In this week’s edition, SeasideEssexXile has a peak at the home of Tranmere Rovers – Prenton Park.
It`s Friday, it`s 5 o`clock and no it`s not Crackerjack it`s a rush hour trip to our friends on the Mersey.
Now the trannies used to play most of their matches on a Friday trying to boost their crowds from the red and blue halves of those across the Mersey, but as Xmas approaches Liverpool play City on the Saturday and Everton fans will have an early start en route to the Valley the next morning I can`t see many scouse neutrals being tempted to Prenton on what is certain to be a bitterly cold Friday night.
Not that Tranmere playing the mighty isn`t an attractive proposition, with both teams currently playing entertaining football.
Tranmere currently sit in 4th position 6 points ahead of us in 10th. Having won their last 3 league games Friday night will prove to be a yard stick on how far the Pool have come so far, and give us a pointer of where we are aiming to be come May.
Housed behind a goal in a stand named the Cowshed Pool fans will be looking to see us move up the table with another good performance. This stand holds up to 2500 away fans, and offers a decent view of the game. Great for sound we always seem to generate a good noise when we visit PP.
How To Get There
Not the easiest of grounds to find in your car. I have been numerous times over the years, and I swear blind that each time I have ended up using a different route.
Officially it`s the M6 then onto the M56 after Thelwall. Join the M53 leaving at J4. Take the B5151 Mount Rd which is the 4th exit off the roundabout. Travel for 2+1/2 miles before turning right into Prenton Road West. An alternative route is to leave the M53 at J3 and take the A552 Woodchurch Rd towards Birkenhead. Turn right at the lights by the Halfway House pub and then left for the ground. If ever you wanted a sat nav, then Tranny away is the game to justify spending the money on it.
By train, Liverpool Lime Street, then either Birkenhead Central or Rock Ferry, both are a 20min walk from the ground.
Parking around the ground is covered by residents permit, and the local council see match days as easy pickings. Last season we parked on the club car park costing £3-4 and surprisingly getting off there at the end of the match wasn`t half as bad as I had anticipated.
Where To Drink
The Prenton Park Hotel sat right behind the away end and the Mersey Clipper are favourites for away fans. Having drunk in both over the last couple of years I have no personal preference for either, I have also drunk in a pub sat at the top of the hill as you walk down towards the away end. For the love of me I cannot remember it`s name but it was sat right opposite a doctors surgery and I remember that the parking was free and a lot easier to get out of.
Additionally there is also the Sportsmans Arms, all are within easy reach of the ground.
Ale is on sale inside the ground for away fans.
The Plod And Stewards
I can`t recall much trouble when we have visited PP other than a couple of years ago when Pool fans had to be additionally accommodated in the main stand and the locals began fighting with the OldBill. Now scouse plod aren`t the most easy going in the world, and if they`ll do unto their own I dread to think what they will be like doing unto others.
No doubt the stewards will again try to restrict us to 500 seats then realise that they need to move the netting opening up another 100 seats and so on. Certainly not the brightest around.
Fear Factor Rating – 5. Tell your hub caps to be afraid, very afraid.
Both teams are on a decent run of form, and Friday`s game should prove to be an entertaining match by two teams in the top ten. The evening kick off will drastically reduce the traveling numbers but the way we are playing at present we should have nothing to fear. I won`t be too disheartened if we only take a point from a team who after last seasons disappointments have again showed so far that they are a team pushing for promotion.
Onwards and upwards.