Pride Park -
Saturday 29th April 2008
Vs Fulham, Premier League, 3pm
By Donald Tindall
I had been looking forward
to this game all season as, being a Fulham fan, I thought we
actually stood a chance of winning the contest.
We drove to the game and it was fairly easy. As you come in on the Brian Clough way into Derby we turned back on ourselves and parked in the cattle market. It was about a 5 minute walk from there. The disappointing aspect is the stadiums situation. It is in the middle of a very bland retail park. So we were forced, along with 1000’s of other fans to walk across a busy dual carriage way. It seemed as though they had just put the stadium there with little thought for anything else such as pubs nearby etc……..
We arrived fairly early but apart from a lot of fast food outlets there was nothing decent on offer, we got some decent burgers from a stand just outside the away entrance. We did not have much trouble with the Derby fans ourselves but there were reports of numerous incidents prior to the match. And police were forced to step in after the match to stop a confrontation.
The ground seemed decent, all 4 sides were fairly similar. The legroom was reasonable, but I do not like these modern stadiums springing up everywhere. They lack the soul of older grounds even if the facilities were better. The view was also good and I could not see anywhere that gave the impression of an impeded view.
The atmosphere from the Fulham fans was brilliant, there were near 3,000 of us and we were all there to make some noise. The Derby fans seemed understandably subdued due to their appalling season. They did not have a brilliant sense of humour either though I would applaud them for showing up in large numbers and making a fair bit of noise. The stewards were awful, when they tried to eject several fans for standing up the whole end stood up and sang in protest. There was only one kiosk inside the ground, but they allowed you outside to the awaiting burger vans which helped enormously.
It was very poor getting away after the game with thousands of fans with no pavements across a busy retail park, if we had been heading anywhere but back onto the motorway next to the ground it would have been a nightmare.
Although the stadium itself is of good quality, the location of it severely disrupts any attempts to make a day out of it. Because of the result with Fulham drawing 2-2
I did not enjoy it that much but it is still significantly better than some grounds. 6/10.
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