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Oakwell
Barnsley
Doncaster Rovers
Championship League
Saturday, November 9th, 2013, 3pm
James Sneddon
(Doncaster Rovers fan)

This was a highly contested South Yorkshire derby between two sides in a relegation battle. Doncaster had beaten their other South Yorkshire rivals in the division, Sheffield Wednesday, already and wanted to do the same at Barnsley. I was excited because it was my first time away at Oakwell and my grandad supports Barnsley (hence the family tension!).

The best thing about this away day was how cheap it was. Tickets were only 10 for Under 17's and I could get on a bus to Barnsley using my Travel South Yorkshire pass, paying only 70p for the journey. The bus I caught was the X19, which runs every hour. I caught the 10:45 to the bus station in Barnsley (which incidentally) is joined to the train station as well.
I avoided going into the town centre as I was in my Doncaster shirt and I thought it was best to avoid the home fans due to the occasion. To get to the ground, I left the bus station and walked across the level crossing and turned left going up hill towards the  Metrodome, where I walked past seeing the floodlights of Oakwell beyond.  Also, going by this route brings you out at the away end and it was a straightforward enough.

As I had arrived early, I met some mates and on entering the ground, I watched the players warm up and even got a picture with Doncaster manager Paul Dickov, who happily signed programmes before the game. The stadium is very modern and suited for Championship football, but the interior of the away stand was a bit dull and the old West Stand on one side outdated. The away end was larger  than I'd expected, which helped by allowing me to get a better view of the match.

Before the game, as it was the remembrance weekend, the whole stadium observed a minute's silence. The entire stadium fell silent, which is rare as there's often one idiot who tries to spoil it by making some noise. The game was played in poor conditions, with the teams having to withstand heavy rain in the first half. Rovers conceded a penalty on 25 minutes, but Doncaster keeper, Ross Turnbull dived superbly to deny Chris O'Grady. In the second half, there was more attacking play by both teams, with the away side having the better chances, but neither side could find the back of the net, with the game ending goalless. The Doncaster team applauded the visiting fans as they left the pitch. A 0-0 draw, was probably a fair result for the occasion.

As a preventative measure the Doncaster fans were escorted by the Police back to the train station. I followed the fans and then headed for the nearby at the bus station. I got back on the X19 to Doncaster easily enough and spoke to some Barnsley fans, who also though the draw was the right result.

In my opinion, Barnsley away is a must-do for anyone who supports one of their rival clubs. The atmosphere is buzzing in the away end. Plus the ticket prices were reasonable and it was easy to get to. I thoroughly enjoyed the day out and would recommend it!


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