Brentford v Gillingham
Saturday, February 6th 2010, 3pm
By Joe Fisher
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I was looking forward to this match after last years encounter with Brentford which ended 1-1. I was quite optimistic about maybe achieving a good result. Also remembering the ground from last year I was looking forward to really making some noise.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We jumped on a train and were there within an hour. Finding the ground could be difficult if its your first time due to it being tucked behind terrace houses like a lot of London grounds. At the ground there is limited parking and it gets very busy in the streets around, if you find a decent spot, take it. My advice would be arrive early.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
After going over the bridge we came across a burger van selling your typical match day food along with fried noodles and roast beef as well. Personally I went for the fully loaded burger at £4.95 sounds expensive but for what you get its a good price. We then made our way round to the Brook End where there was a pub on the corner packed with Gills fans, we piled in and had a pint and a good sing along..
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground is a typical, aging city ground tucked behind rows of houses. The town end is a a single tier terrace and houses the 'louder' home fans. The stand on the side of the pitches were all seater and also single tier. The odd thing about Griffin Park is that the away end is the only two tiered stand with the lower tier being standing (where we were) and the upper tier being seating.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The turnstiles at the back are very claustrophobic and cramped. A more open lay out would really benefit the away fans and the stewards. We had the usual pat down and then we were allowed in, the toilet are situated off the right before actually going into the stand as are the food kiosks. We got there earlier than normal and it wasn't too bad however during the half it was absolute chaos.
We found our voices well before the game and really started making some noise when the game kicked off. The metal stand makes it quite easy for a fair body of fans to really kick up some noise along with the usual suspects hammering the back off the stand of course. After just 2 minutes Jackson hit the post and i thought it might be our day, this thought quickly disappeared when they dispatched a suspect penalty moments later. Then 10 minutes or so later we gave away another penalty and our game was over.
There wasn't any half time entertainment so we took upon ourselves to provide some with help of a beach ball. The stewards seemed friendly and informative and didnt give us any trouble. The second half was really dire but it didnt stop us singing, the only real noise their fans made was when they scored but it was a tad on the cold side. The game ended a disappointing 4-0 and another fabulous away day drew to a close.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting away from the ground after was fairly easy, we headed right back outside the ground and towards the station, the roads around the ground seemed busy but this was expected and it didn't cause much of a delay.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall I'd recommend a day out to Brentford, especially if you take a fair amount there as the ground will appeal to hardcore fans as well as those who only go to the odd game a year. The classic terrace stand ensures a good atmosphere and you can really make some noise if you put some effort in.
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