1. Why you were looking forward to
going to the ground (or not as the case may
Have followed the Posh to all of the West
Midlands grounds over the years, I needed this
one to ‘complete the set’.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
One of the easiest grounds to find! Just off
Junction 1 of the M5. Car parking was a
doddle, we were actively being enticed into
one of the many car parks on the industrial
units on the Birmingham Road. Average cost
seemed to be about £5
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
We all enjoyed the Chicken Balti pies at the
ground, priced at £2.50. Very tasty , BUT the
serving areas were far too small to serve the
Posh fans that took over the Smethwick End. We
ensured that we got our food well before the
game. Heard from others that it was a
nightmare at half-time. Loads of burger stands
etc outside of the ground. Didn’t try the pubs
as we were warned that all the local ones are
home fans only. Staff in the shop were
friendly, as we bought our traditional soft
toy as a souvenir. At least they had a ‘Baggie
bird’ rather than the boring teddy bears at
most other grounds!
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,
first impressions of away end then other sides
of the ground?
A nice, tidy ground. The East Stand looked
particularly impressive, and dominated the
ground. I was surprised at the small size of
the Halford Lane Stand. I presume that this
was the previous main stand, as it had the
players entrance and the tunnel built into it.
It looked like the bottom tier of the Family
Stand at Posh! I was expecting something
rather larger and more impressive. We were
allocated all of the Smethwick End, which we
pretty much filled, apart from the ‘no-man’s
land’ between the 4000+ Posh faithful and the
Albion Fans in the Halford Lane Stand.
Strange, but all the threats were from the
Albion fans on the other side, in the East
Paid tribute at the Jeff Astle gates! Quite
moving to see fresh wreaths and flowers
attached to them! A great player!
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
A 1-1 draw! -Excellent game for a Poshie. An
exciting FA cup tie which we could easily have
won. Full of end- to- end play! We generated a
fantastic atmosphere, but this was sadly
lacking from the Albion supporters. (Also
commented upon on the local radio!) – but it’s
been a bad season for the Baggies so far.
Apart from the replay, I wish them well for
the rest of the season and hope they survive.
The stewards were fine, the ones we spoke to
before the game were great, but they did have
to take a bit of stick from some of the ‘less
reputable’ elements amongst ‘us’. One lady
steward showed great restraint at the taunting
she received from one idiot near the front.
Hope he was proud of himself!
Toilets fine, much better than the hopeless
facilities we ‘experienced’ at Leicester a
couple of weeks ago!!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
after the game:
The biggest problem was not being allowed out
into the Halfords Lane after the game. We were
all channelled out the other way, down a long
fenced in alleyway, which eventually led the
Posh fans back to their coaches. Not a problem
if you came by coach!!! However, it was
totally the wrong way to get back to my car,
parked on one of the previously mentioned
industrial estates on the Birmingham Road.
This was a minor inconvenience, as it was
presumably to keep the fans apart. BUT this
route was, in my opinion a serious danger! It
was far too narrow for the 4,000+ away support
to go down. I assume that normally only half
that number use the Smethwick End
and go down this route, while the Baggies home
supporters in this stand are sent the other
way. The WHOLE of the stand going down this
alleyway was an accident waiting to happen! It
was on a slight incline downwards and was
starting to ice up. IF anyone had fallen, I
dread to think of the consequences. There was
no visible supervision down this way at all,
just a huge crush!! I really think that
someone needs to look at this before some-one
Then some idiot threw a flare down in the
middle of all this!
Having eventually got back to the car, we were
able to get back on the M5 quickly and away!!!
– Just make sure that you park your car on the
right side of the road for your journey back.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Travel and parking were easy, natives seemed
friendly (apart from the few in the corner of
the East Stand!) Prices great – Thank you
Albion for making the prices so reasonable for
this game. (£5 for concessions)
Facilities good, legroom better than at many
grounds. Good, unobstructed views. Friendly
stewarding and policing.
A great day out!