“Doing the 92” is a common feat partaken by English football fans. Websites such as Football Ground Guide are designed to assist supporters who wish to make the trip to all 92 English football league clubs. In this new series I will be reviewing football stadiums that I have visited this season, mainly whilst watching my beloved Colchester United.
First in the series is Barnet FC, who play their football at The Hive Stadium. Formed in 1888, Barnet are currently enjoying their third season back in the football league, after a two year spell in the conference. They moved to The Hive in 2013 from their old home of Underhill Stadium. The Hive boasts a fairly modest capacity of 6,400, thanks to recent developments that have taken place, although oddly, a condition of the original planning permission states that no more than 5,176 fans are allowed to attend the ground.
Game I saw:
Barnet 0-1 Colchester United (Szmodics 83′) – Fortunately, the U’s managed to escape with a win thanks a late Sammie Szmodics screamer.
6/10. This score is solely for the away support of Colchester United, who brought 600 fans to the game. Strangely, the away stand is the second largest stand, and is situated behind one of the goals. The opposite stand is a much smaller stand, meaning that you don’t really get that typical end to end banter between fans. The Colchester fans were in full voice all game (as we always are!!!) but didn’t really have anything to bounce off of from the home fans, who were quiet all game.
10/10. I was massively impressed with the away facilities at the ground. They have a very modern bar behind the away stand, complete with a large screen which was showing Sky Sports News. It provided a nice area to converse with other fans before the game and at half time. With regards to toilets, they were clean and in good condition.
5/10. The food was fairly standard and was pretty much what was expected of a League 2 club. However, I was unable to purchase my usual favourite of a sausage roll, so I had to settle for a hot dog, which was satisfactory. It cost me £4. It is also worth noting that they didn’t seem to have any pies on offer. Something that I’m sure must have cause a fair amount of disappointment to travelling fans.
7/10. It was a rather simple 10 minute walk from the Canons Park tube station to the ground. We had to walk past a football pitch where an amateur game was taking place, which is not something I have done before on my commute to a ground. Funnily enough, if you get bored during the game you can watch the Jubilee line trains come past through the corners of the stadium.
3/10. Unfortunately, an adult away ticket will set you back £23, which a price that I think is way too high for League 2. I paid for an under 21 ticket which cost me £14. Under 17’s only need to pay £5. Inside the ground, the pricing is fairly standard.
7/10. I definitely enjoyed my day at The Hive, thanks somewhat to the late Colchester United winner. The ground has a good reputation around the league, and I think it managed to fulfil that. The stewards and club staff were all very friendly and helpful, which is always nice. The club have plans to construct a new South Stand, which is the end behind the other goal. This will increase the atmosphere coming from the home side, which is something I can look forward to should I choose to return.