Ground: The Hawthorns
Location: West Bromwich, West Midlands
My first ground of 2014 was on Saturday 4th January at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, West Midlands. The match was West Bromwich Albion vs. Crystal Palace in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round.
The Hawthorns is nestled in the Middlemore industrial estate around 1.5 miles east of the centre of West Bromwich and 4 miles west of the centre of Birmingham. The closest railway station is The Hawthorns which is just 500 yards from the stadium with the more frequently served Smethwick Galton Bridge railway station just over a mile away. The ground has been home to the club since 1900 when they vacated their Stoney Lane home in the centre of the town to move to The Hawthorns.
Much of the ground has been extensively renovated over the last 20 years with three of the four stands being rebuilt in that time. The West Stand is the only one which has not been extensively renovated and it is the smallest in the venue. It has a capacity of 4,725 with a row of executive boxes placed behind the main seating. With the low capacity and somewhat cramped facilities inside the club have plans to replace it with a new 10,000 seat stand though movement on the project is currently on hold.
Result: West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Crystal Palace
Competition: F.A. Cup