The Lonely Season - Burton 1-0 City

Last updated : 18 November 2018 By LK

The list of things I know about Burton is short, and doesn't include where it is. This town of fermenting individuals are obsessed with beer, their team plays in yellow, and they've been on a wild crusade up through the divisions. Similar to Chesterfield and Port Vale, it's one of those teams and places that for all I know only comes into existence for the 90 minutes Coventry City play them every few seasons. Annexed from any credible conurbation by a good distance, ask any semi clued up Brit to pin them down on a map and I bet the majority would be struggling.


We rolled into this forgotten footmark of the midlands via the comparatively notable Tamworth – and made our way to the ground in a haze of early winter sunshine. To add to the Truman Show-like surrealness of supposed-real-place Burton, a single direct road leads you from the platform edge to the Pirelli Stadium, carefully shaperoning you along the only possible route. Perhaps if we'd turned down the wrong street we would have seen the scaffolding behind the set, a couple of camera crew smoking fags and looking sheepish and a rolling wasteland of nothingness. 


Putting aside my scepticism of whether it really exists for a moment, now is also the time to mention that I love going to Burton away. My only previous visit was a scarcely comprehensible away win in front of the Sky cameras, with a Marcus Tudgay (!) header securing our come back against the eventual champions. How Adam Armstrong ever got back into the team I do not know. I basically skipped home, floating on a cloud of disbelief, a world of beautiful possibility crystallisng around me. We all know how that ended.


Fast forward a few years and here I was again, squeezing myself into their heaving away terrace, elbows bashing into elbows, knees nudging arses, heads bashing shoulders, a whole fanbase cheek to jowel, smelling, breathing and inhabiting the same semi-disgusting quarters for 90 minutes in the only way football should ever be watched. Never has a single fart been bequeathed with more power than in a packed football terrace. Use it wisely.