Preston North End
v West Bromwich Albion Championship League Tuesday, January
7.45pm Steven Hunt (West
1. Why you
were looking forward to going to the ground
(or not as the case may be):
This was going to be a new
ground for me and this Tuesday night
match looked easy to get to. Plus there was the National
Football Museum to look around and judging
from looking at photos of the ground on the
internet, I thought it was a nice looking
stadium. I also looked forward to seeing a decent game.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
Went on the baggies travel (club coaches).
Nice and quick and easy up the M6. Got on the motorway at Junction 1 of the M5 by the
Hawthorns and then straight
up the M6. We left at
Junction 31 and we could soon see floodlights
of the ground,
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
Had a look around the National football
museum, a little disappointed with the actual
content within the museum but was a nice place
to get in away from the cold for a hour after
arriving very early. It was completely free to
go and have a nose, and had a nice café inside
that did a nice hot chocolate to warm up
before the 7:45 kick off. Couple off pubs near
by if you searched for them and to be honest
the mixture between fans before the game was
very pleasurable and calm. Had a little banter
with a couple of PNE fans I chatted to around
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,
first impressions of away end then other sides
of the ground?
The away stand seemed very
steep. You only have to go up a few and you are
higher than the goal and not obstructed by
nothing at all. Outside the ground it looked very modern
and new, the away end had a fitness centre
built in under the stand and what looked to be
a youth centre place. Entered the stand by the
side which only had 4 turnstiles open which
saw me wait a few minutes longer outside. Once
in, just the same as any other stadium very
spacious, however the inside divide was a
couple of swinging doors which looked easy to
get through to the PNE supporters, but they
didn’t to expect to see any trouble but a
derby game may be a problem.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
Apart from the fact only 3 sides were built I
believe they struggle for a fan support. It
was sparse on all 3
sides and the atmosphere was very low unless
you join in with away support chants. There
was plenty of facilities inside the ground
which were very decent. Hardly any stewards
around the away support just a huge divide of
seats between us and the away support which
was easily 2000 seats. Police I saw outside
the ground and not in and the game was very
cold with a huge wind draft from the direction of the unbuilt
stand. Albion lost 2-1.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
after the game:
Club coaches with the police escort. All in
and off 15 minutes after game and then 5 minutes of uninterrupted
traffic to the motorway and straight home.
Very professionally done by the police.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out
Pleasant but disappointed. Great stadium especially when the new stand is finished, but
the football museum was largely forgetable. Still I would recommend a
visit, especially if you
combine it with a weekend stopover in