Doncaster Rovers v Cardiff City
Saturday, April 9th 2011, 3pm
By Adam Tibbs
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I was looking forward to visiting the Keepmoat stadium because it was it was a new ground that I had never visited before. Plus Cardiff City were chasing automatic promotion to the Premier League and I thought we should easily be able to pick up 3 points against a relegation threatened and a largley inconsistent Doncaster side who we easily thrashed 4-0 at home in August.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
As I went by supporters coach all of this was not really applicable but the coaches drop you off behind some Astroturf pitches on a gravel 'car park' and you can just walk to the ground from there.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
I went to a pub before the game, which was just around the corner from the ground by a hotel. The pub was full of fellow Cardiff City supporters. As we then went towards the stadium to look for a burger van or something along those lines we stopped to watch our team coach arrive and had a look around the club shop, where I noticed that some of the Doncaster Rovers shirts were a lot cheaper than our own. I found the home fans to be the friendliest of any away trip I have ever been to, their fans were well behaved and the majority of them were families.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground looks fairly uniform, one tier all the way around and oddly angled floodlights, but i was very impressed by the views of the pitch and the fact that the stewards just told us to 'sit' anywhere we wanted. I can't comment on leg room because its very rare that Cardiff fans sit down at an away game! The concourse under the ground was modern and even had some bar style stools in there for people to sit and have a chat with mates before the game, the ground was impressing me more by the minute.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itself was a fantastic game to watch with chances end to end, but even when your going for automatic promotion as I found out going to a team fighting against relegation is never easy and Doncaster dominated the early part of the game missing 2 or 3 good chances in the opening exchanges, but Cardiff on our first attack on 14 minutes took the lead with a goal from Chris Burke.
I went down to the toilets at the break and they were what you would expect from a modern grounds toilets.
As I go back out for the second half Doncaster dominated play even more and finally on 78 minutes got their goal and a well deserved goal at that from James Coppenger, and in the last 10 minutes Cardiff needing a win to go into the automatic promotion places threw everything bar the kitchen sink at Doncaster and the Cardiff fans thought we had blown it, on 90 minutes our Manager brings on Lee Naylor (a player who had struggled throughout the season to cope at this level of football) and Jason Koumas (A player who had his mind elsewhere apparently and hadn't featured for us since November) so we thought that was game over.
On 90+1 minutes we get a free kick about 20 yards out and with that Jason Koumas decides he wants to take the free kick, so with his first touch of a football since November, he perfectly curls the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal (from where the away fans were), and the Cardiff fans celebrated the hardest ive ever seen any set of supporters celebrate in my life, and then whilst we were still celebrating, Koumas with his second touch of the ball since November taps it in to the open Doncaster net after having the ball put on a plate for him by Craig Bellamy, after the 3rd goal went in, there was a mass exodus from the home supporters as they queued to leave the ground on the steps, the final whilstle blew and Cardiff City who had been outplayed, out-muscled and had been Dominated for 75% of the game won 3-1.
The atmosphere from the away fans was terrific and there is a drummer in the home singing section to boost the atmosphere but because the home fans singing section is the other side of the ground to the away supporters you can't really hear the home support which is a shame because you could tell that they were singing their hearts out and you could see them with their arms raised in chanting, but at the time we found it quite comical at the same time that we couldn't hear them singing but could see them dancing to the song that they were singing.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
we got let out of the ground and went straight onto our coaches with no problems at all, straght outside the away end are the Astroturf pitches and the coaches are behind there.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
The scoreline flattered us a lot with us winning 3-1 when I felt Doncaster deserved to get something from the game and another day could have easily won it. but Doncaster is a fantasic day out for any football fan and i would throughly reccomend this trip.
This trip would also be ideal for parents taking their children on their first away game because of the family feel you get around the place in Doncaster and in and around the keepmoat stadium.
It is the best away trip I have ever been on and I will recommended it to anyone..
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