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Turf Moor
  Burnley v
Bristol City
Championship League
Saturday, April 28th 2012, 12.30pm
 
Will Fisher
(Bristol City fan)


1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had mixed feelings about my visit to Turf Moor, as I had heard from friends that the surrounding environment and the ground itself are considered to be pretty rough.  I was nonetheless keen to enjoy an "old school" away experience and a good game.  I knew that Turf Moor was considered to be an old fashioned ground and I far prefer to watch a game in a stadium that has character and history, than one of the new, soulless stadiums.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Although I am from Bristol originally, I live in Leeds with another mate from back home living in Halifax - It was just a matter of meeting him on the way and then a short drive across into Lancashire.

Approaching Burnley from the East, you do get to drive through some snaking roads, surrounded by the ruggedly beautiful slopes of the Pennines.  There's a sign on the approach to Burnley directing you to Burnley FC, off to the right. My mate ignored this and we were there in good time, parking in a side street and then a short stroll over some park land to the ground.

Harry Potts Way Turf Moor

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I was mildly horrified that we didn't have time to get some lunch at the Parkview Chippy, which based on the hordes surrounding it, seemed immensely popular and smelt great.  

Fans seemed very relaxed and didn't bother us, although in fairness we exercised discretion in terms of colours, and it was also the last game of the season with neither side particularly bothered about the result.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

We were running a little late so went straight to the ground.  Turf Moor rises above the back to back terraces which surround it. The ground itself is wonderfully run-down  in parts. Grey brickwork and dark girders creating a superbly grim venue.  

Once through the turnstile into the David Fishwick stand, you are confronted not so much by a concourse, as a dark, dank tunnel.  The whole thing is a little post-apocalyptic, but in a good way - Away from naming rights, manufactured stadia, prawn sandwiches and glory hunters, this is what football used to be like, and should never have deviated from.

Turf Moor Away End Undercroft

The Away End itself is on the second tier and has beautifully crafted, folding wooden seats which are quite comfy.  It's not the warmest part of the world and the wind can swirl into the stand, so unless it's a summer visit, it's worth wearing a coat.  The view is good and you get a decent view of the jumbo-screen in the corner.

The only thing that let Burnley down was a real lack of atmosphere. We didn't have a particularly large following that day, and I don't know how much noise we generated from the perspective of those in the home stands, but Turf Moor struck me as being a bit of a library. Our lot tried to get a bit of banter going but with no joy.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Standard fare in the food outlets - Lager/Bitter and "Cider" all available for about 3 quid a go.  Meat and potato (tasteless), and Balti (unpleasant) pies for those who haven't had the pleasure are available, as are some jumbo hots dogs, crisps, sweets, Bovril tea and coffee, all at the same price you'd find anywhere.

The game itself was a bit of an exhibition - emotional for us because we thought it was going to be Louis Carey's last for the club - He has been there since I started watching City in the mid-nineties and is a Bristol lad - He ended up playing brilliantly and getting a further year on his contract. Burnley had more possession but Charlie Austin was quiet and Ross Wallace, who was industrious, failed to create anything meaningful in the final third.

Turf Moor View From The Away End

City had the best of the first half in terms of chances and should have scored early on, but Brett Pitman chose to slam his header straight down Brian Jensen's throat.  No real drama until the second half when David James, who was also making his last appearance in a City shirt, got injured.  No keeper on the City bench which encouraged Burnley to really have a go - Danny Ings tonking in a 30 yard screamer and the Clarets fans finally making themselves heard.

However Ryan Taylor came on for City - easy to pick out because of his hi-viz ginger hair, and scored a quality equaliser, curling a shot past Jensen - honours even at the final whistle.

Stewards were friendly and toilets fairly ample.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Driving westward out of Burnley was a little time consuming and parking a little way from the ground gave us a bit of a head start.  No more than 10 minutes of traffic before we were zipping back over the Pennines.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed Burnley a lot and look forward to going there next season.  I didn't find it particularly intimidating and it was nice to see several generations of Burnley fans all going to the game together - I just wish the atmosphere had been a bit better as it was very subdued throughout the game on the part of the Clarets fans.  For the "old school" experience, it's a pretty good day.


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