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The Shay
FC Halifax Town v Gateshead
Conference Premier League
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014, 3pm

  Callum William
(Gateshead fan)

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

I hadn't been in to an away game in a while and have only been able to attend home games so I was looking forward to visiting the Shay its a 240 mile trip there and back and think, but the distance isn't really too far. I had looked at pictures of the ground and it looked quite good and also it hosting Rugby League championship matches and being ex football league it would have to be of a decent nature.

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

The journey down was a strange one. It had been raining non-stop for most of the day and all night and me and the family travelling down where in real fear of the game being called off. So we stopped off half way down in Harrogate for around 30 minutes, checking Halifax's twitter account which eventually confirmed the match was on. From there it was a straight forward drive down along the M62 dull.

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

Not the drinking type so we had a look around the shops in the area, but there wasn't much around. I  believe I would have been better heading for the town centre, but not sure of our bearings and with time ticking on we headed for the ground.

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

We brought a total 109 away fans and we were housed on one side of the pitch in part of the new Main Stand. This stand was quite good, with the seats having plenty of leg room. And even though we were small in number the acoustics of the stand were quite good, so we were able to make a lot of noise. Overall the ground is quite nice with covered terraces at each end and an attractive stand opposite. It did look though in areas to be going though a renovation at the moment. All in all one of the better grounds in this league, certainly.

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

The game was a pure thriller. Halifax were 2-0 up in 15 minutes we got a goal just after half time, then they scored to make it 3-1. Halifax were leading until the last ten minutes or so until we scored 2 late goals to make it 3-3, we had chances to get the winner but it missed an inspired sub in Marcus Maddison who played his heart out and was fantastic. When Halifax were 3-1 up I thought we would lose by more, but we sorted it out. The celebrations from us at the end were wild, running down to the side lines and celebrating with the players, fantastic! Our fans were in good voice as per usual and so were the Halifax fans stood in their terraced end. The Halifax fans in the Main Stand were quiet, but there were lots of families, older people and children in this stand so its to be expected.

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

Getting away from the ground was fine, the home fans I was chatting too were a friendly bunch and we chatted about how great the game was. Nice to be friendly, I've had experiences in the past where this has been the total opposite.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great day out, a good ground visited, only downsides is that I found the area around the stadium  to be a rather dull and the price of a ticket! 17 too steep for this level! and a great game! Not often we see many 3-3 draws.  

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