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b2net Stadium, Chesterfield
Chesterfield v Rotherham United 
Friday, March 18th, 2011, 7.45pm
League Two
By Paul Thompson

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

It was our much anticipated first visit to the b2net stadium, with the added spice of the game being something of a top of the table clash and a local derby to boot. Plus the game was a sell out and was televised live on TV.

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

I travelled by train from Rotherham to Sheffield and then onto Chesterfield. A very simple and problem free journey which took 30 minutes in total. The ground is a fair distance from the train station though, we opted to get taxis which cost around 8.50.

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

We took in several pubs in the town centre, starting at The Rutland, moving on to Yates's, then The Snooker Hall, and onto Chandlers, then onto the Red Lion near to the ground. We did get turned away from one or two pubs on the basis that we were away supporters. We were cautious of trouble never being far away as this was a local derby, but we experienced no bother despite making a good noise wherever we went. I didn't see much of a police presence around the town which was surprising considering the magnitude of the game and the rivalry.

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

The b2net, while far superior to the old Saltergate, is basically a uniform, box standard lower league stadium, almost a replica of so many other new grounds such as Shrewsbury, Colchester, Morecambe etc, however, it stands out from normality with its arched roofs on either side of the pitch. Its neat and tidy as you'd expect for a new build, but everything was simply 'adequate', with no frills. The facilities are okay for League Two or League One, the view from the away end is good. The visitors stand is quite steep and was full on this occasion, meaning some great noise was generated.

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

Urgh! from my perspective, the less said about the game the better! it ended in an embarrassing 5-nil defeat, Chesterfield looked worthy of their league position at the top while Rotherham looked more like a team struggling at the bottom. I found the pies to be poor and at 3, quite a rip-off too! Not recomended! The atmosphere was great though, the stewarding was relaxed if not a little disorganised, but this was the first time they've had to deal with 2,300 boisterous away fans so they can be forgiven! There were some ugly scenes towards the end of the game but order was quickly restored as baton wielding police officers took control.

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

A complete nightmare! Trouble erupted right outside the ground as home and away fans clashed, the police and stewards seemed to be blaming each other for this happening as the exits were supposed to be kept closed for 10 minutes to allow home fans to disperse, but this didn't happen which caused some ugly scenes in the carparks around the stadium and I have to say the police were not very quick to act. This was worrying, as we now had to walk the mile and half back to the train station without a police escort and through crowds of rival fans, we kept our heads down and mouths shut and experienced no trouble ourselves.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I really enjoyed the short trip to Chesterfield, the only thing I didn't enjoy was the football!

 

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