Away-Day Guide: Exeter City

St James Park - the home of Exeter City
St James Park - the home of Exeter City
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EXETER CITY v POMPEY, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, tonight, 7,45pm.

STADIUM: Pompey visit St James Park, Exeter, EX4 6PX, this evening for the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

St James Park has a capacity of 8,830 with only 3,800 seats.

Pompey supporters will mostly be housed in the St James Road terrace behind one goal, with some seats in the grandstand.

The terrace is uncovered, so, if it rains, Blues fans will get wet.

In the past, entry to the terrace has been notoriously slow with only two turnstiles in use.

And although there is now a separate away entrance in St James Road, which has improved the situation, getting there in good time is still advisable.

Any Pompey supporters requiring an upgrade to a hospitality package, which includes a two-course meal, programme, team sheet and half-time teas and coffees, should contact the Exeter City main reception on (01392) 411243.

In addition, for those planning to arrive early at our fellow supporter-owned club, there may be a free Exeter Supporters’ Trust stadium tour starting at 5pm.

Spaces must be booked in advance on the same number.

DIRECTIONS: The late Ken Malley, who regularly made the journey up from Devon for Pompey games, always recommended using the A31/A35 route via Ringwood, Dorchester and Bridport joining the A30 at Honiton.

Follow the A30 towards Exeter, passing under the M5 Junction 29 Bridge.

Then follow the road onto the B3183 Heavitree Road for two miles, going past Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Take the fourth exit at the large roundabout onto Western Way and at the next roundabout take the second exit onto Old Tiverton Road.

St James Park and Stadium Way are located on the left.

PARKING: There is no car park at the ground with fans very limited on street parking.

Watch out for local residents only parking schemes.

The club recommends using local car parks.

NEAREST TRAIN STATION: The journey from Fratton to Exeter St David’s takes about three hours.

The 2.30pm from Fratton arrives at 5.33pm and the 3.31pm at 6.43pm – both involve a change at Westbury.

There are two trains an hour from Exeter St David’s on the Exmouth line, which stop at St James Park Station, a few minutes walk from the ground.

First Great Western is subject to strike action at the moment, so it is best to check the trains are running, which you can do online at www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

The main problem is there are no trains back to Portsmouth after the match.

The first train on Wednesday morning leaves Exeter St David’s at 5.10am and involves a change at Salisbury, Romsey and Eastleigh, arriving back at Fratton at 9.09am.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK: Those of you who have been to Exeter before will remember using the Wells Tavern near the ground, unfortunately this pub has now closed down.

Away supporters are welcome at the Centre Spot social club at the ground which has the Exeter City Real Ale and Cider Emporium.

Outside of the main entrance to Exeter Central Station (the stop before St David’s), you will find cafes to your immediate right and left and facing you is The Angel, 32 Queen Street, EX4 3SR.

But a shorter route to the ground means leaving the station by the opposite exit, which brings you out on New North Road.

If you turn right you find the Oddfellows (EX4 4EP), gastro and cocktail bar.

Or pass that and at the traffic lights turn left into Longbrook Street for the Black Horse (EX4 6AB), opposite the King William Street multi-storey car park, EX4 6PD, which usually closes at 9pm but according to online information stays open until 11pm on match nights – best to check before leaving your car there for the evening!

Behind the Black Horse is the Howell Road car park, EX4 4LZ, which is advertised as a 24-hour car park.

If, however, you stay on the train for one more stop and get off at St David’s Station, you will have a slightly longer walk of just over a mile.

Opposite the station is the friendly Great Western Hotel (EX4 4NU) - twice Exeter and District CAMRA pub of the year.

Take St David’s Hill, opposite the Great Western, then first left to reach Wetherspoons pub, the Imperial, New North Road, EX4 4AH but if driving, keep in mind that parking here is charged and then redeemable inside from your bill.

In the town centre, the Walkabout Inn, 99-101 Fore St, EX4 3HY, is popular with away fans.