League 'Breather' Leaves Up Top Of The World!

Last updated : 02 September 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor


We don't return to action until Sunday September 13th with a trip to Cardiff. Directions of how to get there are below.

Saturday 12th September 2009  
C.Palace  v  Scunthorpe 15.00 
Coventry  v  Bristol City 15.00 
Derby  v  Sheff Utd 13.00 
Leicester  v  Blackpool 15.00 
Middlesbrough  v  Ipswich 15.00 
Preston NE  v  Swansea City 15.00 
QPR  v  Peterborough 15.00 
Reading  v  Doncaster 15.00 
Sheff Weds  v  Nottm Forest 15.00 
Watford  v  Barnsley 15.00 
West Brom  v  Plymouth 15.00
Sunday 13th September 2009  
Cardiff City  v  Newcastle 14.05



What's The Ground Like?
After 99 years the club have left Ninian Park and moved to a new stadium, which is situated only around a quarter of a mile away (for those that were familiar with Ninian Park, the new stadium is more or less located behind the large open car park, that was situated behind the Main Stand). The stadium which cost £48m to build has a capacity of 26,828. Inside it is a lovely looking stadium and has some great facilities, butlike a number of other new stadiums that have been built over the last ten years, it is functional, but lacking in that ‘wow’ factor.

All four stands are of the same height and the stadium is completely enclosed with all four corners having spectator seating. Three sides of the stadium are identical, all being single tiered, all seater affairs. The roofs above these stands are situated quite high above the seating areas, with a large back wall, part of which contains Perspex panels to provide more light to the playing surface. The Grandstand is a little different, having a second tier of seating that overlaps the back of the lower tier. In this area at the rear of the lower section there is a row of executive boxes. Whilst at the back of the second tier there is visible a glassed frontage to and area used for corporate entertainment. The team dug outs are located at the front of this stand. There is a large video screen in corner of the stadium between the Ninian & Grange Stands (in fact it is above the away fans section). In view of its multi purpose nature the stadium has in each corner a large access tunnel. The stadium is shared with Cardiff Blues Rugby Union team.

For the stadium buffs, then as you come off the A4232 and head towards the stadium then on your left you will pass the new Cardiff International Sports Stadium. This has a capacity of 5,000, with one covered seated stand that holds 2,613 spectators. Although chiefly the home of Welsh Athletics, the stadium is also used for football with Welsh League Two side Cardiff Bay Harlequins playing their home games there.
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are located in one corner of the stadium, between the Ninian & Grange stands. Up to 1,800 fans can be accommodated in this area. As you would expect from a new stadium the view of the playing action and facilities are good. The concourses are spacious, have televisions to keep you entertained and serve usual fayre of food as well as alcohol at £3 per pint.

It remains to be seen whether a warmer welcome awaits the away supporter at the new stadium, compared to Ninian Park. I t is worth bearing mind that the Cardiff fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere. I would recommend that colours are kept covered up around the stadium and city centre.'

Away supporters arriving by coach are directed to their own protected area directly adjacent to the turnstiles behind an eight feet high fence, which should avoid most problems. 
Where To Drink?
There are no bars in the close vicinity to the stadium that I could see. As the stadium is close the old Ninian Park supporters will tend to use the pubs they did previously, most of which can be quite intimidating for away supporters and are not recommended. However there is the Lansdowne Hotel on Beda Road which is a 15 minute walk away from the stadium. Dave Parker a visiting Reading supporter adds; 'My son and I visited the Lansdowne on our last visit to Cardiff. We got there about 1pm when it was fairly quiet and left at 2.40 by which time it was quite busy. We were made very welcome by mine host (who was wearing a Cardiff shirt)  and enjoyed some excellent beer and friendly banter with the home supporters who made up the majority of the custom in both bars. This was our first visit but other Reading supporters we spoke to said that they have always enjoyed a pre match drink there on visits to Cardiff. I would certainly recommend it particularly as it has two of the best looking barmaids I have ever seen!'. You can also visit the Lansdowne Hotel website for more information. Otherwise it is probably best to drink in the city centre and then go on up to the ground.
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the B4267 exit. At the end of the slip road, turn left at the roundabout, signposted 'Cardiff International Athletics Stadium'. The stadium is situated a short distance down this road on the right. Please note that parking in the nearby retail park is limited to 90 minutes as is being enforced. Also be sure also to park your car properly, as I have been informed that traffic wardens are out in force on matchdays.

Wohl a visiting Scunthorpe fans adds; ' If you pass the ground on your right and then turn right at the next lights (about 250m) and proceed up this road for about 300m, you will see HSS Hire (plant hire) on your right. Turn right in front of this and it leads you into a fenced off area adjacent to Turnstile 7 (the away entrance). You can go straight into the ground without leaving this area. It was also well marshalled on our visit.It is not big enough for teams with big support, but I think it would take around 200 cars. Cost was £5.'

