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Abbey Stadium
Cambridge United v Histon
Wednesday, December 26th, 2007, 3pm
Blue Square National League
By Chris Tinker

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

Although not either a Histon Or Cambridge supporter I decided, as I was in the area over the Christmas period, to go to the Cambridge v Histon Conference game on Boxing day. And boy was I glad I did! I live in North Yorkshire but don't really support any local team (I've been a Real Madrid fan for over 20 years).

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

Getting to the ground wasn't a problem as I came from the City centre straight down the Newmarket Road and as knew the area quite well I decided to park off road about ten minutes from the ground in an industrial area.

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

As I arrived late I didn't have much time for the local pubs. In any case I was looking forward to trying one of Cambridge's famous bacon butties. Cambridge fans appear to be quite friendly and I took time out to talk to one or two who were really up about their teams chances to get back in the league this season. There didn't appear to be any problems with the Histon fans most of whom appeared to be either friends or colleagues of some of the Cambridge supporters.

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

The overall impression of the ground is that it is quite compact, fairly modern and well run. It had appeared to have only been recently repainted and upgraded. The new south stand for away fans is probably one of the best away areas I have been in with modern toilets, good access and services. The main stand is impressive for this level and unlike grounds like York, which is bit run down and difficult to get to, its fairly modern and accessible. The home end appears a little small but that it  does improve the atmosphere especially when there are over 7000 supporters in the ground. It's let down only by the somewhat shabby Habbin Stand for home supporters which runs the length of the pitch. I gather that the club are looking to move to a new stadium.

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

The atmosphere was electric and the Cambridge fans do really get behind their team. I thought that the game was fairly well balanced just tipping in Cambridge's favour and undoubtedly the home fans did make the difference to the result. The stewards were very helpful and friendly as was everyone at the match. As I said the toilet facilities were excellent in the south stand and the bacon sandwiches...well....it was worth going to the game just for those!

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

I had no real problems getting away after the match even though it was a big crowd. As I was heading back to my hotel in the city centre I drove along the side of the river and then cut back up to the Newmarket Road.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

I don't very often go to games when I don't support either side as find it somewhat boring. However, this was an exception and, if I lived in the area, I could end up going to watch Cambridge regularly. The game was exciting (helped by the large crowd), the stadium very acceptable for this level and everyone was friendly. This is how all football should be!

 

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