Sunday 31 August 2013,
Rory Murphy (Sunderland fan)
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
As soon as the fixtures came out I was looking
forward to going to Crystal Palace. I thought it
would be an easy 3 points but that wasn't to be
the case. I also thought the ground had a lot of
character and a nice blend of old and modern
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
Me and my friend set off from Darlington at 10AM
hoping to get to the ground at about 3-3:30PM. The
journey was fine up until we hit London. As you'd
expect it was mayhem. After crossing the Thames
there was little traffic and we headed towards
Selhurst. We parked on a street which was a 5 min
walk from the ground.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
Since we got there in good time there wasn't too
many fans around but none of them seemed
intimidating and the majority smiled at us even
though I had my red and white stripes on. Once we
got into the ground I went to buy a drink but
noticed that the area was too tight and cramped so
I did without.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
The first stand I saw was the two-tiered
Holmesdale Road Stand which looked quite
impressive. We then followed a number of other
Sunderland fans to the turnstiles. The away end is
at one end of the Arthur Wait Stand which is a bit
old and rundown. To the top of the stand the seats
were wooden but we got lucky and got plastic
seats. As I said the ground is a mixture of old
and new with the Whitehorse Lane and Holmesdale
Road Stands which looked quite modern and the
Arthur Wait and Main Stands looking a bit tired.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was quite poor from a Sunderland point of
view with Palace taking an early lead. Sunderland
came back with a brilliant header from Steven
Fletcher on his return from injury. After that the
2,000 or so Mackems were definitely in full voice.
A silly mistake from John O'Shea resulted in a
penalty and a sending off and to put the nail in
the coffin Stuart O'Keefe scored an absolute
screamer in the last minute. Palace fans were
brilliant behind the goal but only really got
behind their team when they scored. Sunderland
fans were great as well. If only the team were as
good as their support. The stewards were fine and
didn't tell us to sit down throughout the game.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
There was a lot of traffic getting away from the
ground and it didn't help with a few Palace fans
shouting 3-1 at us. They weren't intimidating
though. It took us about four and a half hours to
get back to the North-East after a disappointing
performance from the Black Cats.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
It was a great day out. Friendly fans, great
atmosphere and a unique stadium. The result wasn't
too good though!