To date, the time we spent with Bristol City has been short and – to be completely honest – not sweet at all. The 2013-4 League One campaign is as close as we got to the Robins. And, from our point of view, it was close enough. In our two meetings that term, our defence was breached on a dismal seven occasions. Ouch! But that’s not the worst bit. The 3-1 defeat at the Lamex in April 2014 was the result that officially ended our fading League One survival hopes – sealing our first relegation since 1988.
It was almost like Bristol City had passed a baton onto us. We finished that League One campaign rock bottom of the table as you all no doubt remember, even if you’d rather not. The previous season, however, it was the Robins that suffered that fate – albeit in the Championship; the ensuing relegation flushing ’em down into what was our manor at the time. And that is not all. After being the club to relegate us, Bristol’s premier side were back in touch in summer 2014 to secure the services of Luke Freeman.
We did get a six-figure sum for that, so swings and roundabouts eh?
In climbing out of League One as champions in 2015, the Robins righted a wrong; getting back into the second tier of English football. It’s not their pinnacle, mind you. Bristol City did, in fact, rub shoulders with the Crème du Menthe on two occasions. First, back before the Titanic sank; the second, during the late 1970s. The club’s fortunes nose-dived after dropping out of the top flight, with three straight relegations taking them from Division One to Division Four and mounting financial problems to boot.
In happier times, Bristol City have been the second best team in the land (1907) and reached the FA Cup final (1909). More recent is the club’s status as the most successful team in the history of the Football League Trophy. The Robins’ 2015 success is the most notable, coinciding with a League One title. Do we count the Welsh Cup as an honour? If so, 1934. If not, it’s as you were. And it’s also where we end. That’s us and Bristol City in a nutshell. Maybe we’ll meet again some day. But it’ll be at least a season or two…
How to get to Bristol City – Travel Information – Distance: 141 miles
If taking the car to the West Country, the journey will take you a shade over two-and-a-half hours. It’s a fairly simple affair to begin with after leaving Stevenage; the A1(M) southbound, M25 anti-clockwise and M4 westbound will get you on your way.
Once you reach the Bristol area, you’ll need to do something that might – at first glance – seem counter-intuitive. Disregard the temptation to go through central Bristol and instead head on past the M32 junction for the M5, and travel southbound as if travelling towards Devon.
Exit the M5 at Junction 18 for A4/Avonmouth/Bristol (W)/Airport and continue following these cues until you reach a roundabout where the second exit will be for Portway/A4. Take this exit and use this route as your way into Bristol for approximately 5.5 miles.
Continue onto Cabot Way and follow the road around to the right, which will take you onto Brunel Way/A3029. Follow the A3029 for two-thirds of a mile until you reach a junction for Marsh Lane on the left. You’ll be taken onto Ashton Road, where the ground can be found.
There are some stringent parking restrictions in place in the immediate area surrounding Ashton Gate, but you’ll more than likely find yourself looking for street parking so beware. Otherwise, you might find local businesses offering parking on their premises for a fee.
Station: PARSON STREET
Services to: BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS (for LONDON PADDINGTON)
Parson Street is the nearest station but is usually served by irregular services from Bristol Temple Meads.
From Parson Street, exit the station by turning left following the road around to the right onto West Street. Turn left onto Palmyra Rd and then remain more or less on your current heading into Luckwell Road. This will soon become Duckmoor Road and will take you up to the stadium. It might pay to cut through via Raynes Road as you near the ground.
Bristol Temple Meads is on the other side of the city from Ashton Gate and will be a lengthy walk if you decide to take it on. It will take you through the centre of Bristol, if looking for some pit-stops along the way, but will clock in around 40-45 minutes unbroken. Our recommendation, therefore, is to think about public transport.
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