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Bloomfield Road
Blackpool v Nottingham Forest
Saturday October 22nd 2011, 3pm
Championship League
By Joseph Burns
(Nottingham Forest fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Blackpool away has always been a game that Iíve wanted to do but had never managed it. So when the fixtures came out in the summer this was the second fixture (after Derby) that I looked for. Iíd heard that itís best to make a weekend of an away day with this one so I booked a B&B and took my wife and nine-year-old-stepson.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
The journey to Blackpool was easy enough, stopping off at a motorway services to find fellow Forest fans there, which always gives me a buzz. We parked up in a car park right next to the ground which was massive so for people going to the game and leaving straight afterwards thereís no better place, it was a longer walk to our accommodation than to the ground. Bloomfield Road is very central and whilst we stumbled upon it rather than know where we were going Iíd say it wouldnít be too difficult for people to find.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We checked into our B&B (the Danescourt) and headed out about 1pm to find somewhere to eat/have a drink. The centre of Blackpool is about a 10 minute walk from the ground with loads of cafes/chippies/pubs that welcome away fans. We stopped in a place called the Foxhall cafe for something to eat Ė one of many places serving fish and chips, hot dogs, toasties etc. Closer to the ground thereís a Wetherspoons that allowed away fans in but it was very busy. Most other pubs in the vicinity were home fans only apart from the Old Bridge House on Lytham Road - a couple of minutes from the ground. This place was away fans only and had a nice friendly relaxed atmosphere. They had the football on the big screens and was child friendly.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
Three sides of the ground have been completely rebuilt in the last few years and from the outside looks really impressive. The away end is the one part that still needs to be rebuilt. Currently a temporary stand (albeit a good one), we were housed on one side of it, with the remainder being on this occassion unused (apparently it is used for Blackpool fans when necessary). Once inside you find an intimate venue which looks great (this might be different though if you were in another part of the ground and looking on at the temporary stand that we were sitting in!)

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Seeing your team win away from home with ten men is always a pleasurable experience so I loved the game. Forest fans were there en masse and we made a lot of noise, whilst the Blackpool fans made hardly any. Stewards were friendly and allowed the Forest fans to stand throughout the game. This allowed us to create a great atmosphere but obviously created a problem for shorter people, my stepson had to stand on his seat for 90 minutes although he didnít seem to mind. When we scored the whole stand shook! Being a temporary structure facilities for away fans were limited. Portakabin toilets and a couple of kiosks selling pies and drinks is the all thatís there. No alcohol is on sale.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Having only one exit we did have to wait a while to get out although after a win all Forest fans were in great spirits and didnít seem to mind. Blackpool is full of places to go at night for adults but for people with kids thereís the Manchester family bar and a huge family pub on the central pier.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Brilliant, canít wait to go back. Blackpoolís a great town to visit. Make a weekend of it.

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