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Kenilworth Road
Luton Town v Port Vale
League Two
Saturday, August 9th 2008, 3pm
By Dan Phillips

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

I was really looking forward to going to Kenilworth Road as I had never been there before, and it was the first game of the new season, so the anticipation was unmatchable.  I had heard rumours that this ground was pretty poor, but I had to attend this match as I not only hadn't been before, but I wanted to cast my own judgement on what it was like.

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

The journey was extremely simple as I took the Official Coach from our ground (as always), therefore, they were no travelling difficulties.  Although I went on the Coach, there was street parking, which made it very easy to get in and out of the ground.  The ground was about twenty steps away from where we got off the Coach as we parked literally opposite it.

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

Before the game, we headed around the streets to find a pub, which we did, about ten minutes later, but it was heaving with both Vale and Luton fans, so we decided not to have a drink, and went to a Chip Shop nearby.  The food there was absolutely outstanding, and I fully recommend it to any League Two team-supporting fans.  I had a Doner Kebab in Pitta Bread with a can of Coke, and it was the nicest i've ever tasted. We only spoke to two Luton fans before the game, and that was to ask where the nearest pub was, and they seemed okay.

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

My thoughts when seeing the ground was "oh my God"!  I thought it was horrible, and the Away End was right in the middle of a terraced street.  However, taking into consideration the surrounding area, and where the location of the ground itself was, I took on board that it isn't that bad, and there a lot more grounds in this league that will not be as good as this.  After going through the turnstiles, you had to walk up a fire escape-like set of stairs that overlooked people's back gardens and bedroom windows, which was quite derelict and dirty, but that is no criticism of the ground, as once I was inside, I liked Kenilworth Road, and thought the ground had a pretty smart interior.  So, away fans, don't be put off by your first views of the outside of the ground, once you're inside, it's perfectly fine, and has a great Away End where you can create a great atmosphere.


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

The game was absolutely brilliant, in my opinion.  We were completely outplayed for the first fifteen minutes, before we took a surprising lead.  Then, Luton soon equalised, and returned to outplaying us.  We nicked an unlikely goal before half-time, and went in 2-1 ahead.  We came out firing in the second half, and took a pretty deserved 3-1 lead, yet Luton still managed to put us under a lot of pressure as the clock ticked down.  We held on for a 3-1 victory, which was our first EVER victory at Kenilworth Road, and only our second ever win against Luton.  I was thrilled with the performance.  The atmosphere was electric, and we outsung the home fans all game, but that is no disrespect to Luton fans, who were singing, but we were 3-1 up, so it's what you expect.  The stewards were some of the best I've witnessed before, and took their positions in front of our away following of nearly 600, and let us create an atmosphere from start to finish - great job stewards.  The food was very disappointing as they ran out of hot food just minutes after the half-time whistle, which is not good, so I had to settle for a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop, at which the prices were pretty bad (£2.50 for both).  The toilets were actually in good condition, and were useable.

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

Simple, the coach was across the road.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out?

Fantastic journey, and brilliant performance as we weren't the better team, but took our chances, and came away with a 3-1 victory, which I will cherish forever in my memory.  Thoroughly enjoyed it, and would definitely recommend it to fellow fans.  Marvellous day out.

 

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