- Cardiff City FC
Championship League - Cardiff City v Stoke City
Saturday, August 28th 2004, 3pm
Going through the turnstiles brought back memories
of when I first visited Ninian Park three years ago. We
played them in the second leg of the play-offs and it was
to become a magical evening. We were losing until the last few minutes
when James O'Connor equalised and took it into extra time before he scored a
winner off a deflected free kick. We were kept in
the ground for over an hour after the final whistle whilst the police tried to
clear the Cardiff fans outside
the ground. During this time we sung our hearts out and basically had a
party running around on the terraces. However when we were
finally let out, it was still pretty much mayhem with a number of missiles
being directed at the Stoke fans and their coaches. As a 13 year old at the
time, it all made a big impression on me and it became a night that I would
never forget. For these reasons my second
trip to Ninian Park was full of anticipation and the coach seemed to take
forever to complete the trip.
Whilst Ninian Park doesn't have the facilities of a modern stadium and it doesn't even have seats in large areas of the ground, it does have character. The fans build up an electric atmosphere and whilst it would be intimidating for most fans, it was perfect for myself and my mates. Away fans are located in an end with home fans as well. They are towards the corner of the end. The lower part of the away area has a number of seats but towards the top it is all terracing. There are a few pillars but these don't obstruct view. One problem with the view is that to separate home and visiting fans within the end, there is a big fence covered with meshing which isn't too easy to see through. There isn't a great deal of elevation between the steps and it isn't a deep end. There are only three rails to hold on so if you're expecting to fill the end get their early. There is a large bar but only the one food bar for visiting fans which causes a bit of a crush at half time. The atmosphere from the Stokies was great helped by a low roof. We decided to go as close to the Cardiff fans as we were allowed because this was as central in the end as away fans were allowed. All the lads went here too so it was easy to get songs started.
The Stoke players and fans helped the day live up to my expectations. Gifton Noel-Williams scored the only goal of the game for us not long before half time. The night before his wife had had a baby and because I live across the road from him I was worried seeing him at home when the team had already travelled. It came as a relief to see him warming up with the players and more of a relief when he scored. I can't remember a mental comparing to this, all us stokies grabbing hold of each other because we'd scored against Cardiff. I hurt my jaw and nose in the process but it was definitely worth it. After the game this time were able to leave peacefully, with no noticeable trouble.
I now have two great memories from visiting Cardiff, I'll certainly go there again.
an away or general football fan who has visited Ninian Park recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Click here to find out more.
To The Cardiff Page
Return To The Main Menu