Brentford v Gillingham
Saturday, March 28th 2009, 3pm
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
We were really looking forward to it, with a close to sell out crowd expected, including 1800 Gillingham fans, it was one of the biggest games of our season. Going was myself, my Father and three friends.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
There was a bit of confusion as to which junction to get off the M4, but it was a reasonably simple journey, well signposted. We parked near the station in a residential area for an extortionate £14, and made our way into town.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
First priority was, as it always is, food. We got a chicken doner kebab which was absolutely delicious, something which we are still reminiscing about. We then walked towards the ground and went to the corner pub closest to the away section. There was the usual banter, our fans were in fine voice as per usual and it was mostly a relaxed atmosphere, although it was ruined somewhat by a couple of (Gillingham) idiots trying to start a fight.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
We got into the ground and it was nothing spectacular, a reasonable size, a terrace at each end and all looked like it could do with a lick of paint, our terrace was comfortable and packed to the rafters with Gillingham fans.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was a brilliant one, Gillingham completely dominated the first half but Brentford somehow took the lead with a brilliant free kick, just before half time and from the restart Gillingham went and scored, only for it to be disallowed very dubiously for a foul on the defender. My dad went to get the drinks in, the queues were long but that is not surprising given the 1800 gills fans in attendance. By the time he had bought them, the terrace was so packed that he couldnít get through to us at the front, so he just stayed where he was. Half time saw the most vigorous downpour, and we really felt for the dozen or so 12 year old cheerleaders somewhat underdressed given the weather conditions, in the middle of the pitch.
The second half started just as well as the first half ended and within 5 minutes Andy Barcham was fouled inside the area and Simeon Jackson had the composure to slot home the penalty. This seemed to wake Brentford up and with both teams going for it, the game cancelled out somewhat in the second half. A few heart in mouth moments right at the death, but 1-1 was how it finished.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Very easy, bit of congestion around Brentford but just followed the A4 to the M25 and we were fine.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A fantastic day out, not a bad ground, the terrace has brilliant acoustics and the atmosphere is electric. Even though many Gillingham fans felt hard done by with the disallowed goal for weeks to come, both teams got promoted so it didnít matter. A ground that I will most definitely be visiting next year.
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