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Ewood Park
Blackburn Rovers v
Bolton Wanderers
  Wednesday, November 28th, 2012, 7.45pm
  Championship League
  Michael Peters
(Bolton Wanderers fan)


1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Blackburn are fairly local, which makes the game a small derby, so it promised to be an exciting fixture with a good atmosphere. Ewood Park is a traditional football ground, giving it that special feel to match the occasion.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We got the train to Preston, where we quickly changed onto another train heading for Mill Hill Station. Mill Hill is around 10 minute walk from Ewood, making it very easy to get to by rail. Mill Hill is much closer than the main Blackburn Train Station. The train from Preston to Mill Hill was small, with only two carriages, which made for a tight squeeze due to the number of football fans piling on.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

After getting off the train and walking to the stadium, we had over an hour and a half to spare. We walked 10 minutes past the away end in order to drink at the only designated away pub. This is The Golden Cup. The pub is very small, meaning queues for ale were outside the door. None of the four or so pubs around Ewood accept away fans.

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

The concourse serves good food and drink. However, it is fairly tight when busy, made rather uncomfortable by the Bolton fans having a disco! Ewood Park is a proper English ground with plenty of character. The small Riverside Stand to the right of the away end may be seen as unappealing by some, however I believe it adds to the character of the ground.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Around 3,500 Bolton fans made the trip and made a good amount of noise. A number of home fans are housed in the same stand as the away fans, and they provided a good amount of banter with us. They carried on all game which gave us something to compete with, which led to a cracking atmosphere.

The opposite end to us seemed like the 'main home area' with this being the busiest, and loudest section when they sang. The rendition of 'No Nay Never' at the start of the second half was impressive.

We massively dominated the game, and were 2-0 up with twenty minutes left. Rovers played dreadfully all game but manged to pull a late goal back. Thankfully, we saw the game out and took the 1-2 victory back to The Reebok with us. The game was feisty, full of passion, great entertainment and most importantly gave us three valuable points in a competitive division.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Leaving the Darwen End was rather intimidating as home and away fans spilled out together, this being in the darkness due to the 7:45 kick off. With Bolton fans happy, and the home fans not so, there were a few scuffles. This appeared to only be from a minority of home fans, and the police swiftly resolved the situation. We arrived back at the station 15 minutes after leaving Ewood, where we had a friendly conversation with a group of Blackburn fans who were friendly and welcoming.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Blackburn is a great away trip, easily accessible and on the whole a friendly place. The home fans provided one of the best atmospheres in the league which made this trip more entertaining than the others I have been to this season. My only criticisms would be the away pub due to it's small size, the cramped concourse, and the seats appeared to have little leg room, which wasn't an issue as we didn't sit down all game! I will definitely return next season if we both remain in the Championship.


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