Away travel: Barnet (JPT)

1 Oct

I was happy with this draw. Alright, it’s only the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Sturrock’s cup record is atrocious and few can be bothered with away trips at this stage, but there are very few more “eligible” places I would have liked to have gone when the draw was made.
Underhill holds a few happy memories for Southend fans, even when we’ve lost in recent times, the defeats have been memorable for one reason or another – who can forget Martin Carruthers’ “congratulations” to Greg Heald when he put through his own net in 1999, resulting in the pair of them getting sent off? Or Mark Prudhoe’s howler in the same game to condemn us to defeat?
Happier memories include our last first-team visit in 2005. Another cup-tie, this time the FA Cup first round, when Eastwood scored inside two minutes and 2,000 Southend fans almost outnumbered the home fans.
The layout of the ground has changed since then. The old temporary stand behind one goal has gone to be replaced by a permanent, covered stand, but this is now home to Barnet supporters. That is good news, as Southend fans now have a section of terracing at the side of the pitch, towards the opposite end of the ground. It holds around 1,000 which will be plenty for a midweek JPT game.
Barnet have also made a welcome adjustment to their admission prices, meaning you can watch the game for £8, or £3 if you are under 18 or over 61.
Getting there is fairly easy too, head round the M25 to junction 23, drive three miles south on the A1081 and you’re there.
By tube, High Barnet is the nearest station and is the final, northern-most stop on the Northern Line.
TravelZone and the Shrimpers Trust will both be running coaches to the match, leaving Southend at about 4pm.
Once there, you will no doubt want to wet your whistle in one of the local hostelries, and there are plenty available. The Old Red Lion, just north of the ground, is popular, and if you get off at New Barnet overground, there is a Wetherspoons over the road. Up the other end, in Barnet high street, there are a few other options.


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