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Proact Stadium
Chesterfield City v  Bradford City
League Two
Saturday April 13th, 2013, 3pm
By Samuel Walker
(Neutral fan)


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

Over the last four years or so, I have grown a soft spot for Chesterfield, having visited games from time-to-time since visiting Saltergate in 2010. With Leicester playing on the Friday night, my father (who's from Leicester, hence the life sentence) and I decided to take a visit to this game, and with Bradford getting to the League Cup final we felt we were in for an entertaining match, and we weren't to be disappointed.

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

We took the train from Leicester to Chesterfield at midday, which took just under 45 minutes. After getting some food in the town (As a general rule I avoid stadium food due to high prices) we took the bus to the ground, arriving at around 13:45.

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

Being too young to drink and my father being teetotal, after purchasing our tickets we headed to the club shop to have a look round. An amusing incident occurred when a chap with a half-eaten hotdog put it on the counter by mistake whilst he was being served, and when the next chap was being served the cashier asked him "You're not going to put your sausage on the counter are you?" to much laughter and applause from everyone in the shop. Very "Carry On"!

I've been to five Chesterfield games in the past and have never experienced any trouble, with a few Chesterfield fans on the bus to the ground engaging in good-natured banter with a couple of Bradford fans.

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

This was my second visit to Chesterfield's new ground (now the Proact Stadium) and my impression of it is in line with many new grounds appearing around the country. It's a pleasant, tidy ground that serves its purpose, but lacks the stand out factor that Saltergate had. However, times change, and Saltergate, as characteristic as it was, was on its last legs and Chesterfield needed to up sticks and relocate.

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

The game itself was very entertaining. Both Chesterfield and Bradford got behind their teams, which made for an amazing atmosphere, albeit with unoriginal songs apart from a few choruses of "Yorkshire"/"Derbyshire". Both sides came flying out of the blocks and Bradford took the lead through NahkiTendayi Darikwa's well-placed finish. Bradford retook the lead ten minutes later after Ricky Ravenhill placed a shot into the bottom corner through a crowd of bodies. Chesterfield, to their credit, kept going to the end and got their reward with the last kick of the game after Sam Togwell poked home from an Alex Henshall corner. Final score: 2-2. A fair result on reflection.

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

Getting away from the ground was no problem. A line of buses was waiting outside the turnstiles and we managed to get onto a very crowded one back to the town centre. We left Chesterfield at 17:40 and arrived back at home in Leicester at around 7:15pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A very enjoyable and well-spent afternoon at the football. Bradford remain in the playoffs and Chesterfield have an outside chance of making the playoffs, so it'll go down to the wire. Both sets of fans were well behaved and apart from your usual football banter there were no signs of trouble brewing, with both sets getting behind their teams. The game itself was a real credit to League Two, and dad said it was one of the best games he'd seen in ages. Well worth the 15 for me! And to top it all, we even got caught on camera by the BBC's Football League Show.


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