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Ewood Park
Blackburn Rovers v Blackpool
Friday March 29th 2013, 3pm
Championship League
  Michelle-Louise Burrows
(Blackpool fan)

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

Lancashire Derby mainly but with both us and Rovers surprisingly struggling to stay in the Championship - us after a season of monumental upheaval - this was a big one.  Also, I for one, was looking forward to giving Michael "Voldemort" Appleton some stick after he defected from us to Rovers, only for Rovers to sack him a few days before the game.  Spoilsports.

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

I decided against taking the car and went by train instead.  Poulton le Fylde to Preston was fairly straightforward but Preston to Blackburn was not.  First of all, the loutish behaviour of some of our fans was off putting and the train journey to Blackburn was an insight into how sardines must feel.  Memo to self:  Take the car next time.

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

Had a drink in the Mill Hill and Haverstock pubs, about a mile from Ewood, with friends before making my way to the Darwen End. Rovers and Seasiders happily mingling on the way to the ground. I find Rovers fans very friendly and always willing to chat about football.

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

Ewood Park, it has to be said, is too big for a town the size of Blackburn. Rovers, like the rest of the Lancashire clubs, do not have a big catchment area of support to draw upon. However, the facilities, policing - at Ewood itself - and stewarding were excellent. 

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

Rovers were totally dire and we weren't much better either. Which was one of the reasons both of us were at the bottom end of the Championship. The game's main highlight was when one of our fans, dressed as a chicken to take the urine out of the Rovers support, was unfairly ejected from the ground. Big Gary Mackenzie gave us the lead midway through the second half before Jordan Rhodes, despite being so offside he was in Yorkshire, equalised for Rovers. Most of the atmosphere came from us Seasiders as usual as I thought the atmosphere from the Jack Walker, Blackburn End and Riverside Stand was funeral-like, to put it mildly.  Fair result in the end.

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

Walked back to Blackburn station only to be met by a heavy handed Police who thought Blackpool fans were intent on trouble. Given that we have a lot of females and children amongst our support, I was angry that they were put in such a situation. Felt very uncomfortable with this and it so nearly kicked off when one of our fans was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Glad to get home in the end.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Despite the result, both of us survived comfortably in the end. But what should have been a good day out, as it usually is when I go away with Blackpool whatever the result, was spoilt by Lancashire Police's Riot Squad- like tactics at Blackburn station and the behaviour of some of our fans which only exacerbated the situation.  Next time, I WILL take the car.

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