Ground: Pirelli Stadium
Date: 19th April 2014
Match: Burton - Hartlepool 3-0 (League 2)
Attendance: 2 558
A couple of years ago only a few games were moved from Easter Saturday to Good Friday. Nowadays most games are played on Good Friday and in the end only one fixture for me to choose from (at a new ground) this Easter Saturday, Burton vs Hartlepool at Pirelli Stadium. Having arrived back quite late at my hotel in Manchester the following night I slept late and didn´t start my journey to Burton until 11am. In Birmingham I changed trains and also met up with Stefan and Jocke. The three of us then made the short trip to Burton together. This was my 7th and last match of the tour and Pirelli Stadium was to be my 80th ground in England and 73rd of the current 92. As we arrived at Burton-on-Trent station we couldn´t spot any police, low-risk match apparently. Pirelli Stadium is a 20-25 minute walk from the station and at 14.00 we were outside the ground. We bought tickets for the only seated stand and met some Norwegians as well. One of them has a season-ticket at Old Trafford but above all he had two spare tickets for Everton vs Manchester U tomorrow. Stefan and Jocke were more than happy to buy these. Sometimes you need to be at the right place at the right time. This time that was outside Pirelli Stadium in Burton!
Pirelli Stadium was built in 2005, replacing the club's old Eton Park, which was demolished and developed into housing. The new ground was built on the former site of the Pirelli UK Tyres Ltd Sports & Social Club, and having had the land donated to the club by Pirelli, in return for naming rights. The ground has seen minor capacity changes since its construction, and the current capacity stands at 6 912, with 2 034 being seated in the South (Main) Stand. Our seats were in row F and very close to the home end. Hartlepool brought around 300 fans to this game and they were in the East Stand. Burton are currently fifth in the table and have a chance of automatic promotion. In this match they were much better than their opponents from the northeast. Marlon Harewood had a great chance for Hartlepool in the first half but it was all Burton from then on. 1-0 at half-time and in the second half the home team scored twice again, 3-0 to Burton was to be the final score. With Burton playing Chesterfield, currently second in the table and four points ahead of Burton, next weekend there is every chance for Burton to pip Chesterfield of an automatic promotion spot. After the match I sneaked into the home terrace for some pictures of the seated stand (and only just managed to leave before the ground was being closed down). At 17.26 I left Burton and two hours later I was back in Manchester. A week full of football was coming to an end. In two weeks time I am on tour again though, Lithuania and (hopefully) Belarus for me that weekend.
East Stand, rear
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