v Southend United
Saturday, March 24th, 2012,
By John Spooner
My son and I had
never visited this ground and having dropped
to 4th in the table after some poor home
performances, we were anxious to get a good
result to keep Southend in the promotion race.
Bristol were mid table.
We journeyed by car from North Wales as
exiled fans, expecting to drive south via M5
and A38 but due to a serious crash blocking
the M5 en-route we had to divert through
Wolverhampton, Kidderminster down toward
Worcester before rejoining the M5. The ground
was easy enough to find and we parked near to
the Wellington Pub.
We enjoyed a quick home made snack in the car
before walking down the hill to the stadium
and noticed that both sets of supporters were
happily enjoying a pint or two at the
The ground on arrival is poor looking and the
away covered end looks gloomy. The ground
looks old fashioned with different size
stands. We had decided to stand on the open
terracing in a corner of the ground, and on a
warm March day (22 degrees) sunshine was in
our eyes for the entire game. The pitch looked
The game was a scrappy affair with Freddy
Eastwood, making a return to Southend, finding
it hard to get goal scoring chances. Both
teams struggled to find the target but with
five minutes left we gave away a penalty and
Matt Harrold (ex Southend) duly netted to
consign us to another loss. A crowd of 6,258
only really came alive with the penalty and
the 521 Southend fans were subdued by the lack
of goal scoring chances and the hot sun
possibly. Southend dropped down to 5th place
with just seven games left but hopefully
promotion via the playoffs.
I can recommend the huge Cornish pasties and
the chicken curry pies looked tasty too. The
stewards were friendly enough but it felt
slightly intimidating to find by half time
that there were about 20 Police and stewards
behind us on the terracing and at the end we
were stopped from leaving the ground for 20
minutes, despite there being no obvious
Despite the delay in leaving the ground it was
easy enough to get moving on the A38 towards
the M5 motorway.
So overall, a disappointing day after a tiring
journey to the game, although the sunshine was
welcome. Hopefully Bristol will move to a
proposed new stadium and both clubs will
progress to higher levels.
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