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Barnsley

Ground: Oakwell Stadium

Visits: 1

Date: 31st December 2011

Match: Barnsley - Leeds  4-1  (League Championship)

Attendance: 17 499

 

On New Year´s Eve I was suppose to visit the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, one of my two remaining Premiership grounds. Despite having a Jack Army membership I failed in getting a ticket for Swansea-Tottenham though. I went through the fixture list again and decided to go to Oakwell Stadium in Barnsley instead. Barnsley was a 3h train journey from Cheltenham but a Barnsley-Leeds match is THE match to visit Oakwell for. Since it was a 1pm kick-off I left Cheltanham as early as 8.12, a bit too early for my liking after all the travelling the previous day. I arrived on time in Barnsley by 11am and made the 15 minute walk to the ground to pick up my ticket. There was a massive police presence in Barnsley this Saturday but I guess this is a high risk fixture.

 

Oakwell Stadium has had three new stands built in recent years, only the West Stand is remaining from the "old" ground. There are several narrow streets leading down the hill to the rear of the West Stand. This is so typical of the old English grounds and for neutral groundhoppers it is something we like. It adds so much to the character and experience of the visit. There are probably plans to complete Oakwell and replace the old West Stand, I hope this will never happen. My seat was in the upper tier of the East Stand. From there I had a great view of the action. To my right was the 6 000 capacity away stand. For this match it was packed with Leeds supporters and for most of the 90 minutes they gave their side an impressive vocal support. As I said earlier this is Barnsley´s big match and in total 17 500 was in attendance. Before this match the best attendance of the season was 11 800. The home fans who turned up had every reason to celebrate the last day of 2011. Barnsley won 4-1 in the end. I have to say Leeds looked poor today and many of their fans left the ground with 10-15 minutes to go. Those who stayed at least showed they have a sense of humour. "We are shite and we know we are" made at least me smile.

 

With five goals and a great atmosphere I can´t say I was too disappointed in having to visit Barnsley instead of Swansea this New Year´s Eve. By 6pm I was back in Cheltenham and I quickly headed towards a nice Italian restaurant for my last meal of 2011. Tomorrow it is 2012 but also a new match for me, West Bromwich vs Everton

 

pontefract road end, rear

Rear of the Pontefract Road End

 

east stand, rear

Rear of the East Stand

 

oakwell, outside

Leeds fans outside the ground

 

west stand, rear

Rear of the West Stand

 

pontefract road end

Pontefract Road End

 

west stand

West Stand

 

north stand

North Stand

 

bussar

Leeds fans arriving by bus

 

pontefract road end3

Pontefract Road End

 

oakwell, vy

View of Oakwell Stadium

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

west stand2

West Stand

 

spelbild

View of play

 

north stand2

North Stand

 

pano, oakwell2

Pano

 

pano, oakwell3

Pano