Cardiff City - Ninian Park
Bluebirds, the word conjures up visions of gentle, frail, feathered birds of nature lightly gliding on a hot summer's day. Don't be mistaken it'll be a cold damp end of October night and the warm heat of a relaxing day in the country will be a long way from your thoughts if you make the trek to Baadiff this Tuesday.
As grounds go this is one of my least liked. Next season a 30000 new stadium will be home to Cardiff City, and whilst the new ground is something to look forward to, a trip anywhere to watch football in the principalities capital other than the Millstad isn't. Which is a pity, as the 3 Millstad trips all bring happy memories back to Pool fans of a great place and of great times, what a difference a few miles make.
How to get there
From the North - M55, M6 South to J8 take the M5 signposted the South West.
Leave the 5 at J8 and take the 2nd exit to the M50 signposted South Wales / Ross.
At M50 - Junction 4 roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A40 (signposted Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth), At roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A40 (signposted South Wales, Monmouth. At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A40 (signposted Newport, Abergavenny, Chepstow, Forest of Dean). At traffic signals continue forward (signposted Newport, Abergavenny). Continue forward onto the A449. At Coldra roundabout take the 5th exit, then join the M4 motorway (signposted Cardiff, M4). To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the B4267 exit, signposted 'Cardiff (Leckwith) Athletics Stadium'. Follow the signs for the stadium and after about half a mile you will see Ninian Park over on your right. Parking is available across the road from the ground and at the nearby Athletics Stadium.
For the Virgin Lovers amongst us - The nearest railway station is Ninian Park Halt, a couple of minutes walk from the ground. This station is on a local line which is served by trains from Cardiff Central. Alternatively Grangetown station is around a 10-15 minute walk away from Ninian Park and is reached via Cardiff Central that continues onto Penarth or Barry Island. On leaving Grangetown station turn left, cross the main road and then turn right into Sloper road for the ground'.
What's the ground like?
Outdated ready to be turned in to a housing estate, the new ground looks impressive - a 30,000 capacity with options to double that. For the last time ever Ninian Park will see the tangerines take the field. No doubt the new stadium will take away the 'character' of NP. Away fans are housed on one side of the John Smiths Grange Terrace at one end of the ground. Seats at the front, terracing at the back room for 1000, I expect around the 3-400 mark for the travelling numbers for this game.
Where to drink
Nowhere near the ground, stick to the town centre - Walkabout or the usual haunts.
Plod & Stewards
Ah the Heddlu. Only marginally ahead of the local stewarding in the popularity stakes. The song says that there'll be a welcome in the hillside, can someone remind the taffs of these words.
Fear Factor Rating - 8.
Keep your eyes and ears about you if you`re making the long trek south this Tuesday. Following last seasons 'events' we'll be one of the least welcomed teams there and hence both games have been played on a Tuesday night.
7 games undefeated, our run goes on but this is a stern test. Cardiff used to be a lucky team for us but as seen only a few weeks ago they are a harder nut to crack these days and anything from our last visit to Ninian will be a result.
Onwards + I Fyny