Morecambe v Cheltenham Town
Saturday, February 5th 2011, 3pm
(Doing the 92)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
This was the last ground for me from the current 92. At the start of the season I’d pick out games for each of the new grounds/teams for the season and this was one of the dates shortlisted for visiting the new Morecambe ground. Four gullible friends agreed to accompany me on this weekend so the cheap advance train tickets were purchased. Two of us had been to Christie Park a few years earlier and had a pleasant day out so we were looking forward to a good day out without the stress of watching Colchester.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We took the train. The 08.30 out of Euston dropped us off in Lancaster at 10.56 leaving 3 hours to sample the pubs of Lancaster. We then took a cab to Morecambe and walked from The York (near Christie Park) to the Globe.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We had a fantastic time drinking in Lancaster. There are some excellent pubs for the discerning real ale drinker.
We started in the Sun on Church Street (only a few minutes from the station) which opens early. This is a smart and comfortable pub/hotel that had a wonderful selection of ales, mainly from the Lancaster Brewery, at a very reasonable price.
Next stop was the Water Witch on the canal tow path. Again, there was a good range of real ales on the canalside pub/restaurant. The rain put us off the outside seating area but I would imagine it is lovely out there on a fine day. We chose to eat here and can highly recommend the cheese board (a selection of 3 from 12 interesting and varied cheeses, accompanied by salad, pickles and about half a loaf of bread).
From there we walked along the tow path to the White Cross. This is a large canalside pub on two different levels that was presumably converted from a canal warehouse. It also served food and looked quite good as it passed us. There was also a good range of ale on offer too and outside seating for dry days.
Last stop in Lancaster was the Three Mariners, on Bridge Lane near the bus station. This was a smaller cosy pub with several ales and a real fire.
As there were five of us we grabbed a cab from the taxi rank across the road from there to the York pub in Morecambe which only cost about £8 and took us past the Sainsburys that is now on the site of the former Christie Park. The York is a reasonably large pub that supposedly acts as the Morecambe supporters’ club house. It was quiet but there were two Morecambe fans in there and they were happy to talk to five neutrals although somewhat surprised that we’d come all the way from Colchester/Ipswich to see Morecambe play. They explained that the usual open top double decker shuttle bus from the York to the ground wasn’t running because it had been booked for a wedding. However, they offered to show us a short cut along a footpath to the ground.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground is not in the most pleasant surroundings with a council estate on one side and a large caravan site on the other but the locals seemed friendly enough. The front view of the ground is quite impressive exterior view of the Peter McGuigan stand. There is covered terracing behind each goal, one end of the home fans and one for the away fans. The Main Stand, the Peter McGuigan Stand, is quite an impressive modern all seater stand with one block at the east end of the ground for the away fans and the rest for the home fans. The stand opposite is very different though. It appears to be about three feet of terracing separating the pitch from a Berlin Wall replica with the press box on the halfway line (good planning as this stand never gets shown of the TV).
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
teams had been in a bit of a slump in
recent weeks but they both tried to play
some free flowing, entertaining, attacking
football. The game ended in a well
deserved draw for both sides with
Morecambe probably edging the game overall
but they did have to rely on a number of
fine saves from their goalkeeper.
The Morecambe fans behind the goal were
making plenty of noise and created a
reasonable atmosphere. Cheltenham
fans weren’t as vocal but seemed to be
enjoying the game. Stewards were
friendly and one was extremely helpful in
giving us directions for after the
game. I didn’t try the food but the
pies looked quite appetising. The
toilets were adequate for the game in
question but would have struggled during a
had a great day out, despite an early
start. Lancaster is well worth a
visit if you like your ale. The
Globe Arena is not in the best of
surrounding but Morecambe seems to be a
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