Saturday 29th December will mean another long trek North for Pompey Supporters, this time to Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 6TX. The Cod Army’s stadium has a capacity of 5,311, only 2,701 of which are seated. Blues fans will mostly be on the Percy Ronson covered terrace at one end of the stadium, with some seats allocated in the Parkside Stand. There is an away fans ticket office and programme booth situated outside the away supporters entrance.
Getting to Highbury Stadium
Fleetwood is on the Fylde coast a few miles north of Blackpool. Leave the M6 at Junction 32 and take the M55 towards Blackpool. Leave the M55 at Junction 3 and take the A585 towards Fleetwood. On the outskirts of Fleetwood you will come to a roundabout with Blackpool and Fylde college on your left. Continue straight on at this roundabout towards Fleetwood, but after the roundabout take the first left into Copse Road. After about a mile, as you pass Fleetwood Fire station on your left, branch left and turn left into Radcliffe Road [going back on yourself but in parallel with Copse Road]. Then take the next right into Stanley Road and the stadium is at the bottom of this road, on your left.
There is no parking for away supporters at the stadium, but there is plenty of on street parking available in the area.
Getting to Fleetwood by train will not be easy. Although there are trains running from Portsmouth to London Waterloo, there are no trains running from Portsmouth to London Victoria on the 29th January.
There is no station in Fleetwood itself, so you will need to travel to either Blackpool North or Poulton-le-Fylde.
Blackpool North station is around seven miles from Fleetwood. Trains run from London Euston either direct to Blackpool North, or via Preston, then onward to Poulton-le-Fylde or Blackpool North. The journey from Portsmouth will take about six hours. However due to the usual Saturday Industrial Action by Northern Rail, trains from Preston to Blackpool or Poulton-le-Fylde are likely to be less frequent than usual, with very few running back to Preston after 17.00. Details can be checked at www.nationalrail.co.uk
From Poulton-le-Fylde, there is a bus stop opposite the station entrance where you can get either a number 80 or 82 bus to Fleetwood. The journey will take fifteen to twenty minutes. Get off the bus outside the Strawberry Gardens pub and the ground is a ten to fifteen minute walk away.
If you travel to Blackpool North station, a taxi to Fleetwood will cost around £20. Bus services number 1 and 14 leave Blackpool town centre every ten minutes and pass near the ground, the journey to Fleetwood will take about thirty minutes.
The trams will be running North up the coast from Blackpool to Fleetwood on the 29th. [Leave the station and head towards the sea] They run every twenty minutes and the journey will take about forty minutes. Get off the tram at Stanley Road in Fleetwood, which is about 200 yards from the ground.
Where to Eat and Drink
The Queens Hotel, Poulton Road, Fleetwood, FY7 8PR is about fifteen minutes walk from the ground. It has Sky Sports and serves food and Thwaites beer. Go up Highbury Avenue then left at the St Nicholas church into Poulton Road. The Queens is about 300 yards along this road on the left.
The Strawberry Gardens, Poulton Road, Fleetwood, FY7 6TF, is a pub and bistro that welcomes away fans. It serves food and has a wide selection of lagers, cider and cask ales. It also has Sky Sports.
In Fleetwood town centre there are plenty of pubs, including a Wetherspoons, the Thomas Drummond, London Street, Fleetwood, FY7 6JE. A former Sunday school, named after Thomas Atkinson Drummond, who built most of the workers’ cottages and the churches in the new town of Fleetwood.
On the sea front is the Mount Hotel, The Esplanade, Fleetwood, FY7 6QE which serves pub grub and cask ales.
Inside the ground you will find the usual selection of pies and hot dogs.
There is Jim's Sports Bar at the ground, which normally admits away fans. The facilities in this bar are excellent, but get there early as it is bound to be very popular on matchdays. It is located at the back of the Memorial Stand and can be accessed from the park pathway that runs along that side of the ground. It is open from 12 noon on Saturdays and 5pm on matchday evenings and shows BT and Sky Sports on a large number of televisions. The Highbury Club which is located adjacent to the away turnstiles does not allow in visiting supporters.
Otherwise it is probably best to take the 10-15 minute stroll into Fleetwood itself (on leaving the stadium entrance go up to the main road and turn left) where there are plenty of pubs to be found. My choice would be the Wetherspoon outlet the Thomas Drummond on London Street (off Lord Street). About the same distance away is the Strawberry Gardens pub on Poulton Road. This is owned by the local Fuzzy Duck brewery and features beers from that brewery as well as guest ales. It also provides food the catering for which is provided by Syd Little (of Little & Large fame) and his wife. On the seafront itself is the Mount Hotel, that benefits from showing live televised sports. These three pubs; the Thomas Drummond, the Mount Hotel and the Strawberry Gardens are all listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Alcohol is also available inside the stadium but only to away fans who have seating tickets in the Parkside Stand. This is in the form of Carling Lager, Worthingtons Bitter and Magners Cider (all £3), as well as White or Rose Wine (£3).