too many home fans about, but the Oxford fans I encountered were generally reasonable.

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

The Hive seemed a tidy enough ground and suitable for the club's needs, although it has somewhat of a temporary feel about it. The away end looked reasonable enough, a fairly shallow but covered terrace, with Oxford also having a sector of the Main Stand which looked good. I had tickets for the home end, a similarly small terrace which necessitated picking one wing or the other so as not to have most of the view of the pitch blocked by the goal.

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

No issues with stewarding. Food was mediocre and overpriced but at least freshly done and hot. Home atmosphere was non-existent, all the noise was coming from the away end, seems like most of the people around me were West Ham fans who couldn't get tickets to their game at Chelsea. The game itself was okay. The first half was fairly scrappy with Barnet playing very directly - getting it forward to their large striker quickly and utilising long throws and set pieces. Oxford on the other hand looked to play more football and tested the Barnet keeper a number of times. In the second half Oxford showed their class and ran out 3-0 winners, Kemar Roofe being the pick as expected but having general quality throughout the side. Barnet introduced a young guy, Fumnaya Shomotun, off the bench for the last half an hour who looked useful, not being afraid to run at people and use a bit of skill, which otherwise had been lacking in the home side.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No issues, straight out and straight back to the tube, on my way back to central London within 15 minutes. Helped that it wasn't a busy match, but even if it was a sell out I wouldn't have thought it would add too much time with two tube lines within walkable distance.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The day out was reasonable enough - nothing particularly bad, although Barnet's lack of support made for an unusual atmosphere, that they don't get more fans given the pricing is reasonable is strange.

Barnet v Carlisle Unitied
Football League Two
Saturday 16th January 2016, 3pm
Peter Laggan (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?    

Another ground to tick off and I also wanted to see Carlisle play again as I was impressed with them at a pre-season friendly against Preston North End.

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

Driving up from the South Coast was relatively easy although you have to go half way round the M25 to get there. Ignore the Satnav if it tries to take you off at Watford and along the A41, it is quicker and easier to stay on the M25 and then head towards Barnet on the M1 (South). It takes about 20 minutes to get to the car parks from the M25. I parked at Canons Park Tube Station (turn left immediately after the tube station). It is £2 to stay all day on Saturday as opposed to £5 at the ground. On leaving the station car park, walk back to the main road and cross over and turn left. You will find a gate on your right leading to a footpath which is a pleasant 10 minute walk through open fields to the ground. The bonus of coming this way is that you get to see both the Hive and the arch of Wembley Stadium in the distance.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I couldn't see any food outlets or pubs on the way to the ground and no burger vans outside so the only option is to eat/drink inside the stadium. The path through the park leads to the East Stand where you will find the Hive Bar for home fans and the club shop. The ticket office is in a portakabin behind the South Terrace. Tickets on the day I attended were half price (£11.50). Programme sellers are available around the stadium and the programme costs £3.

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

Both the home and away fans are sat in the impressive new West Stand and, with the stand largely full, it made for a good atmosphere. A few score home fans stood in the South Terrace and the North Terrace was empty. 50 or so fans sat in the few rows of seats that are available in the sawmill East Stand (described as 'hospitality seating' in the programme).

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

The game itself was a disappointing 0-0, although Barnet had the edge and the No.19, who has been promoted from perennial sub to first choice striker was not lacking in ambition. The facilities were new, but not great. The toilets were clean, but the hand dryers did not work and the catering is delivered through a small aperture below the West Stand where there are 4 queuing points, but only 2 people serving. However the biggest disappointment was the food (warning - grumpy comments follow!): The pies are none-existent (this is the second time I have been to a ground with no pies and there should be a law against it! Grrrr,,). The choice is therefore burger £4 (which was burnt and not nice), hot dog £4 (which looked unappetising to say the least), cold baguettes £3.50, or crisps £1. The saving grace was the Bovril which was hot and tasty, but at £2, was exorbitantly priced. I would recommend that visitors to The Hive eat en-route or take sandwiches; or go to nearby Watford where the pies are excellent!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away is straight forward, although I made the mistake of following the Satnav towards Watford instead of going M1/M25 which is much quicker. Cars at the ground had to queue to get out, but the exit from the tube station car park was easy.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Plus points were that The Hive Stadium is easy to get to from any direction, the strong support in the West Stand made for a good atmosphere (although this could have been due to the half price tickets on the day) and the location near to Wembley Stadium is impressive. The main downside is the food!

