|Peterborough United 0 v 3 Leeds United
Sunday, 7th January 2024 Kick-off 14:00
Friday, 5th Jan 2024 17:30 by Tim Whelan
This FA Cup tie is our first visit to Peterborough United since 2012, and kick-off is at 2pm on Sunday. It’s not live on TV, so I can only assume that it’s been put back at the request of the police. Which is nice.
The ‘Weston Homes Stadium’ is just to the south of the city centre, on the A15 London Road. The ground is fairly well signposted from the town centre, and the best bet if you’re driving is to come into the town centre, following signs for Whittlesey (A605) which will lead you onto London Road. But there is no parking for away fans at the stadium, so you will need to leave your motor a bit further afield.
There is a council pay & display car park just off London Road (turn right at the traffic lights after crossing the bridge over the River Nene, from the city centre and it is immediately on the right). This costs £4 to park there for the day. Otherwise, there is street parking to be found on side streets further up Oundle Road (going away from London Road). But you need to check for any parking restriction signs on lamp posts, as the side streets nearest to the ground operate a residents’ only parking scheme.
The railway station is around a mile away from the ground. Turn right out of station and follow the main road, passing an Asda store on your right. At the traffic lights near to Woolworths, turn right. Go over the bridge and you can see the floodlights of London Road, over on your left. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the station to the ground, and no doubt there’ll be plenty of police on duty to show us the way.
But this option is not for the faint hearted if you’re coming from Leeds or up from London, as the East Coast Main Line will be closed through Peterborough for engineering work in both directions, with the travelling public having to endure much slower replacement buses instead. But there is one train from the Leicester direction that will get you there in time, and trains are also running from East Anglia.
The last time we came the Cherry Tree pub was open for Leeds fans, but sadly it has since closed, with the site likely to be used for housing. All the other boozers near the ground were only admitting regulars before and after the game, but at least it’s not far from the city centre, and there might be a hostelry or there two that will welcome our custom. Alcohol isn’t available in the away section of the stadium, but it would undoubtedly be overpriced anyway. Food-wise, there are several takeaways on London Road.
The big change to the stadium since we last came is that the old terraces behind both goals (one of which was for away fans) have gone, to be replaced by new stands. So the total stadium capacity is now 2,000 down on our previous visit, standing at a mere 13,511. Naturally the new stand behind the goal is far too good to be given to away supporters for league games, and the usual away allocation is only 1,800 in part of the old main stand.
Our fans in this stand will find the legroom is a bit cramped, or at least it would be if we sat down! The view from here is pretty good, but it’s a bit cramped and basic, including the toilets! But for this game we have a more generous 3,955 tickets, with it being an FA Cup tie. This is because we are getting the away end after all, the whole of the new Desko stand, as well as the usual away section described above.
Adult tickets are £27, with three categories of concessions, from £9 to £22. And they have of course sold out. Home tickets have also sold out, and in any case you would have needed 100 loyalty points to get one. But it’s possible that the next time we’re back in these parts they will be playing in a new stadium with a capacity of up to 22,500, though it’s unlikely that they would allocate us any more tickets than they have this time.
Early in 2020 the club signed a key Memorandum of Understanding with the city council, which involved a vision of a new stadium as part of the development of the Embankment area along the River Nene. This is on the opposite side of the river from the present stadium and slightly further from the centre. But then the pandemic struck, and the club have so far failed to get back to the Championship, but you never know, this might all happen in the future.
Some of the info in this piece came from www.footballgroundguide.co.uk.
Photo: Action Images
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