Brewers use home advantage to extend unbeaten run
After a week of dodgy weather Old Sloppy and I decided to pick a game in an area of the country where the conditions looked more favourable. From the forecasts a trip to The Midlands looked best bet and our phone call to Burton Albion on Saturday morning confirmed that the game was definitely on. Within a couple of hours we reached the new Pirelli Stadium off Princess Way. As expected the ground (opened by Sir Alex Ferguson) is most impressive with cover extending all four sides and the facilities are a credit to the Brewers. The images in the Album will suffice a lengthy description. Before kick-off we had a look in the club shop which was crammed with souvenirs and old programmes and bought hot drinks and snacks from one of the many kiosks serving a range of refreshments.
The last time we had attended a game in the Conference was at Forest Green Rovers back in August 1999 when co-incidentally the visitors were Kidderminster Harriers that day. Admission prices have obviously increased since then and for £14 we were hoping the standard of football had done the same. Sadly the first-half was very disappointing and with few chances at either end the score was goalless at half-time. Within five minutes of the re-start though Burton had taken the lead through the inspirational Lee Bell whose 15 yard drive found the back of the net. His goal kick-started the game which sparked into life and developed into a real end to end battle. The Brewers could have scored again soon after but a fine string of saves by Harriers 'keeper Lewis kept the score at 1-0 until the final whistle. Albion maintained their decent run of form to set a club record with six consecutive unbeaten games under their belts. The next home game is against Burscough in the FA Cup. The club must fancy their chances of reaching the third round after disposing of Peterborough Utd in the last round.
A 48 glossy page programme was issued for the game which attacted 1847 fans (an increase on the average attendance and their biggest in the Conference this season).
Our route followed the A14 west, joining the M1 as far as junction 22. We took the A511 towards Coalville, by-passing Ashby until reaching Burton. The ground is found by taking a right turn into Wetdale Road before joining Wharf Road. The stadium is visible off Princess Way with plenty of local and ground parking.
FGIF Rating 3*