Going to ACCRINGTON STANLEY?

In our continued series of guides to away games this season, Ann Noble gets the low down on a ground new to City fans from Rob Russell of Accrington Stanley Supporters Club.

Travel

By Car – The M65 motorway links to the M6 which is about 10 minutes west of Accrington situated at either junction 7 or 8 of the M65.  If you are going direct to the ground then use junction 7, 1st exit at the roundabout, right at the lights, right at the next lights and the ground is around 800 yards on the left hand side.  If you are going to the away fans pub then please use junction 8, follow the signs for Accrington along the A56 and come off at the first opportunity.  Follow the signs for Accrington which will take you onto the A679 where the Whittaker’s Arms is 400 yards on your left.  From the M1, M62, and M66  follow the signs for Accrington using the A56 easterly by-pass.  This will bring you to the A679 (Burnley Road) where the Whittaker’s Arms pub is situated 400 yards along on the left.

By Train – Most trains into Accrington will have involved changing at Preston.  Accrington train station is fairly central to the town centre.  As you come down the ramp from the train station you can either turn right where you will find the town centre a two minute walk away, or you can cross the road, follow the street around the corner and you will find the McDonalds restaurant on the left.  From here you would cross the road and follow that exit from the roundabout to the main road, turn left and the ground is about a fifteen minute walk away with a couple of pubs en route.

By Bus – Having travelled in by bus you will already be in the town centre, the buses on the market side will be pointing in the direction you need for the ground, or you could catch either the Hyndburn Circular or the Clitheroe buses.  On either bus ask for the Crown, you will go through three sets of lights and the Crown is then two stops or 200 yards away.  Cost is around a pound. 

If you are walking then travel in the direction the buses are pointing, turn left at the top and then follow that road for a mile and a quarter, passing five pubs, three chippies (one a 100m detour but sign posted), an Indian restaurant and several kebab shops that will probably be shut…..

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MANAGER JINX TOO MUCH FOR UNLUCKY CITY

CITY 0 BLACKPOOL 1 

As we all know by now no City manager since Dave Halliday 55 years ago has managed to win his first game in charge. Martin Allen must have realised long before the end of this match that he was not going to be the first to defy the jinx that has defeated so many others since 1962. 

The first major indication came as early as the 22nd minute when de Vries did a smart turn and shot from the edge of the box with the ball soaring beyond Rachubka only to strike the angle of bar and post to fall harmlessly away from the goal. Seconds later a good low cross from Chambers was only cleared after a panic of Dads' Army proportions in the Blackpool defence. Thus the tone was set. 

It had all started so differently. The crowd, a decent 26,650 were both expectant and nervous, passionately hoping for this game to be the start of a new era on the pitch to match that which had taken place off it. Strangely the starting eleven contained no fewer than 7 players on City's books last season, a much higher total than any of my group had expected. Admittedly there were 3 more newcomers on the bench but that still left 5 unaccounted for!   

Henderson got the nod over Nielson, McAuley played at left centre back to accommodate N'Gotty on his right and Wesolowski was given a wide midfield role, initially on the left but soon switched to the right. Up front de Vries was included as Hume's strike partner. I had problems with Wesolowski as a wide player and prefer Fryatt to de Vries but vowed to be objective. 

Not surprisingly City hardly got over the half-way line in the first 10 minutes as Blackpool carried on where they left off at the end of last season whereas we were still trying to remember each others' names. Things were not helped by Allen realising that the wide midfielders were malfunctioning and getting them to swap wings causing the fullbacks, Chambers and Mattock, to have to get used to a change of partner. Wide left was a big problem for City for most of the match though the late introduction of Hayes brought an immediate significant improvement….

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Not Many Forcing Their Way In

Cambridge United 0 City 1 

I’m not sure what to say about this game – I just hope Martin Allen learnt something because I’m not sure I did!  My initial reaction was ‘Was your journey really necessary’ and for a while it seemed that the most exciting thing was the health and safety warning before the game began about the danger from flying balls while the players were warming up!   

Apparently 240 City fans made the journey (not all of us from Leicester itself) and when I arrived at 6.45 the gates weren’t even open.   

The game was, frankly, boring, with two poor teams, although City stepped up the pace a bit in the second half and, of course, got the goal.  I can’t see any of the players on view featuring in Martin’s plans for Saturday, with the exception perhaps of Levi Porter who was his usual live wire when he came on for the second half.

I see that Darren Kenton was singled out for particular praise and he certainly seemed comfortable.  However, matters were not helped by the programme not telling us the team and no announcements when subs were made (but fortunately the web site provides the information on the subs!)…..


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Promising Signs

City 1 v Portsmouth 3 

This was always going to be a stern test for City, especially as Portsmouth had won all their pre-season friendlies up to Saturday.  After a scare early on, when Nugent missed a sitter, Hume scored a lovely goal.   

What was really surprising was the sublime pass from De Vries who a few minutes earlier had shown a bit of skill I never knew he had!  Sadly the lead didn’t last long but I saw enough to give me some optimism for the coming season.   

Some players stood out:  Clemence played some lovely passes and Chambers looked a good buy.  N’Gotty and McAuley generally looked solid at the back although there were a few occasions when they seemed to be confused as to who was doing what; twice in the second half a Portsmouth player was allowed to progress from the halfway line into the box without being challenged.   

However, we found David James in cracking form and without his magnificent saves the result could have been 3-3.  Stearman looked better than he did for most of last season although still hesitant on occasions, and Newton did well after he came on during the first half.  Henderson didn’t have too much to do but made a few good saves, and couldn’t be faulted for the goals….

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Visiting Cambridge – Trust Tips

As a new feature to the Trust website for the forthcoming season, Anne Noble (our member’s newsletter editor) has agreed to link up with fellow Trusts around the Country and gain a local insight into visiting their ground.

 

In this first article, Anne links up with Brian Attmore from CFU (Cambridge Fans United) for anyone going to the Cambridge match next Monday 6th.

 

“Parking is mostly in the street around the ground.

 

Being a friendly, fans should have little trouble getting into the Supporters Club (£1 admission but spaces are limited) or into nearby pubs.

 

Unfortunately the Club is in the only ward in Cambridge with no pubs but there are some good ones further into the City Centre or near the railway station.

 

The Wrestlers on Newmarket Road less than half a mile from ground is excellent with good Thai food.

 

 For the ultimate Cambridge Experience anyone with time on their hands is advised to go into the City, find the River Cam and have a go at punting, or take a chauffeur punt. This can be combined with walking through some of the Colleges which have superb gardens and architecture as well as being steeped in history……

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