Monday, February 21, 2011

Edgar Street Just Oozes History

Burton Albion were the visitors to Edgar Street last Saturday. Here's part of how one of their supporters enjoyed his day.

Back out onto the road again and its a westbound trip this time, to the small market town of Hereford. Famed for its Cider, Cattle and a rather large F.A cup giant killing from the 70's.

Hereford itself is literally in the middle of nowhere yet isn't one of the more difficult away days in terms of travel. A quick jaunt down the M42 and onto the M5, straight onto the A44 and onwards until those quite impressive floodlights come into view.

Parking up in the massive council-owned car park for a solitary pound at the rear of the Merton Meadow end where the home support would shortly be gathering, I got my first proper look at the stadium in all its erm.....glory. First of all having been treated to the luxury and delights of the San Siro and Borussia Park you could forgive a little stadium snobbery but Edgar Street really is like stepping back in time, it was almost like we were queuing up to watch Ronnie Radford smash that 30 yarder in all over again. The ground comprises of two similar end terraces, one stand with seating and one stand with a mixture of upper tier seating and lower tier terracing which would be our home for the afternoon. The floodlights are quite simply massive and can be seen from miles around and underneath sit some of the oldest turnstiles I have ever come across, the place just oozes history.

If you're partial to a proper west country cider than Radfords bar is more than accomodating, situated beside the players entrance it is a warm and friendly place but doesnt half get packed by both home and away support. Perhaps its the £1.90 pint prices in there? I settled for a wander around the town centre where I came across none other than a merry band of Morris men. Hereford itself isnt the liveliest of towns from first viewing and everywhere seems to be painted grey, almost like an L.S Lowry canvas.

Thankfully i'd managed to stick to my new years diet plan and was able to squeeze through the Edgar street turnstiles, I should imagine anybody with an over 36 inch waist would have a job getting through those as they really are the tightest i've ever come across. A gathering of around 200-300 away supporters packed into the terracing and the game got underway. Burton instantly threatened through Aaron Webster, fresh from his fine winner against league leaders Chesterfield the previous week, watching a free kick saved by Hereford 'keeper Stuart Abbott after three minutes.

Officials must hate Edgar Street, particularly linesmen as this particular young flag-bearer was getting a verbal volley in the ear everytime there was a controversy, even if it was nothing to do with him, courtesy of the away support from the length of a ruler away. Verbals then got worse after the referee showed Albion midfielder Russ Penn a second yellow for a wreckless tackle on Bull's youngster Harry Pell and it was to be an uphill battle from thereon with Hereford smelling blood and rattling the Brewer's crossbar.

Soon it was level again on the numbers front as Hereford centre-back Janos Kovacs decided to follow Penn's example and hack down striker Calvin Zola to earn a second yellow card and have the locals reaching for their pitchforks in anger. Spurred on by the sending-off Burton soon went on the offensive and Zola beat the flag to end up one-on-one with the 'keeper but lifted a shot somewhere in the region of the car park with the only damage inflicted being on some poor soul's windscreen. 0-0 it finished then but a very entertaining afternoon all in all and a visit to one of the few grounds in existance with such a past behind it.

The full article with pictures can be viewed at :