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Cans & Megabus Away Guide: Everything Sunderland fans need to know as they head to Accrington

Ah sh*t, here we go again... Are you going to Accrington tonight? Here’s everything you need to know - how to get there, what the ground is like and, most importantly, WHERE TO GRAB A PINTTTTT!

Danny Roberts

Who Are These Jobbers?


There was a time when Accrington was seen as a place of wonder.

It was the encapsulation of why being in the third tier of association football was actually good. It was cute and kitsch, a homely town with warm ale and pubs with open fires. The football team punched above its weight and its supporters were genuinely excited to see little old Stanley play one of the division’s bigger teams.

Those from Wearside would be inexplicably optimistic about standing in a ramshackled stadium, swilling pints of lager for less than £2 and, ultimately, seeing Sunderland dispatch a weaker foe and leave triumphant.

Then it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained, and rained.

Just to make things a little sweeter, Stanley chairman Andy Holt decided that the right course of action was to charge visiting supporters to see the same game again on a Tuesday night - they’re not Chelsea, you know!

Naturally, a deluge of rain is planned for the evening’s encounter, at which point I expect Stanley’s brand new pitch to dissolve into a pool of sludge and the game - keenly poised at 1-1, no doubt - to be abandoned. It will then, naturally again, be rescheduled for the week before our other trip to Accrington in mid-September.

Supporters will once again be charged for the privilege meaning in the past 12 months, we’ll have paid for four Accrington vs Sunderland clashes but only two had been completed.

They’re not Chelsea you know!

Oh yeah - Accrington beat Marseille in pre-season. That’s funny I guess.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

What’s The Ground Like?

Among the numerous improvements Accrington have made to the Crown Ground during the summer - including that functioning pitch, which Andy Holt was keen to show off - you’ll be pleased to know it didn’t include a roof on the away stand. One can only picture another scene of being caught in a tropical monsoon localised entirely in Accrington.

For those that choose to bottle out being of soaked to the core on the Coppice Terrace again, there is a section/all of the Eric Whalley Stand which does have a roof. The bonus for all visiting is that the beer in the “concourses” is ludicrously cheap for a football ground.

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

How Do I Get There?

Surely you must know this route like the back of your hand now? Well, for those of you making your first jaunt to the Crown Ground let me guide your hand.

If you’re driving take the A1(M) to Scotch Corner before joining the A66 heading west. Once you reach Brough take the A685 across and then onto the M6 at Teabay heading towards Preston. Exit at junction 9 for the M65 following the signs for Accrington, leave at junction 7 onto Blackburn Road take your first right onto Whalley Road and the ground is on your left.

There is limited parking at the ground so take it upon yourself to find some sweet street parking.

Should you choose to completely ignore these directions put BB5 5BX into your sat nav.

For the big dawgs on the train, Accrington railway station is served by routes from both Leeds and Manchester. The station is in the centre of the town and around a 20-minute walk from the ground - don’t worry, it’s well signposted.

Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?

One of the saving graces of catching pneumonia in Accrington is that the outlay of alcohol will not hit the wallet as hard it may in other cities. It is a town after my own heart, where you can comfortably get three pints, a couple of bags of crisps and game of pool while still having change from a £10 note.

For those of you arriving at the ground, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Accrington’s Redz Bar fanzone which features live music, scran and a wide selection of beer, cider and all that good stuff for just £2. Directly opposite the ground is The Crown on Whalley Road which welcomes both home and away fans.

Should you wish to explore this Lancashire hamlet a little more and you’ll find a wide array of hostelries. Among them is the charming Grants Bar on Manchester Road which does a selection of ale, craft beer and pizza.

You can fill all your Wetherspoons’ needs at The Commercial Hotel on Blackburn Road while heading towards the ground you can stop off at The Castle at the bottom of Whalley Road for a swift half.

Photo credit: Accrington Stanley

I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?


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