Reebok Stadium - Bolton Wanderers FC
Saturday 31st March 2007
V Sheffield United, Premier League, 3pm
By Richard Belk
I was very exited about my first visit to the Reebok stadium, it was the only away ground I had been to before bar the Madejski stadium, so by my standards it didn’t have a lot to look up to. I went on the away coach so finding the ground was obviously not a problem for me, although from what it looked, for people who were going in cars, finding an empty parking space may have been more of a challenge.
Before entering the stadium we took a walk around the impressive ground. We were mixing with the home supporters a lot and it was as though we all supported the same team, I didn’t feel intimidated in the slightest, and everyone appeared to be friendly and just looking forward to an afternoon’s football. As we walked round the ground we spotted a KFC, so finding somewhere to eat was not a problem, and we also took a look in the Bolton wonderers shop, again, not experiencing any intimidation at all.
When we got into the ground, the first thing I could say was “wow”. We were greeted by a steward, who asked nicely if we were ok, and we walked up to the very top of the away stand where we were seated, though the stairs were very steep and would be quite scary up at the top for someone not too fond of heights. The view was amazing, we had a brilliant view of the both the ground and the pitch (not so much the big screen which was below us), and even though I had high hopes, it was just a million times better than what I expected it to be.
The game itself was very exiting and enjoyable, this, I think was mostly because our fans completely out-sung the home supporters, and the away crowd were singing as though we were on the Kop at our very own Bramall lane. The fireworks at the start of the match were also quite a nice addition to proceedings. We went on, after a great first half to lose 1-0, although if it wasn’t for the excellence of Paddy Kenny making great save after great save, it could have been a whole lot wore than it was.
There was minor trouble getting away from the ground in the coach, though we would have got off a whole lot faster if a TV crew hadn’t parked their van in front of out coach. Other than that getting away was rather easy and there were no obvious signs of major traffic build up.
All in all, it was a great experience and a fantastic day out; the ground was amazing, the stewards and home supporters were very warming and friendly, and I would very gladly visit the stadium again, but just hope for a better result.
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