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
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
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
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
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
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.