After picking up points at both Nuneaton and Curzon Ashton before losing narrowly at Chorley, the Bulls next away game sees Peter Beadle’s side travelling to Brackley on Saturday, 8th September.
The Talking Bull Ground Guide Guru Simon Wright has compiled this Away Guide which contains information useful to supporters who will be making the relatively short trip.
Brackley Town FC: Saturday, 8th September.
Brackley is a likeable small town. Think St Neots, without the rain hopefully. Small, well-to-do and rapidly growing. Essentially there is just a single main street which is a sweeping wide boulevard when not under siege from roadworks. Current population is 13,000 though there are plans to double that in the next decade. In case you’ve wondering, Brackley is in South Northamptonshire, very close to the Oxfordshire border and easy to reach from the M40. Just ten miles from Banbury home of the Banbury Bull. Said BB offered to do a sponsored walk from home to ground but subsequently went quiet on the idea.
Brackley’s ground feels more Step 4 than Step 2. Slightly bigger than Step 4 of course with room for over 3,000 on the 3 sides which are open. There are two seated areas- the main stand along the touchline has numerous pillars in the way. The fourth side has a path but no spectator facilities. And it’s cheap. Adults £12 to stand or sit down, concessions, which start at 60, are £6 – and that’s the lowest price for seniors in the Division. Oldies pay just £87 for a season ticket. Meanwhile, under 18’s will pay just £3 with Under 10’s being free. When I visited in May for the Play-Off Semi-Final, there was no formal segregation. Traditionally, the partially covered end near the solitary block of turnstiles is where away supporters congregate. The home choir gathers on open terrace to the right of the opposite goal. Our Disabulls won’t have any access problems here.
The Clubhouse is large with big TV screens though dark with tables inside and out. I don’t recall any real ale on sale.
The ground is at the far end of Churchill Way, an upmarket housing estate (who probably aren’t keen about their neighbours), about ten or fifteen minutes’ walk from the High Street. It’s a pleasant stroll too, compared to say the industrial units which squat next to Chester and Nuneaton’s grounds. The High Street car park is metered so best bet is to use the small club car park (£2 or free to blue badge holders). As an alternative, park along Churchill Way in front of the ground (or the side roads) and walk from there. This is a typical one way in, one way out stadium but the traffic does clear quite quickly.
Brackley FC are the holders of the FA Trophy after beating Bromley at Wembley in May. During my previous visit, I got into conversation with a lady behind me. “Are you excited about Wembley?” I asked politely. “Oh yes, we all are” was the reply. “We’ve sold 2,000 tickets…” I think I managed to be polite and not titter.
No Wetherspoons in Brackley so go on be a devil and try somewhere new. The nearest hostelry is the Locomotion Inn in Bridge Street, only five minutes’ walk. You will see it on the way in. Lots of positive reviews from football supporters and they serve a local beer, Silverstone Bitter. but it’s a small one room local so may be swamped.
In Brackley High Street, a further five minutes stroll, the Greyhound Inn is rated 5th best out of 36 for its food. The Inn boasts Greene King IPA and Abbot as house beers plus guests. This is a big 16th century pub with lots of dark furniture and an outdoor area. Been there, tried the food, most impressed. Given that no-one ever visits places I recommend, I will confirm I’m going there again.
Also in the High Street, the Old Fire Station Café is the No. 1 place for lovers of coffee and cake or bacon sandwiches. Veggies and vegans will have a choice of dishes. Gotta love independents..
By Road: NN13 7EJ (190 miles return) Easy! M40 J10 then dual carriageway A43 towards Northampton for 9 miles. At large roundabout on approach to town, take the 2nd exit signposted Brackley (South). After 100 metres, 2nd at roundabout and head into Brackley. Churchill Way is the next turning on the right. Ground at end.
By Train: Only for determined Shire folk. 3 hours to Banbury then a 30 -minute bus ride. You really don’t want to bother. Much less stressful for our Southern-based supporters.
By Reg: Leaves Radford at 10.00am. Adults £15, Under 16s a tenner. Book via Hereford Awaydays Facebook page