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The Racecourse
Wrexham v Gateshead
Saturday, February 19th 2011, 3pm
Blue Square Premier League
By Stuart McCluskey

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

This was shaping up to be a cracker of a match as both Wrexham and ourselves (Gateshead) were in good form. Also, I hadn't been to an 'international' away game with the Heed before!

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

Our supporters bus had to battle through a pretty heavy blizzard in Yorkshire on the way down. Everyone cheered up when we met up with the team bus at Wetherby Services and exchanged a bit of banter with the Manager, Staff and players. By the time we crossed the Pennines, the weather had improved dramatically and we arrived at the Racecourse about an hour and a half before kick off.

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

Straight off the bus and into the pub next to the ground, The Turf. A good selection of beers and plenty of bar staff. The pub began to fill up with home supporters after a half an hour or so who were really friendly.

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

The seating for away fans provides a good view of the action on the pitch. The newer stands to our right and opposite must be amongst the best in this division but the toilets in the away end were a bit primitive. Catering consisted of a precariously balanced portakabin with only one person serving so there was a pretty hefty queue at half time but on the plus side the pie that I bought was first rate.

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

The game has gone down in Gateshead legend! 7-2 to the Heed, we scored our first within 30 seconds. Wrexham equalized after 12 minutes but their comeback was halted by two further goals for Gateshead in the first 20 minutes. 1-4 at half time, Wrexham pulled one back in the second half but then succumbed to 2 Jon Shaw headers to finish 2-7. A totally unexpected result and somewhat harsh on Wrexham who created plenty of chances and played some excellent football.

The home fans were staging a protest that day against their board so the stewards were perhaps a little edgier than they would normally have been but we never felt threatened by what were largely good-natured protests. The home fans also found time to provide pretty steadfast support to their players and were gracious enough to applaud the Gateshead lads at the final whistle.

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

Due to the above mentioned protests we were kept in the stand for about 15 minutes after the whistle and then escorted onto our bus by police and stewards who accompanied us to the main road. In all honesty this seemed a little excessive as the Wrexham fans were in dispute with their owners and it never seemed likely that any trouble would spill over in our direction. As you can imagine, with a 7-2 victory under our belts we had a very happy journey back to Tyneside.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

An unforgettable day out! Wrexham was one of the friendliest away trips I have made. I will definitely return in futre and wish the supporters of Wrexham FC the best of luck with their ownership issues.
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