Aston Villa v Chelsea
Saturday, February 21st 2009, 12.45pm
By Darren Pearson
I went to Villa Park today for the first time and was very impressed. Took Chelsea’s supporters club coach to the ground and the coach parking area was opposite the away end (Doug Ellis Stand) We followed the sea of blue shirts down the road and to the right where we found the Cap and Gown pub, which has two bars; a “Home” bar and an “Away” bar for us. It cost £2 to get in but worth it as its so close to ground. On the whole I was impressed with the appearance of the stadium, red brick which is different! Once the corners are filled it will add the finishing touch.
Inside the ground the atmosphere was electric and from what I could see no trouble between both sets of supporters, even in the corner of the North stand where the home fans were very close, there wasn’t even the usual line of stewards separating! It also makes a change not to be stuck in a corner behind one of the goals, Villa changed the away end and its now pitch side. The 3000 traveling blues fans did well to out sing the Villa! The concourse of the lower tier was big enough but sadly no beer for us ;-Although the chips and curry sauce at half time was very nice! The stewards were remarkably easy going and aired on the side of common sense when dealing with us which is rare and nice.
After the game we had the two min walk back to coach and both sets of supporters were mingling in the street and the coach managed to pull out fairly quickly and we were back on the M6.
Thoroughly enjoyed the day in the midlands and will be looking to go for next year’s fixture. The three points added to the enjoyment as well!
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