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B2net Stadium
Chesterfield City
MK Dons
Saturday, March 17th, 2012, 3pm
League One
By Dominic Bickerton


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

With it being the FA Cup quarter finals this weekend, Stoke weren't playing until the Sunday afternoon - I can't cope without football on a Saturday, so myself and a Stokie mate (who's also doing the 92) thought we'd do a new ground and have a little trip down to Chesterfield's fairly new b2net Stadium. We picked this game mainly because it's such a crucial stage of the season for both teams: Chesterfield in 23rd position and trying to escape relegation, MK Dons in 5th and bidding for promotion.

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

We jumped onto a train at Sheffield and made the short 15 minute journey to Chesterfield station (a return ticket was 4.50). From the station we followed the walking directions supplied by this site and arrived at the ground after a brisk 15-20 minute walk, which did involve a few hills. The directions were easy to follow and the we found the ground very easily.

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

We arrived at the ground about 30 mins before kick off, so we decided to just go straight through the turnstiles of the Karen Childs Kop and onto the concourse, which was showing the Everton v Sunderland FA Cup quarter final on a number of screens suspended from the ceiling.

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

When we first saw the ground we were quite amused by the fact that it's somewhat overshadowed by the large Tesco situated next to it. Despite this the area around the ground is modern and attractive. The ground does look very small, so we didn't really expect too much from the entire experience. However, I was instantly impressed when we entered the stand at pitch level, and I admit that it made me feel like I was walking out as a player! The ground has a nice intimate feel and looks very tidy and well kept. It doesn't really ooze character, but that is extremely hard to come by in such a new ground.

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

Me and my mate had decided that we'd lend our full support to Chesterfield and treated the game like we were cheering on our beloved Potters. The three home stands were fairly full and the Spireites were in very good voice. The Dons fans also seemed up for the game, so it was all set up to be a good, lively match. And it was.

Chesterfield immediately went on the attack, looking comfortable on the ball and far better than their league position suggested. Their possession told from the off with barely three minutes on the clock when Neal Trotman nodded down a cross for Drew Talbot to slam the ball into the bottom corner of the Dons' goal; the vocal Spireites and us two Stokies celebrating like it was a last minute winner! The traveling fans were immediately silenced and made little noise for the rest of half despite Chesterfield sitting back and inviting the Dons back into the game. The Chesterfield defence had to make a few last ditch clearances but just about made it half time with a 1-0 lead.

We went down into the concourse to watch Sky Sports coverage of the other half time scores, however, we were disappointed because the screens were showing a film on ITV! So, instead of finding out other scores we trooped back out to our seats. The other facilities on the concourse were good, with fairly small orderly queues for food & drink and toilets in plentiful supply.

The second half kicked off in the same manner that the first ended, Chesterfield sitting back far to deep and looking very vulnerable. The Spireites had clearly lost confidence and began to play some awful football, constantly giving the ball back to the Dons to have another effort on goal. Only a few good saves from Tommy Lee kept the score at 1-0. On 56 minutes the Dons finally made a breakthrough, the Chesterfield defence dropping deep enough to let Jay O'Shea rifle a left footed shot into the helpless Lee's bottom left corner. John Sheridan quickly made a few changes, which instantly transformed the Spireites into the dangerous force they looked earlier in the first half. The game turned on its head, with Chesterfield looking most likely to snatch 3 points. Hearts were in the mouths of every fan in the ground, as Nicky Ajose smashed an 88th minute shot that was destined to be a fairy tale winner until the Dons 'keeper somehow got down to make a fantastic save. It would have been an amazing mental of a celebration, but we were sadly denied it and the game ran out a 1-1 draw.

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

After the final whistle, fans left the ground quickly from the corners between stands. We were back on the way to the station with no problems at all.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great day out that cost a grand total of 22.50 (Train 4.50, Ticket 18). The match was an absolute cracker and we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. We weren't expecting much but we were pleasantly surprised with the ground and we the Chesterfield fans were very good indeed. I wouldn't say no to going back and I'll be rooting for the Spireites to avoid the drop this season.


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