Barnet v Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two
Monday 3rd January 2016, 7.45pm
Thomas Lilley (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Hive Stadium?

I was primarily looking forward to visiting The Hive because of the fact that it is a brand new stadium and have heard many good things about the place from other supporters.

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

The journey via the supporters coach was easy although we did come across some sort of gate near the stadium, where the coach driver had to manoeuvre its way around very carefully and was a tight squeeze especially when the London traffic simply refused to give way to the large coach.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Before the game we went into the Club Shop which in turn is also the Directors Entrance so we bumped into our clubs directors which was a pleasant surprise. I bought myself a match day programme in there which cost the usual £3 unlike at Rodney Parade (Newport) where its £3.50.

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

I was very impressed with the West Stand although I was situated on the North Terrace. You can indeed touch the goal nets from the North Terrace although it is quite a reach, we asked the steward situated behind the goal if we were allowed his response was "only if you are able to reach it" myself and a couple mates proceeded to touch the nets only to be shouted at by stewards in the accompanying the East Stand.

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

Although we lost the match, the game was okay to watch, The stewards weren't that intrusive but I was disappointed that you couldn't buy a pie inside the stadium Two of our players got serious injuries and had to be taken off. The Barnet fans gave them a sporting round of applause, so kudos to them :)

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was relatively simple, we didn't have to go through that gate again and even got to see the Wembley Stadium arch on the way back which was nice.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Would definitely go back to The Hive again if we happen to get them in another fixture :)

Barnet v Crawley Town
Football League Two
Saturday 19th December 2015, 3pm
Paul Vinson (Crawley Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?    

The Hive Stadium was a new ground for me and my son to visit. Plus it was a reasonably short trip and at this time of year, the match was a good excuse not to go Christmas shopping!

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

We journeyed in by train into London Victoria. From there we caught the London Underground to Canons Park. 

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?  

We first went for a drink in Muranos, which is close to Canons Park tube station. The bar was a friendly place as described on this website and had a good atmosphere. My 13 year old son was also welcomed. We also went to a nearby Turkish kebab shop/restaurant called Melissa Ocakbasi. This was a highlight as the mixed meat special kebab that we had was simply gorgeous!

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

It was odd seeing in the distance the arch above Wembley Stadium whilst walking down through the playing field on the way to the Hive. We had an unexpected tour of the outside of the stadium, as our online tickets weren't valid at the turnstiles and we had to walk all around the ground to get replacements.

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

We were seated in the Main Stand towards the one end, where we enjoyed good views. We also made use of the bar located beneath the back of the stand at half time which was okay. There was a lively atmosphere inside the stadium and the stewards were friendly.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Straight walk back to Canons Park and caught a tube back into Central London with no problems.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was an enjoyable trip despite at first going down 2-0, before bringing it back to 2-2 then eventually losing 4-2! The Kebab Restaurant was the highlight of the day!

Barnet v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 31st October 2015, 3pm
Terry Bingham (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?

I had never been to the old Underhill ground at Barnet and was interested in seeing a new stadium built for the lower divisions.

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

We travelled by train and everything went smoothly. First from Exeter to Paddington, and then by underground to Canons Park, the nearest tube station to the Hive. Only one change on the tube and the trains were frequent.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We couldn't really see anything near to the ground for food and drink, so relied on the stadium facilities. We had arrived early so didn't meet up with any local fans.

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

We were sat on one side of the Main Stand, where we enjoyed a good uninterrupted view.  Most of the home support were also in the same stand, although surprisingly this didn't do much to improve the the atmosphere.  The home support was not particularly vocal, probably because there was only about 1,500 of them.

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

Although we had arrived early it was pleasing to see that from 12.30pm we were allowed to enter the ground and use the catering facilities. Behind the Main Stand was a good drinks and food bar with television showing the sports channels. The prices though were well above average; e.g.. Hot dog £4.00 burger £4.50. The atmosphere wasn't great and this was not helped by Exeter having a poor game (we lost 2-0) leading to the dissatisfaction of the 600+ away supporters. The stewards were friendly and helpful.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Extremely easy, a short walk through the park back to Canons Park tube station and plenty of trains going to Central London.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out overall despite my teams performance. Exeter's worst performance of the season and the 600 plus travelling fans made their opinions vocally to the team at the end.

Barnet v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 31st October 2015, 3pm
Paul Dickinson (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?    

