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Turf Moor
  Burnley v Huddersfield Town
Tuesday, February 26th 2013, 7.45pm
Championship League
Jon Pidgeon
(Huddersfield Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
 
Having conceded 19 goals and scored two in our previous four away games, it is hard to look forward to another away match. But I have memories of a thrilling 3-2 victory at Turf Moor back in 1970 which was one of the first away games I attended. And it was either this match or watching Barcelona v Real Madrid on the telly. And it is one that is closer to home than a home match (I live in Sale).
 
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I was travelling with my son after meeting him from his work near the Reebok. M61 and M65 were easy. We lost our way in some roadworks in Burnley, but had a vague idea where we needed to be and found the ground OK. We parked at Burnley Cricket Club (5), which was fine, straight in with no queuing.  
 
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
We went in the Cricket Club. A mixture of home and away fans and all very friendly. A good menu and good value. Giant Yorkshire pudding (not sure if that was special for the visitors), sausages, chips and mushy peas for 3.50 and a pint of Thwaites bitter for 2.50. I like the idea that local sports clubs can generate income in this way. We were made to feel very welcome. The Cricket Club is also at the right end of Turf Moor for visiting fans - probably not more than 10 minutes from finishing our pint to being in the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
Turf Moor is a mixture of old and new. The first impression is of a typical northern ground amongst terraced housing. Brick walls and turnstiles that probably haven't changed much since it was built. The away end is old concrete and iron with wooden seats on top of concrete terracing. It isn't particularly steep - so try and get behind somebody your own size or smaller. There is a good view, especially if you can make sure you are between the two pillars. And the wooden seats are warm, comfortable and generous in size compared to some modern stadiums. In recent years the only other wooden seats I have come across were at Goodison Park in the top balcony. I might start to develop a nostalgic fondness for them.
 
I couldn't work out whether the pitch has at some stage been turned through 90 degrees, as the stand at the far end seemed to extend well beyond the left hand touchline. The stand to our right was clearly the oldest - but also had a steep rake - so viewing from there would be good. To our left was a modern double decker. Apologies to Burnley fans, but I couldn't work out where the noise was going to come from. A slight criticism is that I couldn't find any programmes on sale in the ground. I admit I didn't look too hard. The big screen at the far end displays the teamsheets and minutes played - though once into injury time you'll need to borrow Fergie's watch because it stops at 45:00 and 90:00.  
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Stewards were unobtrusive, except outside the ground where one rushed forward to pick up my travel card that dropped out of my pocket as I was getting my money out. I didn't buy anything or use the facilities - the Cricket Club had fulfilled all my needs. With hindsight I should have asked for a black coffee (strange how many grounds can't provide one).
 
There wasn't much noise heard from the Burnley fans. There wasn't much quiet time from the people around me so it is probably something to do with the science of how noise travels. The game itself was a pretty tight affair. There were very few good chances in the first half - I remember Smithies having to push one shot round the post but that's about all. There was more attacking play in the second half - and the all important goal from Vaughan pouncing on a parried shot. Theo Robinson might have made the game safe for us on 2 occasions, but equally on another day Charlie Austin might have added to his prolific season. Once Sam Vokes came on for Burnley they started winning more in the air. But in reality Smithies had only 1 save to make in the second half - a final double save in the 94th minute, the second an old-fashioned dive at the striker's feet. But at this stage of the season, as they say, the result is all that matters. And a first clean sheet in an away league game since November, coupled with Vaughan's goal gave us a hard-earned victory.
 
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were quickly out of the Cricket Club and decided to avoid the congestion and roadworks back to the M65 and instead used the A road down to Rawtenstall, which I think was shorter and quicker back home to Sale.
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Of course it would be totally different if we hadn't won - but it was hugely enjoyable. We were well looked after. The people and the ground have a character that removes all the plasticness (if that is a word) of other places.


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