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Recreation Ground
  Aldershot Town v  Rochdale
League Two
, January 19th 2010, 7.45pm
Steve Hartley
(Rochdale fan)

The trip down was a pretty long one due to the roadworks on the M6 and other hold ups on a few of the  the 10 motorways we went on. Yes ten! I couldnít believe it until I counted. We set off at 2pm and got parked up on a street next to the ground at 7pm then headed for the nearest pub near to the away end to sample the local beer. As soon as we got in the pub you could tell the locals were friendly and very easy to talk to even though we were only in there for 30 mins or so which was nice to see.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Having had a good look at the ground last year in the light of day I felt the stadium is a cross between professional and non league  which in the night time winter gloom seems to reinforce my first thoughts. The ground itself is a compact 3 sided stadium which if you didnít put the away fans next to the home fans would not create much atmosphere but in doing what they have and having a drummer does create a very good atmosphere with relatively small numbers of away fans (213 as for us tonight). The one thing that lets the away end down is the walk through the park with very little lighting, this caused a few problems with a couple of ladies tripping especially on the steps.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets:

For the first 45 mins we played very well again and had much of the play but only creating a few chances to score which we didnít manage to do, Aldershot changed their format in the second and started to close our forwards down more thus creating space and chances for themselves. The game really took hold when Chris Dagnall turned just inside the box on 75 mins and chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper to send the 213 hardy fans into raptures, before this the home side had come close to scoring but for our on loan keeper Tom Heaton to produce a superb low left have save.

The game  was end to end and on 86 mins Chris dagnall was through one on one with the keeper only for his last touch to be too strong and the keeper did well to collect, the resulting play went straight to the other end and a cross was well brought down morgan for soares to rifle a shot under the Dale keeper from six yards  To be fair the game was played in very good spirits by both sides and a draw was a fair result with the referee having a good game.

As soon as the goal went in from Aldershot, coins were thrown from the home section at us, which resulted in two older gents sustaining minor injuries to the head. Police went into the home end to apprehend some of  the culprits (and I have heard since that two people were subsequently banned from the club). It was a sad end to a pretty good day again at Aldershot 99% superb fans and great to talk to a few of them ruining their fine club.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was very easy and we were soon on our way up the various motorways back to Daleyland.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I will not let the 1% spoil what was a very enjoyable long day/night game, up until then it was a pleasure to go to Aldershot. The atmosphere near to the home fans is superb.

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