Chester v Barnet
Skrill Premier League
Saturday 18th January 2014
Stadium: Swansway Chester Stadium, Bumpers Lane, Chester, CH1 4LT
Telephone: 01244 371376
Club Colours: Blue White and Black
Nickname: The Blues
Official Club Website: www.chesterfc.com
Brief Directions by Road: A round trip of approximately 400 miles awaits and there are various ways of getting to Chester. Via the A41 is the most scenic, but the following route is the most direct and easy to follow courtesy of Chester FC. M6 to junction 18 and on to the A54 signposted Middlewich and Northwich. Stay on the A54 through Middlewich and through the town of Winsford. After about eight miles stay on the A54 where it is joined by the A556. Shortly afterwards join the A51 towards Chester. When you reach the junction with the A55 turn left and continue on this ring road (dual carriageway) until you reach its junction with the A483 signposted Chester. Turn onto the A483 (called the Wrexham Road at this point) and pass over three roundabouts. The road now becomes Grosvenor Road and then over the River Dee. At the next roundabout turn left into Nicholas Street (A5286). Left turn at the traffic lights into New Craine Street passing the Racecourse then head through the Roman walls into Sealand Road (A458). After about a mile look out for Stendall Road on your left where this road becomes Bumpers Lane – follow your nose and the ground awaits. The ground is well signposted from whichever direction you approach.
Car Parking: There is ample car parking for around 800 cars at the ground for a £4.00 charge. ‘Reckless wonder tip’ when leaving the park, keep to the left exit as this moves considerably faster than the right channel. Feedback required here please as it may involve me buying a pint for the originator of the information.
Directions by Train: A Virgin or North Western train form London Euston via Crewe takes around 3 hours. Chester station is about a mile and a half from the Stadium. Taxi to the ground will cost around £6.00 one way, made for sharing. Bus travel from the station is the easiest way to get to the ground as the No.28 runs along Sealand Road, stops a few hundred yards from the ground and is very frequent. Another option is Hawarden Airport, which is only three miles from Chester City centre. It will accept executive jets by appointment only!
Eating and Drinking Locally: There are no pubs within easy access of the stadium. My spies tell me that Telford’s Warehouse in Canal Street, about a mile away, is good and serves decent food too with a nice view. Having a beer in the city centre is easy and three pubs have been recommended by a very helpful correspondent from Chester who wishes to remain anonymous – The Mill Hotel, which has a very nice real ale bar, Old Harker’s Arms (these two are very close to each other along the canal) plus the Bear & Billet which is inside the city walls. A decent eat will be very difficult to find close to the ground apart from the usual football ground fare. Tesco’s have a large outlet at the end of Bumpers Lane and boasts an inexpensive restaurant I am led to believe but I can’t say that I have ever sampled cuisine a la Tesco before!
Social Club: Officially the social club has a “depending on numbers” policy for away fans as the club is on the small side. I managed to get in last time as a guest of a member for £1.00 – so put on your smiley faces and chat up a local!
Ground Description: The stadium, originally known as the Deva Stadium, was constructed in 1992 and was the first new football ground to encompass all the safety regulations as set out in the Justice Taylor report commissioned after the disasters at Bradford and Hillsborough in the 1980’s. The capacity is currently a shade over 5,300 with 4,200 seats. The Main Exacta Stand to the east seats around 2,200 while its smaller sister stand, the Centurion Community Stand, sits opposite. I am told this is where we will be housed for the afternoon.
Admission Prices: Adults £16, Concessions £11, U18s £6.
Our Last Meeting & Memories: Our visit in August 2008 to Chester FC resulted in a heavy 5-1 defeat with a Cliff Akurang goal the only cheer. Revenge was gained in the return in March 2009 when a brace from John O’Flynn and a Paul Furlong strike gave the Bees a 3-1 win.