Bristol Rovers v
Southend United Saturday,
March 24th, 2012, 3pm League Two
John Spooner (Southend United fan)
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 Wellington.
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 okay.
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 problems.
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.