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.