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Broadfield Stadium
Crawley Town v Notts County
Saturday, March 9th 2013, 3pm
League One
  By James Spring
(Notts County fan)

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

As a lot of people who read this site are probably aware, I only get to see my beloved Notts County when they play down south due to living in Weymouth. Crawley was a fixture  that I had earmarked when the fixtures first came out. I do a lot of non-league grounds with Weymouth so I was interested to see if the Broadfield had a non-league feel to it. Plus you canít beat a bit of terracing!

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

On paper at least, the journey looked fairly straightforward. Train from Upwey to Southampton, then Southampton to Crawley for 1pm. Only trouble was, the train we were meant to get from Southampton to Crawley was initially delayed by just over half an hour, before being cancelled completely due to a broken down freight train further down the line. We therefore had to get a train to Clapham Junction to get a train to Crawley.

We managed it and got into Crawley for about quarter past two. There is a map of the local area outside Crawley station, but itís not particularly clear Ėdidnít have any of the usual points of interest or tell you where you are, which isnít particularly helpful.

We asked a Police officer outside the station for directions to the ground, which he gave us, and told us it was about a ten minute walk. HA! Ten minutes in his car maybe, but at least half an hour by foot. The route we took was right out of the station onto Station Way, then right when we got to Southgate Avenue. Then it was a good twenty minute walk down Southgate Avenue (or the A2004 as itís called on Google maps) until we reached Southgate Roundabout. Thereís a giant football in the middle of the roundabout so thatís something to look for when visiting. Thereís a network of subways under the roundabout that bring you into the stadium car park, and conveniently for us Ė outside the away end.

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

We had arrived in Crawley late so could only go straight to the ground. There is a McDonalds practically straight ahead of you at the end of Friary Way if you need a pre-match meal (post match in our case). Thatís in the town centre so I would be surprised if there werenít more food outlets or a few pubs around the place.

Brought a match day programme outside the ground for £3. The sellers were some of the friendliest Iíve come across it must be said. The programme itself wasnít bad. Once Iíd done that it was straight into the ground and onto the terrace behind the goal. Weíd made it with about five minutes to spare!

The few home fans we did come across before and after the game seemed friendly enough, although I didnít get talking to anyone properly.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground. First impressions of the away end and other sides of the stadium?

The first thing I saw on the way to the ground was the rather strange floodlights perched on top of the Main Stand. Not seen any like that before!

The ground itself is fairly smart to say theyíve only been in the football league two years. The two terraces behind the two goals are identical and the one end accommodated about 400 Notts fans fairly comfortably. Plenty of room and views of the playing action are fairly good, at least better than I had expected.

To the right of the away terrace (KR-L stand) is the pretty smart West Stand -  the Club's Main Stand, and to the left is a makeshift covered seated stand which was almost full of home fans. Part of this stand is also given to away fans, although only about half our seats were taken. There are however quite a few supporting pillars along the front of the stand so I would expected a fairly restricted view. On the whole, I was impressed with the ground but I had a feeling I would be. I always prefer smaller grounds to those modern soulless bowls.

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

The game itself seemed to have draw written all over it given both sides recent form and positions on the table, although both kept telling themselves they had an outside chance of the play-offs. A 0-0 draw was a fair result although both sides had their chances, and as scoreless draws go it wasnít that bad a game. The atmosphere from the away end was pretty good throughout although I didnít hear much from the home fans. The stewards seemed fine, didnít seem to have anything to do all game. Didnít sample the food for myself but from what people brought it seemed to have the usual selection of Pies, sausage rolls, pasties, and drinks.

The toilets are basically right in front of you as you enter the away end. I was surprised at how clean they were for a football ground. 

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

We went back the way we came. It was fairly busy immediately outside the ground as youíd expect but as soon as we got back onto Southgate Avenue, all football pedestrians seemed to disappear completely! Got back to the station in about half an hour.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of day out:

Overall not a bad day out despite the panic and hectic journey getting there, although a 0-0 draw always feels like a bit of an anti-climax. Still, at least we didnít lose. Will certainly try and return again next season if weíre both in the same league (which now looks fairly nailed on!).

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