Away Days - Carlisle Utd

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- The Game -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Carlisle vs PNE
Competition: NPower League One
Ground: Brunton Park
Date: Saturday 13th April 2013
Kick off: 3pm
Final Result: 1-1 Monakana

First Impressions

With this game falling on my birthday coupled with it being a ground I hadn't visited before, this match was a 'must do'. My original intention was to go up on the train and make the most of the day, sadly that wasn't possible due to engineering work on the line between Preston and Carlisle so I had to make do with the coach.

The coach arrived at the ground relatively early with over an hour until kick off and parked up outside the Cumberland Building Society Stand. Before this my first glimpses of the ground were of the floodlight pylons. Now normally I love the sight of floodlight pylons as sadly they're now a rare feature at football grounds, but sadly these had been butchered some what!

The Cumberland Building Society is a relatively 'new' stand (if you can still call it that!) and its where away fans are located. My first impressions of the stand was that it looked smart and tidy but not particularly impressive.

Around the ground

With plenty of time to kill it was time for my usual stroll around the ground. First stop was the club shop for a matchday programme and a couple of 'souvenirs'. Like the away stand, the club shop was fairly new and was quite well stocked although certainly not as big as the North End club shop. Just outside the club shop is a statue of Carlisle legend Hughie Mcllmoyle - not a bad statue but not a patch on the Sir Tom Finney statue at Deepdale!

After the club shop visit, I still had plenty of time to kill so I walked back to the away stand and sat on the grass bank for a while. This was obviously a new flood defence system as the ground as well as Carlisle in general, suffered horrific floods a few years ago. Looking at the flood defences, I can't see the ground or the surrounding area getting flooded again anytime soon!

I then continued the rest of my walk around the ground and I came to the Petterill End. This wasn't particularly impressive as its an old, open terrace but did have some new turnstiles which had been installed a few years previously. This stand is barely used though and is only ever opened when teams with particularly large away followings turn up. On my visit, they had a mobile big screen supplied by their sponsors Eddie Stobart - I assume they don't have the money to make this a more permanent fixture.

It was then onto the other side of the ground where I came across the Main Stand. This was quite an old stand which over the years has had bits added onto it at either end. Now I can't explain it, but I thought the stand had a certain 'charm' - I think maybe the bits added on added a little bit of character and I suppose it makes a change from the usual bland sheet metal.

After my walk around, I headed back to the away stand and headed into the ground to take my seat. I can honestly say the ground has character - I liked the Main Stand opposite with its 'bits' added on at either side and I particularly like the paddock terracing. The paddock gave me quite fond memories of the Pavilion Paddock at Deepdale!
Then at the far end was the Warwick Road End - a terraced stand. Again I thought this was full of character especially with its roof and it certainly looked like what I would call a 'proper terrace'. The only real let down was the Petterill End - the bit towards the away end just looked messy and untidy and I felt it was just a waste of space. I think tidying that bit up and perhaps adding a roof would improve the look immensely (I'm not a fan of roofless terraces!)

The Game

The game got off to a good and strong start, especially for North End. The opening minutes were pretty even but gradually North End started to take control by having the lions share of possession and creating a few good chances. Eventually we took the lead thanks to a Monakana goal - I have to say I have been a critic of him, but he was having his best game for months and as well as his goal being well deserved, it was certainly well worked too.

Sadly, Carlisle grabbed an equaliser later in the first half and it was fair to say it was completely undeserved. Although North End could and should have cleared our lines better.

The second half was a more tepid affair with neither side looking like they could win it, so from then on it was largely dull. From what chances there were, Carlisle had the better chances and could've even scored. Thankfully Stuckmann was on form.
Other than that, it was a fair result. Solid enough but not a great deal to shout about.

The Stand

Now, I already mentioned how the stand was quite newish looking, tidy but not particularly impressive from the outside. Well inside is rather odd and you could see how they somewhat planned redevelopment quite badly.
Their original intention was to move the pitch over the site of the current Pettrill End so hence the Cumberland Building Society was built was this in mind. However, this is as far as the development got so you now get a situation where part of the stand and a vast majority of the away area is facing the Pettrill End terrace instead of the pitch. Needless to say this didn't make for the best of views even though I was of the more lucky ones sat just a couple of yards away from the corner flag.

Other than that downpoint, the stand was of decent enough standard with decent leg room etc. The catering facilities could do with improving though. With the stand having been built in 1996 you'd expect them to be a tad more modern than they were and the burger I had wasn't particularly special either.


Its a ground that certainly has its positives and negatives like any other ground, but overall I enjoyed my visit and thought it was a decent, proper football ground.

The view from the away end isn't particularly great and its a shame away fans get shoved in that end when plenty of better seats go spare, but other things made up for it and its nowhere near the worst ground I've visted.

They have plans for a new stadium and it would be a shame to see Brunton Park disappear, especially given its very handy location (quick access to the motorway and railway station). If they do end up redeveloping Brunton Park, I hope they stick to the original plan to move the pitch.... so we can get a better view!


Appearance: 7/10
Game: 6/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Fans: 6/10
Away Stand: 7/10

Overall: 7/10