|Preston North End 1 v 1 Leeds United|
Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Sunday, 20th Oct 2019 22:25 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Deepdale is on Tuesday night, with a 7.45pm kick off. And if you didn’t manage to get a ticket, live coverage is available on the Sky Sports red button. As the name Preston North End suggests, the stadium is a mile or so to the north of the town centre.
If you’re going by car you need to leave the M6 at Junction 31 and follow signs Left for Preston. Go up a steep hill and 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 for cars is available for £5 a car at Moorfields School, just follow the directions above and at the last set of traffic lights continue straight on for about 200 yards, and you will see the school on the left near Moor Park. You can also park at Deepdale itself, but that will cost you a whopping £12.50, though there is a slightly cheaper car park across Sir Tom Finney Way (behind the Main Stand) at a mere £7.
Otherwise you can try your luck with street parking, but don't be tempted to park on the grass verges near the ground, you are likely to find after the game that you have been given a parking ticket.
Unlike last year there is a direct train back to Leeds after the game, leaving at 22.46 and getting back to Leeds at 00.11. The Railway Station is on the opposite side of the town centre, about 1.6 miles from Deepdale, and if you're feeling energetic enough to walk you should turn right towards the Fishergate Centre and main shopping area.
Keep walking down the high street, past all the town centre shops, until you reach the ring road. Then head straight over the large traffic lights, heading towards Preston Prison. Turn left at the Prison into Church Street, then left into Deepdale Road. Continue straight along Deepdale Road and after about a mile you will reach the ground.
If you can’t raise the energy to walk, you can get any bus from the railway station to the town’s main bus station, and then any one of buses 5, 6, 15 or 19 from stand M. Of these, the number 19 is the most frequent route (running every 10 minutes during the day and every 20 in the early evening) and the cost will be approximately 80p.
There is a disused railway line from the main Preston station up to Deepdale, which passes within about a quarter of a mile of the stadium, and there has been talk of reopening it as a tramway from the town centre, so in the future it might be a bit easier to get there by public transport.
There are a couple of social clubs near the ground that welcome away fans. First there is St Gregory's Catholic Club, which is around a five minute walk away on Blackpool Road. The Club charges £1 for entry, but the cheap drinks and hot pies will make up for this. You can also park at the Club for £3. Another option is the Emmanuel Social Club on Emmanuel Street.
Unfortunately the nearby Sumners pub (which was the main away pub) has now closed, but another pub which admits away fans is the White Hart, around 15 minutes walk away on Watling Street Road. Going away from the ground past Sainsburys and where Sumners was, then you bear right onto the Watling Street and the White Hart pub is along on the left.
It could be more difficult to get a drink in the town centre, as the police will move groups of fans on quickly and most pubs there will refuse to serve away supporters. It might be worth trying the Old Black Bull and the Academy on the high street and the ‘Vic and Station’ near the railway station, but I can’t guarantee you’ll get in.
But the good news is that the local plod have decided to allow us to get alcohol inside the stadium. They tweeted “The decision to serve @ halftime was arrived @ having engaged with #lufc fans prior to planning meetings. We claim that we police “behaviours not reputations” & #lufc fans have behaved impeccably inside the stadium the last few seasons we hope this continues Tuesday”.
Food-wise the best option is Clare's Pantry on the corner of Sir Tom Finney Way and St Stephen's Road, which serves a good meat and potato pie, among other things. Also on Sir Tom Finney Way you can find the following takeaways, Romero, Barbera's Buttie Bar, Pizza Pie, Domino's Pizza, though at the latter I found the print size of their menu a bit too small for someone of my advanced years to read!
The whole ground has been redeveloped in recent years. In 1996 the 8,100-seater Sir Tom Finney Stand was opened, followed by the Bill Shankly Kop two years later, and in October 2001 work was completed on the Alan Kelly Town End, also with a capacity of just over 6,000. The completion of the fourth side of the stadium to replace the derelict Pavillion stand brought the total capacity to 23,404.
Normally the allocation for away fans is approximately half of the Kop (3,000 seats) and it is shared with home supporters, but teams with a large away support get the whole stand. Yep, that’s us! We’ve got an allocation of 5,500 for this game, which has now completely sold out. They are priced at £24 for adults, with concession s at £16, £15, £8 and even £2 for under 11s accompanied by an adult.
Tickets for the three home stands are only on sale to anyone who registered an account on their database before September 4th. They would have relaxed this restriction if we hadn’t sold out our allocation, but obviously we didn’t oblige.
The views of the playing action and facilities within the away stand are excellent, as the stand is particularly steep, meaning that fans are kept relatively close to the pitch. On the concourse there are TVs by the refreshment serving areas showing the game live while the bars stay open. There is a wide range of food available including bacon rolls, burgers and even vegetarian 'butter' pies, which apparently is a local delicacy.
All in all, this should be quite a good evening out.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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