Thursday, 27 September 2007

Awaydays #5 - Stoke

The club: Stoke City (The Potters), Brittania Stadium

The ground: For one in the breed of new stadium, the ground is looking old and tired. Two stands are independent of each other whilst the other two are connected at the corner, all three structures are high and imposing. The concourse was wide and airy and the away end seating area vast with a commanding view of the action. However if ever the song 'dirty northern b-stards' was true it was here - the stadium was filthy - I ended up covered in black dirt marks. 5/10

The facilities and food: There was a large bar - one half selling food, the other selling alcohol so you had to queue twice, the toilets were adequate for the number of supporters we took with shortish queues forming. The pie was far too hot to handle let alone eat but had the best filling of the season. 6/10

The stewarding/police: Minimal supervision by police and stewards before, during and after the match,. although the away end is fenced in after full time; the stewards allowed standing throughout the game on the back rows. 7/10

The travelling: Quick and easy, the route from the M6 is direct although you can miss the turning off the Stoke bypass. Car Parking is haphazard with people perched on verges, central reservations and roundabout all round the ground. 7/10

The surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Nothing. The only amenity near by is the leisure centre. I would recommend that you make a small detour into Newcastle-under-Lyme and visit the pubs there - it's not far out of the way and you can loop round the centre back to the bypass. 0/10

The home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): Another very poor, effort. No audible noise except for a few fans nearest the away support. However the supporters in the pubs were very friendly. 3/10

Total score: 28/60

Awaydays League Table:

Barnsley (Oakwell Stadium) - 42
Hull City (KC Stadium) - 38
QPR (Loftus Road) - 36

Stoke City (Britannia Stadium) - 28
Torquay United (Plainmoor) - 27

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