Lincoln City v Woking
Blue Square Premier
Tuesday, December 4th 2012, 7.45pm
By James Harden
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
To be honest I was only using up holiday from work! I attend most Woking home matches in the Blue Square Premier League, and only the odd away game. But I thought “I have a few days of leave from work left before year end, is there a midweek away game for Woking coming up that I could attend?”. Having checked the fixtures, this one stood out, so I got the all-important permission from the missus and checked with my Woking supporting pal to see if he was interested (he was), and then we booked ourselves on the Woking Supporter’s coach for the trip (£21 for supporter’s trust non-members, £16 for members). A right billy bargain we thought! This then became even cheaper, as Lincoln announced a week or two before the game that they were going to offer reduced price admission for the match, with prices tumbling from £18 on the night (£16 in advance) to a mere fiver. Christmas had come early!
We did, however, have slight second thoughts about going to the match as, on the Saturday before the fixture, Woking had been humbled 7-0 by Hyde, and were on a bad run of form, and we didn’t ideally want to go all that way (approx. four hours by coach) for another heavy defeat. In the end though, we were glad we made the effort!
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We came on the supporter’s coach, so this was easy. The coach left Woking at about 2pm and, with a 40 minute stopover at Peterborough services, we arrived at Sincil Bank at around about 6.15pm, in plenty of time for the kick off, with the coach parking in the ground car park, behind one of the stands. Simple.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
On arrival at the ground we went straight to the bar in the South Park Stand (known as the Trust Suite) with pretty much all the other fans on the coach, a whopping 13 of us in total. We had a couple of pints of beer and ordered some food from the bar, despite a couple of fans we spoke to in the queue advising us to go to the local chippy for eats instead! This actually turned out ok, and wasn’t too pricey at all, if a little unconventional (chicken tikka and chips anyone?), and was quite warming on a cold night. The bar was pretty busy and everyone there seemed friendly enough.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
It was a good looking ground, it felt like a ‘proper’ football stadium, being mostly all-seater and having a couple of fairly sizeable stands. It was my first away trip of the season and was better than every ground we visited on our travels in the Blue Square Bet South last year (not too hard this though)!
For the match, we were in one corner of the large Co-Op Community Stand, I think there were 60 odd Woking fans in total. From here we had a decent enough view of the pitch, and had our own entrance and food and drink facilities, as well as toilets.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was cracking, from a Woking fan’s point of view! As mentioned, we came here on the back of a 7-0 mauling, so didn’t expect a lot out of the game, but we were thankfully in for a treat! An early penalty led to us going one up and, to be fair, the match itself was pretty even (if not the most entertaining of encounters).
We managed to double our lead just after the hour, and then held on for a 2-0 victory, well worth the trip! Whether Lincoln had one eye on a potential FA Cup third round tie with Liverpool, I don’t know, but we weren’t going to complain!
The atmosphere was great, too, with a lot of banter between both sets of fans. The Woking supporters were in full voice throughout, and we were louder than the Lincoln followers (and their band) for a lot of the time. One Woking fan did get ejected towards the end of the game, but I don’t know what this was for, I guess for being a bit too over enthusiastic?!
The stewards were great overall, particularly towards one of our fans. He’d come on the coach with us, but wasn’t really prepared for the cold and rain, and was getting more than a little wet! A kindly steward loaned him her woolly hat and fetched him a blanket, which I thought was a really nice touch, to be applauded.
We had a half time Pukka Pie, too (Chicken Balti), which we’d read about on this website, and this was quite tasty, well recommended!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Just as with our arrival at the ground, this was straightforward too, as the coach was parked where it had been left, behind one of the stands, not far from where we’d watched the match. We all got on and took our seats, and went on our merry way.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall we had a cracking (if long) day out. We left Woking at 2pm and returned home at approx. 1.30am in the morning, with the all-important three points in the bag.
On reflection, it might’ve been nice to have gone to Lincoln under own steam so we could have explored the city a little, but this wasn’t to be, and I would still recommend anyone to go to Sincil Bank, as it was a nice ground with a proper football ground vibe about the place.
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