Date:Thursday January 3 2008
Oakwell - Barnsley - SeasideEssexXile
As 3rd round FA Cup draws go, Saturdays certainly isn't the glamour tie that we were hoping for. Single figures left in the ball drawing stakes and with Chelski still in the hat I thought it might have been our turn after coming so close last season, alas it wasn't to be and the only cheers you could have heard when our name came out of the hat were those of the Yarkshire Seasiders, as our second visit in less then 9 weeks takes us to Oakwell, home of t'Barnsley.
How to get there
M55 to the M6 South, join the M61 and head towards the M60 keeping left (sign posted Leeds). Join the M62 leaving at J23 on to the A640 sign posted Huddersfield. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A640 (sign posted Huddersfield). At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A640 then at the Gledholt Roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A640. Turn left onto the A62 (sign posted Ring road, Leeds, Halifax, Bradford). Keep in the right-hand lanes then bear right (sign posted Ring Road, Kingsgate). At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A629. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A642 At roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A637. At the next roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A637. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A637. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit then join the M1 motorway (sign posted London). Leave the M1South at junction 37, and then at the roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A628 (sign posted Barnsley). At the roundabout take the 4th exit onto the A628. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A61 Branch left, then turn right onto the A628 Turn left onto Grove Street, you're here!!
Parking plenty of street parking around the ground if you are early enough, and there is a large car park for visitors at the ground too.
From the south J37 from the M1 north then, as above.
For the Virgin lovers amongst us, Barnsley railway station is about a ten minute walk away from the ground.
From the train station turn left away from the town centre and head towards the bridge that the dual-carriageway runs over. Go under the bridge and turn left up the slip road and then take the first road on the right and head towards the Metro Dome leisure complex at the top of the hill. The ground is visible from here.
Away fans are allocated to the North Stand. Located behind one goal the capacity is 6000. Pool have requested extra tickets after an initial allocation of 500 and with pay on the gate available I think we'll be close to the 1100-1300 mark. Oakwell is a relatively nice ground to look at, with a capacity of 23000+ having been redeveloped over recent years it still bears the markings of their brief flirt in the top flight.
Where to drink
The Outpost on Sheffield Road is a ten minute walk from the ground is regarded as the away fans' pub. Additionally The Holleywell Inn on the Oakwell Road near to the old Barnsley Brewery has a mix of both home and away fans on match days.
Previously I have drunk in the Metro Dome which is up the hill and few minutes walk from the away end. This is a leisure centre that served both ale and food and IMO is as good a place as any for a pre match pint.
Stewards & Plod
There have been reports of over zealousness by the stewards, but I've never personally seen any on my previous visits, with no 'history' between the clubs I'd expect this to be another relatively low key affair.
Fear Factor Rating - 5
Ah, the FA Cup. We'll be mentioned along with 53 no doubt during every round up to and including the final. Both teams are evenly placed in the league, and despite dominating at Oakwell recently a dodgy pen and being reduced to 10 men for 40minutes ultimately saw us off in the recent league fixture. This however is a one-off, and the cup has a magical place in every Pool fans' heart. Yes survival is paramount for us this season, but that said, I'm hoping we put out a full as strength side as we can, we've already proved with our recent run of form that we can match anyone on the day, here's hoping come 5pm on Saturday that we've given t'Barnsley t'chop.
Onwards + Upwards.
Date:Thursday January 3 2008
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