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Stamford Bridge

Chelsea v Everton
Premier League
Sunday May 19th 2013, 4pm
By Craig Milne
(Everton fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to it as it was a weekend away down in London with with family and the match too. Plus it was another ground never visited before, a stadium with history and passionate supporters. Another London club to have ticked off.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We drove in from Basingstoke along the M3, M25, M4, A4 straight into Kensington. The journey only took an hour. We were planning on parking at Earls Court, it's a huge venue for a multitude of things but there's no parking there unless there's something on and unfortunately on this day there wasn't! However after driving around I noticed that street parking was allowed on Sunday and that it was free. We parked just off the A4 in PhilBeech Gardens just next to Earls Court. It was then a 20 minute walk to the ground from there through the Brompton cemetery.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

En route to park up we passed several bars which sold food, corner shops, bookies and small supermarkets. There was also restaurants from what seemed like all four corners of the World. We headed back to the street and had breakfast in one of the pubs very friendly, nice atmosphere and it seemed far enough away from the ground that there was no hassle. Outside the tube station was an excellent stall with old programmes on, the guy was very chatty and had programmes from a variety of teams and events.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Outside the ground on a wall was an interesting feature of the history of the club. There was also an excellent club shop and facilities in the surrounding area were brilliant. Fulham Broadway tube station had a small shopping centre in it and the Sainsbury was handy for a quick munch. The official Chelsea brass band playing outside was an excellent touch. They had plenty of security around the ground, food outlets and on that day a promotion through one of the sponsors which was entertaining many of the kids there. A nice touch from such a large club.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Before the game I noticed there were clowns, entertainers and balloons galore, in various parts of the home end, which was great for the kids. The game was great too. Chelsea took the lead, Everton drew level, then Chelsea made it a 2 - 1 win. It was a nice way for Chelsea to finish the season, but it was a bit of a wet blanket for David Moyes final Everton game in charge.

The away end was dry, no booze even though we'd been handed a voucher for discounted ale up to an hour before kick off! The back two rows of the lower tier, numbered 15 and 16 are right under the overhang of the upper tier and in my opinion were a restricted view. It was a bit like watching the game through a letter box and thats where we were sat. There were some spare seats were in row 14 so we moved there and the view was better. After the game Chelsea brought out the two European Cups which was nice to see.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We left about 45 minutes after the final whistle and walked back to the car through the cemetery with a large contingent of Chelsea fans. Got back to the car in no time and then once on the A4 the traffic was flowing freely and we were back in Cheshire 3 and a half hours later. That included a stop for a Burger King with John Barnes! We didn't plan to meet him, he just happened to be there at the services.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great weekend and an excellent visit. The day was all the more enjoyable thanks to the events Chelsea had put on to entertain the fans before kick off. An easy journey in proper football weather (sunny) and the game was grand. I'd be a lot more interested in attending again if the prices weren't as steep 52 for a seat in the lower tier and 55 in the upper.

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