SeasideEssexXile is back with the first ground guide of 2009 as we look towards this Saturday’s FA Cup 3rd Round tie with Torquay United.
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, especially on a warm Summer`s day, but on the first Saturday of the New Year at the potential banana skin that is a non-league team away in the FA Cup there won`t be too many Seasiders making the long trek South hoping to sing Jingle Bells after an away Pool victory. Desertion by the manager, decimation by the loanees leaving here`s hoping that TP doesn`t put his foot on that little yellow thing lying on the floor in front of him
How to get there
55, M6 South to J9. On to the M5 (signposted the South / Birmingham SW) down to J31 and on to the A38 (signposted Plymouth). Keep left then join the A380 (signposted Torquay). Upon entering Torquay at the third set of traffic lights turn left into Hale Road, after passing through two mini roundabouts you will meet traffic lights at which you should go straight ahead into Warbro Road on which you will find the ground. After almost 300miles on the road you`re there.
For the Virgin Lovers Amongst Us – the ground is over 2miles from the station, a Joe Baxi will cost you around a fiver. ‘Torre` station is the closest to the ground, but not all trains stop there. That said if it does and you get off walk up the hill opposite the station and it’s a 10-15 min trek.
There`s not many grounds we`ll visit nowadays that`ll have a capacity lower than ours. 6000 is the limit for Plainmoor. The ground has changed over the years – my last visit there was the infamous weekend in the mid 80`s. Not quite the travelling numbers this time round.
Behind the goal there`s room for 1,100 away fans in the wonderful sounding ‘Sparkworld Away Stand`. There`s seating made available for up to 200 travelling fans in the covered Main Stand. I`ll expect a travelling turnout of between 300-400.
Where to Drink
The English Riveria – plenty of bars by the seafront and in the town, nearer the ground there is a supporters club called the ‘Boots & Laces’ (behind the main stand) which does allow away fans in. Alternatively there is ‘O’Connors’ a 5 minute walk from the home end on Marychurch Road or ‘The George Inn on Babbacombe Road, (10 minute walk away from the ground). Further on at the bottom of Princes Street you will find The Buccaneer. on the left.
Plod & Stewards
I`d hope for a relaxed atmosphere, conflicting reports of typical stewarding in that away fans must behave whilst the home fans are allowed to get away with exactly the same behaviour- Naarrwiich & Sheff Wednesday anyone? The notorious weekend was over 20years ago, let`s hope the OB have still forgiven & forgotten
Fear Factor Rating – 1.
With the cup comes potential glory, money spinning ties and dreams of a visit to one of the big clubs in the later stages, or as we can all recall ala Altrincham, we could end up like Mr Grayson`s Leeds – the victims of an upset and national humiliation.
Crucial game for the mighty, here’s hoping we are sat by the telly wishing we get a big name in the next round, and not sat behind the pc lamenting another cup defeat by a lowly side.
Onwards + Upwards