I completed the 92 a couple of years ago, but then Barnet moved from Underhill and Newport got promoted, leaving me these two to do to get a current complete set. As I watch Leeds every home and away, there's not much opportunity to get to London on a Saturday, but our game against Blackburn had been moved to a Thursday night, so this gave me an ideal opportunity to get this one ticked off.

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

I use the train a lot and this ground is ideal for that method of transport. Into Kings Cross from Leeds, quick stroll to the Euston Tap for an alfresco pint, and then onto the tube at Euston Square up to Canons Park, via Baker Street.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I'd had a sandwich on the train so can't comment on the food, but had another pint in Graziolis Bar, at the back of the Main Stand.

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

Although I much prefer the old traditional grounds, I was impressed by how The Hive looks on approach - possibly helped by walking through the park in glorious autumn sunshine! The fact that the rail line runs immediately next to it and on a raised embankment makes it nicely different to other grounds also.

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

I thought Barnet were worthy winners and they seemed to be finding their feet after last seasons promotion. Exeter fans were in the same stand as me (the terrace behind the goal was closed) but there seemed to be a good number of them there and the atmosphere was good.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Thanks to a friendly tip from a steward, I walked back to Queensbury tube station, thereby avoiding having to walk right the ground and avoiding a busier platform, Its only the same 10 minute walk, so I'd recommend this to other fans. I was back at Kings Cross by 6pm, in plenty of time for my 6.30pm train home, arriving back in Leeds at 9pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I really enjoyed this trip and it ticked most of my requirements for a great awayday. I would give special mention to the Barnet fans/stewards/programme sellers who I talked to - all incredibly friendly (one in the clubhouse even thanked me for coming all the way from Leeds to see his club!) and despite them now being a league club in a new ground, the general atmosphere reminded me of a non league set up, which is something I really like (I've currently visited 125 non league grounds).

Barnet v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 31st October 2015, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to visiting the Hive Stadium?

This was another new ground for me as it was for all Exeter supporters, as last time we played Barnet it was at Underhill.

2. How easy was your journey and finding the Hive Stadium?

The journey to the ground was straight forward, as always I travelled up on the supporters coach, leaving Exeter at 8.30am arriving just before 1pm with The coach dropping us off right outside the away turnstiles

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

On arrival we had opted for the clubhouse but were told that due to our large following on the day that we were not allowed in but the away supporters bar behind the West Stand was open. This bar was small but had a small selection of drinks on tap plus a few screens showing the live match, a few tables outside would also be good as seating inside and out was limited. No home fans encountered pre match

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

The stadium is almost like a flat pack design with the away fans being housed in one corner of the West Stand with excellent views, and sharing with the majority of home fans. The North Terrace can be made available as extra for larger followings. The East Stand has limited seating as it also has the changing rooms and offices behind, the South Stand terrace mirrors the North Stand.

View From The Away Seats In The Main Stand

View From The Away Seats At The Hive

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.

The game was a not a great match but both teams had their chances, Barnet taking theirs and going onto win 2-0. The atmosphere was good, with both sets of supporters singing. The stewards were not the best as were a bit over the top at times. Refreshments were averagely priced, alcoholic beverages priced at £3.40, there also seemed to be a good choice of food, with various filled baguettes starting from £2 which I was told were good, the burgers not so good. The toilets were also clean.

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

Getting away afterwards, the coach was waiting behind the North Stand where it dropped us off. As you'd expect, traffic is slow when leaving the ground but once back on the motorway it was easy going. We got back to Exeter at around 9.30pm

Attendance 2,105  (Away 610)

Barnet v Accrington Stanley
Football League Two
Saturday 10th October 2015, 3pm
Adam Houlden (Accrington Stanley fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?

Another new ground to visit with the Stanley. Also having previously visited the old Underhill Stadium, I just wanted to compare the old with the new.

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

Having followed the directions on this site finding the Hive was easy.We found plenty of street parking options close to the stadium having arrived early.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We went to the MacDonald near the garage as indicated on this sites directions. This proved a good move as there is not much else nearby.We were able to have a drink in Barnets own bar despite being asked to cover up our colours and home fans being very friendly.

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

Typical modern new build. Not impressed by Barnet's decision to place us in the Main Stand on one side charging £23 a ticket, instead of putting us behind the goal on the terrace for £17.

