The Hive, home of Barnet, has a capacity of just under 6,500. It is a reasonably new ground, having only been opened in 2013, and is still in very nice condition. The majority of the ground is seated – 5,318 to be exact – while there is a standing section behind the goal at the home end (the South Terrace.) Pompey fans were allocated the North Stand, which has a capacity of about 2,000, while they were also given some of the West Stand so that they had a total allocation of 2,500.
Barnet’s home average attendance is about 2,100 and the total attendance for the match was 4,571 (2,430 of which were away fans.) It is never impressive for a home team’s fans to be outnumbered and it is now the second season in a row that the Blues have outnumbered Barnet on their own patch, which doesn’t reflect well at all on the Bees’ supporters. However, support doesn’t win you games, as was shown by the result on the day of 1-1.
The Main Stand was pretty much full and looked very impressive for League Two. However, the East Stand was less impressive as there were very few seats and much of the stand was taken up by executive boxes. The only other interesting aspect of the stands was that all of them were very low, which was surprising considering how modern the stands were, resulting in several balls being lost out the ground over the course of the match. The ticket machines on entering the ground were one of the most developed I have seen, and are better than many teams from at Championship level.
The seats were fairly comfortable but the rows were a little too close together for my liking and it was difficult for people to move around, especially elderly people. However, the facilities were of a very good quality for League Two and the toilets and catering reflected how modern the ground is. The pitch was fairly poor and probably contributed to the scrappy game as it stopped either side from being able to pass the ball on the floor. Most pitches are worn out this year but Barnet’s pitch was very bobbly and ruined the game as a spectacle.
As far as transport was concerned, it was perfect as Canons Park tube station was just a couple of minutes walk from the Hive. For supporters coming from the South Coast, all that is needed is to take the Victoria Line from London Victoria to Green Park, then the Jubilee Line to Canons Park. Meanwhile, those coming from Portsmouth were able to take the Jubilee Line directly from London Waterloo to Canons Park. As far as service by public transport is concerned, the Hive is one of the most convenient in entire country.
One thing that away fans should be wary of is that they actually turn up to the right place. Many Pompey fans, as well as the team coach, ended up going to Barnet’s old ground which caused some complications for some supporters. However, once you actually get to the ground, you will be very well looked after and will hopefully enjoy a good game. The atmosphere at Barnet is never likely to be anything to write home about and, to be honest, neither is the football, but he ground itself is very nice and I would enjoy visiting again.