Why you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
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
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
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 stand!!
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
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 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
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 is injured.
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!