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Goldsands Stadium
AFC Bournemouth v Blackburn Rovers
  Saturday, September 28th, 2013, 3pm
Championship League
David Windridge
(Blackburn Rovers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground:  

Any awayday at the seaside is always something to look forward to. It makes a change from the usual town-to-town journey. Bournemouth had the added attraction of being a “first visit” ground. I was keen to see how the stadium had been redeveloped.

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

My journey was fine, pretty much motorway/dual carriageway all the way into the town itself. I found the ground okay, although I had to turn around and drive back away from the ground to park. Sign-posting detailing the parking close to the ground was non-existent. I parked at the Sovereign Shopping Centre, about a 15 minute walk away. Although I have to say, priced at £2.50 for over three hours, this was a bargain.

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

I was with my two daughters therefore before the game they wanted to see the beach and then go into town, so no pub. Didn’t encounter any home fans around and about, most football fans in the town centre were either wearing Spurs or Chelsea tops looking for somewhere to watch the lunchtime TV game. The fans we encountered around the ground were neither friendly or unfriendly, just fans walking around!

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

From the outside the ground looked tidy and compact but it must be the first time I have never seen any burger vans etc in close proximity to a stadium, maybe we didn’t look hard enough. We were reliant on a good “footy burger” for eats but were disappointed. Upon seeing the inside of the ground my impression was that of compact but tidy, enough to keep the home fans satisfied with the size of the fan base. The ground looked the same on all four sides, but the view was fine. The seats were somewhat compact for a modern new-build stadium though. The pictures and statistics from various Bournemouth games which were posted on the inside end of each stand, covering the walls, was an impressive touch

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

The game was fantastic from Rovers point of view. We were 3-0 after 40 minutes which always settles the nerves and makes any very long journey worthwhile. The second half was slightly more subdued, given that the home team had to do all of the running to chase the game. A red card for a Bournemouth player early in the second half really didn’t help their cause, and although the game ended 3-1 to Rovers, it really could have been a lot worse for the home team. The atmosphere was great in the away end. The 997 Rovers fans in an attendance of 9,441 made a huge noise at times and coupled with the score it lead to a party atmosphere at times. The home support was very muted, perhaps understandably so give how quickly Rovers took the initiative. The stewards were fine with me, friendly enough and this always helps at any away ground. Catering was appalling inside the ground. The only hot food was a lame hotdog, which simply isn’t good enough these days. There is an expectation that a range of warm food should be available for all fans, especially ones who had travelled for over 6 hours, so very show for Bournemouth regarding this. The toilets were equally poor, functional would be the kindest thing I could say.

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

We were fine getting away from the game, the car park was empty when I got back to my car. The local roads were not as busy as around a lot of grounds so access to exit town was fine.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:  

A long day out but a fantastic team performance made the many miles home pass quickly. If the food offered was edible then my day at Bournemouth would have been complete.

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