Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
The first Saturday of the new English season and another new ground joins the ranks of the 92, the 29th to do so since Scunthorpe started the trend in 1988. After 139 years the Recreation Ground, Saltergate has bitten the dust and Chesterfield have moved to a purpose built ground 1.5 miles away, the B2Net Stadium.
Normally when a club moves to an out of town ground like this, it is usually in the middle of nowhere but this ground has been built on the site of and old glassworks just off the A61, as part of a re-generation scheme.
Naturally the obligatory supermarket is adjacent to the new stadium, but also on the Sheffield Road is a row of shops, takeaways and pubs, including the Derby Tup which just happens to be in the GBG and just happens to have ten handpulls of real ale!
The ground, as like most new grounds, is pretty bland and uninspiring but they have tried to make it a little bit different by arching the roof of the two stands that run alongside the pitch. The two stands behind each goal are your traditional new build stands. The capacity of the new ground is set at 10,400 but that was not needed today as just over 6,000 were present to witness this historic occasion.
Even with just over 6,000 fans, there were still massive queues outside the ground at 2.45 all trying to purchase tickets to gain entry. I had a hunch it could be a bit of a mither getting tickets in the Chesterfield end (new computer system, phonelines etc) so I contacted the Barnet ticket office, purchased from them and sat with the travelling Hertfordshire hordes in the Printability North Stand.
The game was entertaining enough and Chesterfield led at the interval after a very even first half, Dwayne Mattis, scoring the first ever league goal at the B2Net, giving them a 24th minute lead. The Spirerites extended their lead when Jack Lester curled home a shot on the hour mark. Barnet continued to press on and cut the deficit on 70 minutes when Glenn Poole blasted a shot into the top corner.
On 83 minutes a dreadful lunge on Steve Kabba by Craig Davies resulted in the Chesterfield man receiving a straight red card and the Barnet man leaving the field on a stretcher. The Bees made the numerical advantage count in terms of attacking play but they couldnt force the equaliser, even in the 7 minutes of stoppage time.
Enjoyable day out in the August sunshine and the only blot on the afternoon was the jobsworth prick in the yellow coat who had a go at me for taking pictures of the ground, "no photo's with a camara" he insisted, so unfortunately readers the majority of the pictures of the new ground that go with this note were taken on a mobile phone........
Steve Kabba leaves the field on a stretcher after a tackle by Craig Davies, who was red carded.
chief jobsworth twat (centre) making his notes... 1619 reprimanded some hopper with a camera.