Carlisle United v Coventry City
Carling Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday, August 28th 2007, 7.45pm
By Hernek Hayre
After being drawn against
Carlisle Utd, I decided to venture north in anticipation of seeing the
mighty Sky Blues at a ground I'd previously not visited.
I managed to cut short the trip north by working out of our Manchester office during the day and began phase 2 of the M6 journey around 4pm. By 6pm, I pulled off the motorway and headed for Carlisle along the A69. Like an oasis in a desert, I found myself a Tesco's garage and decided to fill up now rather than on the way home when I'd imagine it would be busy.
After approx 2 miles, the ground and it's unusual floodlights could be seen on the right hand side. I decided to park on the Warwick Road heading out of the town on the gravelled pavement/parking area. There are parking restrictions before 6pm, but I was alright to park there as it was an evening game and it was no more than 2mins from the ground.
I took myself across the road to the welcoming Beehive public house. The pub even at this time was filling up nicely. I had a drink and left the premises to survey the ground.
I walked around the outside of the old main stand and then along the open terrace. The away fans were being housed in the newest stand, the Cumberland BS stand. The stand was of a modern construction. There was ample legroom, the refreshment bar was well stocked and the toilets were of a clean nature. The stewards, although of a young nature, were helpful and polite.
The terrace to our right was not being used, and I thought myself fortunate to be sitting in the covered stand as the rain began to fall. Bizarrely the disabled fans were placed at the front of the open terrace and consequently were rained upon for the duration of the players warm up.
The game started on time with Coventry attacking the terraced home end. Carlisle should have taken an early lead, but the young forward snapped at his effort and it went wide. After that, the class between the 2 sides showed, especially when Coventry's slick passing game opened the nights scoring midway through the 1st half. Our defence stood solid to what our opposition could throw at us and it remained 1-0 through to HT.
The 2nd half kicked off and fortunately for us, we scored our 2nd goal which effectively killed off the game. We then went through the usual number of substitutions and introductions of fringe players. The game petered out and I was happy just to see us win & progress after miserable awaydays in previous years.
The journey away from the ground was swift. Upon the final whistle, I made my way back to the car and I was away from the lovely town of Carlisle. Within 5mins I was on the motorway and back home to Leicester by 12.40am.
I found the ground very easy to get to, parking wasn't a problem (but there were only 6,000 fans there) and the people of Carlisle very friendly. The ground was a little dated, but our stand was relatively new. The Carlisle fans generally were very quiet and I didn't hear much from them all game.
All in all a good
day/evening out. The long journey home isn't half as bad when you teams wins!
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