Ashton Gate, Bristol City
League One v Southend United
Saturday, October 29th 2005, 3pm
By James Falkingham
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground.
My initial reaction on entering the ground was one of surprise. Ashton Gate is one of those grounds that looks nothing like it does on TV. It seemed quite old and run-down once inside. The food bar in the away end was already quite busy at around 2.50pm and big queues were starting to develop. The toilets to were packed and in need of some work. On entering the ground, our following of around 670 were all congregated right behind the goal, with most of the away end unavailable. The low roof in the away end allowed for cracking acoustics and the atmosphere in the away end was buzzing by the time kick-off came around. The view was okay but not amazing- you couldn't really see a lot down the other end, but you expect that from most grounds nowadays. Ashton Gate is a good ground with a cracking atmosphere, even if a little disappointing in areas.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itself was an excellent one for us, with Freddy Eastwood scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win. His 3rd goal was a 35 yard wonder strike which even the home fans applauded. Bristol City were struggling in the relegation zone going into the game and had sacked manager Brian Tinnion a few weeks before with Yeovil boss Gary Johnson taking charge. However, in all honesty, there was only ever one team in it. I felt sorry for the home players by the end as the home fans were getting on their backs and making life very difficult for them. However, there was some good banter between the two sets of fans.
I didn't buy any food due to the queues for the food bar however a friend of mine said it was your 'typical football food- over-priced with little taste', although another mate said the pies were 'very nice'. The stewards were pretty active in telling us all to sit down at every opportunity- even when we scored, apart from that though there were no real problems. The only annoying thing about the away end is that the toilets were right back over near the entrance, which meant getting out of your seat, walking all the way back round and then going pretty much back out of the ground to get to them. It took a good five minutes just to relive yourself, so I certainly had sympathy for those who tried to beat the rush at the start of the second half as we scored 55 seconds into it!!! There is no doubt that anybody who went to the loo as the players were coming out would have missed the goal! Overall though, the match experience was very very good, and the City fans seemed like a reasonable bunch.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game
No problems in getting away from the ground. Our friends gave us a lift back to the station and, despite getting a bit lost, we were there within 25 minutes. The crowd must have been over 10,000 but there was very little traffic, which surprised us all.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out
Bristol City is certainly a much more pleasant away trip than their rivals Bristol Rovers from the other side of the City. You can drum up a superb atmosphere in the away end and there are some good pubs to be enjoyed along the way.
an away or general football fan who has visited Ashton Gate recently?
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Last Updated: 21 January, 2009