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Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City v Wigan Athletic
  Saturday February 15th 2014, 3pm
FA Cup 5th Round
  Ian Dutton
(Wigan Athletic fan)

1) Why was I looking forward to the visit?

I'd been to Ninian Park previously, long time ago and know Cardiff to be a vibrant city with some quality watering holes. Also it's the FA Cup and we are presently, the holders......

2) How easy was my journey, finding the ground?

Got the train down, 3 hrs direct excellent journey with some spectacular views of the floods north of Hereford. Finding the ground, I just followed advice, got the 17/18 bus from opposite the Zerodegrees pub on Westgate to Canton Police Station, 1. 10 minute walk to the ground, you can see it from there, also couple of good pubs in Canton, a Wetherspoons and Chapter Arts Centre

3) Before the game?

I'd had my butties on the train which arrived in Cardiff at 1 pm so headed for a pint on Westgate The Queens Vaults. Belting boozer, was showing the lunchtime game live and enjoyed a good pint of Felinfoel. Moved on to Zerodegrees which I'd heard about and was curious. Amazing place, it's a brewery about 50 yds up from Queens which brews and serves it's own beers there and then. The pale ale was lovely and the Mango beer quite enjoyable too. Also has TVs and shows some sport. The locals were very friendly and I followed their instructions on how to get to the ground, the bus from dead opposite Zerodegrees.

4) Impressions of the ground etc........?

I walked up to it and it is quite imposing on the skyline. Away supporters basically have their own section of the stadium as opposed to just a seating section. Entered the enclosure outside the ground which was policed and very sensible. Very self contained and sensible. Smart modern stadium, but getting fed up of having to sit by the corner flag. Great away support and stewards all very friendly and helpful in my experience although I gather some away fans felt the stewards were a bit heavy handed in ejecting one fan? At half time the stewards opened up the gates for fans to stretch their legs, attend more refreshment stations and have a smoke if they so wished, very civilised.

5) Comment on the game itself?

I felt for the Cardiff fans, their club I think is losing its way under its present stewardship and Solskjaer is very brave in taking the managers position. Support was fragmented, a little lacking and Wigan played brilliantly to win 2-1. The home fans looked unhappy and their team lacked some quality. Had a cuppa at half time and big queues on the concourse but got served straight away in the burger bar outside the gates.

6) Getting away after?

Walked into town, following the crowd, no problem, again very civilised. Headed to Westgate near the station and a Wetherspoons pub the Gatekeeper. Very busy and good pub, full of middle aged "rugger buggers"who were a bit up themselves....... Packed at 5-15pm. Moved on after one pint to the City Arms intending to head back to Zerodegrees to sale more of their beers. The City Arms was belting, ended up staying their til my train home. Excellent beers, somewhere to sit and watch the football on tv all of a sudden it emptied; the rugby across the road was a 6-30pm kick off, so became more comfortable. Beer was spot on, cask on the bar and barrels tapped behind the bar, landlord very friendly, left the footie on the tv for me despite the rugby game being live on another channel. Locals were brilliant, one apologised for not having a spare ticket for me to attend the rugby match and others wished us all the best for the rest of the season

7) Summary of the visit?

Great day out, let the train take the strain and sampled some great beers and pubs and a fantastic Wigan victory. Highly recommend a visit, couldn't have been more civilised and friendlier. Will go again next year if we get promoted and they stay up which looks doubtful? Really enjoyable day. 10/10!

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