Fans turned away after Kiddy come out in force

A larger-than-expected away following led to parking problems at Brakes on Saturday. Picture: Morris Troughton
A larger-than-expected away following led to parking problems at Brakes on Saturday. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington chairman Jim Scott says lessons have been learnt from Saturday’s parking problems at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium.

Scott estimated that 10-20 cars were turned away after the car park reached capacity in the 15 minutes leading up to kick-off.

With the training pitch overspill being out of action a larger than expected away following exacerbated the problem and Scott said that size of the crowd had caught them out.

“Kidderminster predicted 2-300 and in reality around 250,” said Scott. “I actually think it was 350 to 400.

“The reality is that it is the first time we have been caught out by the size of a crowd. We were expecting 700 to 750 maximum, definitely not 900.

“If we played Kiddy again we would add an extra bus and put on additional requests to car share but no one envisaged the crowd to be the level it was.”

The club did accommodate more fans after double parking vehicles in the directors’ spots and allowing cars to perch on the edge of the training pitch and Scott praised the stewards for their reactions.

“I apologise to fans caught out in those ten minutes. We did manage to squeeze some fans in in the five minutes before kick-off and we maybe got another 20 in.

“It was the biggest crowd we’ve got into the ground without using the training pitch and the stewards did a good job.”

Scott admitted the location of the ground makes accommodating large travelling support difficult and says that measures to deal with them are regularly discussed.

“We’ve always had contingency plans that work. You only have to look at the Hitchin play-off game where there were over 2,000 in the ground.

“On Saturday we could have used Mr Karting (before the match) and the trust minibus but that wouldn’t have been available post-match and we can’t use the park and ride bus as it can’t stop opposite the karting place.

“Some people say why don’t we charge but there’s only so much we can do. You can’t charge when there is no alternative available. People will either not go or park in the road and that is dangerous.”

Brakes’ next Saturday home league game is against Darlington on January 27.