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

An average League Two game deservedly won by the Stanley. The facilities excellent with Sky Sports being shown in the away bar and the beer reasonably priced. Stewards were quiet and unobtrusive which was good. Not much on atmosphere though, at time we could hear Manager Martin Allen screaming from across the far side of the pitch!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Plenty of traffic going back into Edgware but got onto the M1 after 20 minutes, so pretty good.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Excellent day, another new ground visited and three more points to take Stanley within one point of top place in the League. Heady days indeed!

Barnet v Stevenage 
League Two 
Saturday 19th September 2015, 3pm 
Aidan Cheevers (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?

I was extremely looking forward to this game as it was the first of two local away derbies in a week for us. Plus it is , and a quick 30 minute trip up the A1 so getting home at a reasonable time after the match is always a huge bonus.

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

I had been to the Hive for a pre-season game between Queens Park Rangers and Dundee, so I had a good idea of where it was and the best places to park. It costs £5 to park at the ground, but there are plenty of side roads nearby where you can street park for free, so it was a no-brainer.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We arrived in plenty of time so went to the players entrance see the Stevenage team arrive (pictures and autographs all round) and then headed into the away end. I was with my disabled friend so we were in the seated West Stand (all supporters in wheelchairs and carers sit at the front) whilst we watched most of our noisy fans congregate behind the goal. We decided to go in to the club house in the away end to watch the Chelsea v Arsenal game and have a couple of drinks. 

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

I like this stadium as it's a tidy little ground. The West Stand is of a good size and towers above the rest of the stadium. The North and South ends are both terraces, whilst the small East Stand is only 5 rows deep. 

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

The game itself was a classic tale of two halves. Stevenage dominated the first half yet somehow failed to score more than the one goal that Fraser Franks scored for us in the 10th minute. Barnet equalised right after the interval only for Steveange to instantly re-take the lead. Barnet then scored twice more in the half to leave us gobsmacked at how we had come away with nothing.

The food inside the Hive was quite expensive, £4 for a  Hot Dog or £4.50 for a Cheeseburger. And alas there were no pies!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was slow due to the usual football traffic for about two miles, leading all the way to the roundabout near the A1. A very silent journey home that took about an hour. 

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Yes we lost but the day was still enjoyable on the whole and I won't hesitate to return next season.

Half Time: Barnet 0-1 Stevenage
Full Time: Barnet 3-2 Stevenage
Attendance: 2,480 (680 away)
My Ground Number: 61 of the 92

Barnet v Stevenage
League Two
Saturday 19th September 2015, 3pm
Aidan Cheevers (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Hive Stadium?

I was looking forward to this game for a few reasons. The main reason was because I'd never seen a competitive match between Barnet and Stevenage so it would be and experience. The other main reason was because it was manager Teddy Sheringham's first local game as Stevenage manager.

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

The journey to the ground was really straightforward. I got the train from Letchworth up to King's Cross before heading to Wembley Park via the Metropolitan line and then on to Canons Park via the Jubilee Line. After that, it was a short 10 minute walk up to a park where there are multiple football pitches leading to the stadium which was straight ahead.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I went straight into the stadium and into the away fans bar inside, to watch on television the Chelsea game where they were taking on Arsenal. As far as home fans are concerned, I didn't meet any prior to the game, but I did have a pleasant conversation with a Barnet fan after the game on the tube which was heading back to Kings Cross.

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

On seeing the ground from the outside, I thought it looked like a really nice ground. It had that fresh look about it (even though it was only 2 years old) and it looked as if it had a reasonable capacity. Once I got into the away end terrace, I felt really comfortable in it as I was used to this sort of terrace. As far as other sides of the stadium are concerned, the stand to my left looked quite small. but the Main Stand to my right looked much better.

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

The game itself was an entertaining one. Stevenage took the lead on 10 minutes when Fraser Franks headed home Charlie Lee's header back across the goal. Barnet equalised two minutes after the restart when Bondz N'Gala tapped in a loose ball before Stevenage again took the lead almost immediately afterwards, Tom Hitchcock heading in another Charlie Lee assist. Barnet then turned the game around with two goals from an Aaron McClean's neat finish and a Michael Gash rebound, to make it 3-2 to the home side. Dipo Akinyemi for Stevenage nearly equalised right at the last, but his effort went agonisingly wide to hand Martin Allen's side the win.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was rather simple. It was pretty much a straight and quick walk back to Canons Park station where we got on a tube back to Wembley Park, and then Kings Cross.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, it was a good day out. The train journeys were efficient and the build up to the game was good. The only negative was the result of the game, but in the end, I'd consider going back to The Hive again..

Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers
FA Cup 1st Round
Saturday, November 8th 2014, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)

1. Reason for going:

The FA Cup 1st round is becoming a must-do these days. I always scrutinise the draw for a non-league v league encounter in the hope of seeing a good match plus possibly an upset. Any such tie though has to be reasonably close to home though as November isn’t a barrel of laughs for travelling. Barnet (top of the Conference) v Wycombe (top of League 2) appealed hugely. Besides this was a new ground having previously been to Barnet's old Underhill stadium around 22 years ago!
 
Getting there:

Directly by train to London Paddington then by Underground (via Baker Street) to Canons Park.
 
First impressions:

As you approach the ground from Canons Park station the open aspect of this ground amidst the numerous training pitches is most pleasant, particularly with the dying embers of the autumn colours still vivid. The contrast with Underhill however is immense. This is an unashamedly ultra-modern ground with all the creature comforts but of regular construction and no distinguishing features.

The supporters’ club bar with its family atmosphere, TVs and plush sofas was striking. Also of note were the toilets which were spotless with hot water positively gushing out of the taps.

Inside, the West stand dominates. It is quite imposing with its black and orange seats giving a welcome splash of colour in an otherwise standard stadium. The West Stand also gave a great view with ample leg room and no supporting pillars.

The Away End

South Terrace

Before the game:

I took a packed lunch with me which was consumed in the attractive parkland surrounding the Hive. There then followed my customary routine of inspecting the facilities and buying a programme. At 2.30pm I took my seat and studied the programme which at £3 was a good read. Inside was an extract from the Sunday Express of November 22nd 1970 detailing first round results of the previous day. Sheer nostalgia and one score caught my eye. Oxford City 1 Bournemouth 1. I went to that game (44years ago – gosh!) which was played on a bone-hard frozen pitch the likes of which could not be imagined these days! Nearly an upset by the non-leaguers there – could there be a repeat?

Before the game the warm-up music was Pachelbel’s Canon & Gigue. Very nice! There then followed one minute’s silence for the fallen of the two world wars. This was impeccably observed.

The West stand had a catering kiosk though I didn’t see it open. Sample prices:
Tea, Coffee, Beef drink, Soup, Coca Cola, Fanta, Sprite. £2
Beefburger, cheeseburger, hot dog. £4
Baguette large £3.50, small £2
Crips. £1
 
The game:

Barnet could not have started better. After barely 2 minutes a flicked header from open play let John Akinde spring the off-side trap. Rounding the keeper he rolled the ball home from a tight angle. Upset on or not? For the neutral unfortunately not. Wycombe came more into it and on 34 minutes were awarded a penalty when Matte McClure was tripped by Andy Yiadom in the box. Paul Hayes stepped up to confidently stroke the spot kick past Graham Stack.

Throughout the game there was a stiff breeze, making ball control difficult, so every slip up-(from both sides) was greeted with ‘top of the league? You’re having a laugh! In first half stoppage time Sam Togwell took Matt Bloomfield’s legs, was shown a straight red card and Barnet were reduced to 10 men.

Playing towards the south terrace the second half predictably was an uphill struggle (but not as uphill as Underhill perhaps!) for the home side. In pretty atrocious conditions facing a strong wind and driving rain they battled hard to no avail. Rising unchallenged from a 58th minute corner Aaron Pierre put Wycombe in front with a thumping header, then the game was sealed by Sam Wood on 73 when he tapped in virtually on the goal line from a deep floated cross which caught Stack in no man’s land. The last drama almost on the final whistle was a straight red card this time for Andy Yiadom for a reckless challenge on Wycombe’s Josh Scowan.

Getting away:

A filthy wet (mercifully short) walk back to Canons Park and I was comfortably back to Paddington in good time for my train home.
 
Overall:

Although the upset never happened, this was a terrific game of full of incident played at a fast tempo. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are a football grounds purist then the Hive is probably not for you. Not that I could fault the facilities which are superb nor the staff and stewards who were friendly and engaging. In my discussions with the Barnet faithful I heard plenty of comment regarding the six mile trek required from Barnet every matchday which by private transport is time-consuming and by public transport reputedly a complete pain. The Back2Barnet campaign is in full swing and whether you like the Hive or not there are more than a few who want the club back in its proper home town.

Barnet v MK Dons
Friendly Match
Saturday, July 27th 2013, 3pm
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.

Why not write your own review of the Hive Stadium Barnet and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* Capacity is limited to 5,176 due to Local Authority restrictions.

Updated 19th September 2016

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