How to get there by coach:
To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry/Airport. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the 3rd exit B4267. The 1st exit is the Welsh Museum of Life....2nd exit is Culverhouse Cross. Just before the 3rd turn off you will see the stadium (slightly to your left). Taking the outside lane (of 2) on the slip road, as you approach the lights, you nead to be in lane 3 (of 4). You will be bearing round to the right (keeping the pavement on your left) you are taking the 1st turning off this roundabout into Hadfield Road. Travelling approximately 800 meters down Hadfield Road you will then turn left into Bessemer Road. Travelling down Bessemer Road to the traffic lights at its "T" junction with Sloper Rd you turn left. Approximately 400 meters down Sloper road as you pass the bus depot on your right on your left you will see "HSS Plant Hire". Turn Left Here into the protected compound. Thanks to Malcolm a Cardiff Cabbie for these directions.

By Train
The nearest train station is Ninian Park Halt, which is only a five minute walk from the stadium. This station is on a local line (city line-direction Radyr) which is served by trains from Cardiff Central, which run every thirty minutes on Saturday afternoons. On leaving Ninian Park Halt station proceed along Leckwith Road and you will see the new stadium over on your left. Alternatively if you are away fan turn left into Sloper Rd and then turn right into the protected compound at HSS Plant Hire, which leads to the away turnstiles.

Alternatively as Barry Hodges informs me; 'Grangetown station is around a 15-20 minute walk away from the New Stadium and is served by more frequent trains from Cardiff Central, that continue onto Penarth or Barry Island. On leaving Grangetown station turn left, cross the main road and then turn right into Sloper road'. If you are an away fan then turn left into the protected compound at HSS Plant Hire, which leads to the away turnstiles, or at the end of Sloper Roadturn left into Leckwith Road for the stadium.



SHAMROCK ROVERS 0 NEWCASTLE UTD 3 (S Taylor, Ameobi, Ranger)
Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Callum Morris, Fabricio Coloccini, Tamas Kadar, Wesley Ngo Baheng, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Damien Duff, Kevin Nolan, Nile Ranger
Subs: Jose Enrique, Danny Guthrie, Ryan Taylor, Alan Smith, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Frank Wiafe Danquah, Ole Soderberg, Ben Tozer, Kazenga LuaLua, Tim Krul, Ryan Donaldson

DARLINGTON 2 NEWCASTLE UTD 7 (Duff, Nolan, Gutierrez, S Taylor, Carroll, Ameobi 2)
Krul (Forster, 46); R Taylor, Beye (Coloccini, 46), S Taylor, Kadar (Enrique, 46); LuaLua (Guthrie, 46), Barton (Butt, 46), Nolan (Xisco, 59), Smith (Donaldson, 59), Duff (Gutierrez, 46); Ameobi (Carroll, 46).

Harper, Coloccini, Enrique (Donaldson 80), Barton (Smith 58), Guthrie (Tavernier 80), Gutierrez (Duff HT), Xisco (Ameobi HT), Beye (Kadar HT), Taylor S (Taylor R HT), Lua-Lua (Adjei 73), Carroll (Nolan 58).

Krul (Forster, 46); Beye (Tozer, 80), S Taylor (Lough, 80), Coloccini (Geremi, 46), Enrique (Kadar, 73); Gutierrez, Barton (Xisco, 46), Smith (Guthrie, 60), Duff (LuaLua, 73); Nolan; Martins (Carroll, 46).

Harper, Beye, Bassong, S Taylor, Enrique, R Taylor, Smith, Barton, Gutierrez, Ameobi, Carroll Subs: Coloccini, Nolan, Xisco, LuaLua, Krul, Donaldson

Harper; R Taylor, S Taylor, Kadar, Enrique; Gutierrez, Barton (LuaLua, 75), Smith, Duff (Geremi, 88); Nolan; Carroll.

Harper (Krul 46), Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor,Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Smith, Nolan, Duff,Ameobi (Ranger 90), Carroll (Barton 75).
Subs Not Used: Xisco, Geremi, LuaLua, Kadar.

NEWCASTLE UTD 3 READING 0 (Ameobi 3, 1 pen)
Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Coloccini,Jose Enrique, Nolan, Barton (LuaLua 82), Smith (Geremi 78),Gutierrez, Ameobi (Xisco 77), Carroll.
Subs Not Used: Krul, Kadar, Ranger, Donaldson.

Harper, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini,Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor (Guthrie 89), Nolan, Smith,Gutierrez, Ameobi (Ranger 87), Carroll (Xisco 58).
Subs Not Used: Krul, Geremi, LuaLua, Kadar.

Harper, Simpson, Coloccini, Steven Taylor,Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor (Butt 65), Nolan, Smith,Gutierrez (Geremi 89), Guthrie (Ranger 66), Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Krul, Xisco, LuaLua, Kadar.

NEWCASTLE 4 HUDDERSFIELD 3 (Guthrie, Geremi, Ameobi (pen), Nolan) CARLING CUP
Krul, Simpson, Geremi, Kadar, Jose Enrique, Ryan Taylor, Guthrie, Butt (Ameobi 46), LuaLua (Gutierrez 65), Nolan, Ranger, Ameobi (Vuckic 90).
Subs not used: Harper, Smith, Tozer, Donaldson.

Harper, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Simpson,Jose Enrique, Geremi, Barton (Kadar 89), Nolan,Guthrie (Donaldson 85), Smith, Ranger (Vuckic 85).
Subs Not Used: Krul, LuaLua, Ngo Baheng, Tozer.