Deepdale - PNE
Deepdale - Preston North End
Well it's here at long last, their biggest game of the season. It's been a long time coming and this time last year who would have thought it that we'd be playing 'that lot down the road' whilst we are above them in the league.
This game evokes so many memories. For those of us who witnessed arguably our greatest ever night at Deepdale all those years ago, through to Brett's 89th minute winner. Here's hoping that come 2.30 on Saturday we are making our way out of knobbersville with a smile on our faces as big as it has been when we've previously won there.
'3 stands - you've only got three stands'. That said they have re developed the ground almost totally over the years and the final stand has now begun to take shape. Over the years we've stood amd sat on every side of this ground. From the Town End (put those matches away) through to our current location - The Shankly Kop. Now for some reason we have only been allocated half of this stand. Situated behind a goal it is a tad steep, however this does lend itself to provide a decent view of the pitch.
There'll be the obligatory netting / OB amd Stewards but make no bones about it I guarantee that we'll make plenty of noise here. The ground also incorporates the National Football Museum.
How to get there
M55, M6 South to J31. Follow the road down to a mini roundabout. At the roundabout with the Hesketh Arms turn right into Blackpool Road. Go straight on over three sets of lights and just before a fourth set, the ground appears set slightly back on the left. Parking is mainly in the streets surrounding the ground. Avoid Deepdale Retail Park & Sainsburys for parking. Some parking suggestions include Watling Rd up past the Fulwood Barracks, a 10 minute walk to the ground.
For the Virgin Lovers amongst us get off at Preston Station to be met by the OB. You'll be corralled and herded to the ground like cattle with a 20minute trek to the ground.
Where to drink
All pubs have allegedly been sent a letter asking them not to open before the game. It'll be hit and miss. Previously I've drunk in the Black Bull at Fulwood and even in the Sumners, As there will be a large plod presence my only advice is if you are looking for a drink before the game, you'll have to either have to drink further afield, neck tinnies in the motor or stick to ale on sale inside the ground.
Plod & Stewards
Our recent reputation goes before us. Lancashire plod are mounting a huge operation for the game. Expect a show of strength for any rowdiness and an over bearing OB presence both inside and outside the ground. Stewards will be taking a back seat for this one. Don't be expecting to be let out ala Turd Moor at the final whistle.
Fear Factor Rating - 6. Keep a sensible head on around the ground.
It isn't even Xmas and the two away derby games for us are out of the way for another season. The trip to the dingles was a good day out, returning home with a late equaliser made it all the more sweeter. There'll be a lot of pride, passion and of course the obligatory bragging rights (for 3 months anyhow) riding on this one game. But this is derby day, and it means so much more than that.
Onwards + Upwards