Everton v Blackburn Rovers
Saturday January 21st 2012, 3pm
By Tom Croft
(Blackburn Rovers fan)
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):.
I'd heard mixed views about Goodison Park so was interested to see what it was actually like. Friends who had sat in both the home and away sections had given me rather different reports, but most of them commented on the excellent atmosphere generated by the away supporters. That and the fact that Rovers were playing well at the time and that tickets were cheap encouraged me to attend.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We travelled to this game by official club coach which parked just down the road (about 100 yards) so finding the ground was no problem although when we drove past it I thought that Anfield was actually Goodison (sorry to the Everton and Liverpool fans there!) and wondered why we were parking such a way from the ground at first! When we got nearer to the ground I couldn't see any obvious places for car parking.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Before the game we went for a few drinks in a pub which i think was called the "King Harry" (not sure) which was about a 10 minute walk from the ground. The pub was very secluded and you could actually see Anfield down an alley from outside this pub. I noticed that there were plenty of burger vans about so getting something to eat would be no problem. The pub was fairly empty but the people in there were Everton supporters and were very friendly and the banter with them was good! Walking back to the ground we did get odd looks off a few Evertonians but all in all the home fans were helpful and friendly.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
One of the only bad things I can say about Goodison in the away section, is that it is old with supporting pillars giving a restricted view to those sat in the back of the lower tier. We were sat right at the end of the stand so were as close to the home fans as possible which resulted in plenty of banter between both sets of supporters, some of which got taken a bit too far and resulted in a Rovers fan being ejected from the stadium by Police (Quite rightly as well.) The view was okay but was quite difficult to see the action at the far end (to our right).
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game itself was a lively affair with chances at both end in the first half. Rovers started the brighter side and were unlucky not to take the lead when David Dunn hit the post. Everton took the lead when Fellaini handled the ball into the path of Tim Cahill who drilled past Paul Robinson to make it 1-0 to the home side.
The second half started the same as the first with both sides going at it; Rovers arguably the better side creating more chances and finally getting the deserved equalizer after Howard let a Pederson
free kick straight through his hands for Cahill to bungle a clearance to Goodwillie who didn't know much about it as the ball hit his leg and went in to make it 1-1. Everton pressed for a winner late on hitting the
bar and forcing Robinson into a few outstanding saves but the score remained 1-1. A relatively fair result with us Rovers fans feeling we perhaps deserved all three points but still a point away is a point away!
The atmosphere was generated mainly by the Rovers fans which considering there wasn't many of us was very impressive. There weren't too many Everton fans singing but those who did were the ones near us away fans which made it better for us. The stewards were excellent; very helpful and chatty at half time which you don't always get. The facilities were poor though in my opinion and the gents was very clean at all.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting away was a nightmare. We got back to the coach with a few Everton fan's bidding us a safe journey home but it was a good half hour before we were moving at speed again as the traffic in the area was very congested so I would recommend leaving plenty of time to get away from the ground.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall I found Everton Away to be a good day out with the locals/home Fans being mainly very friendly and helpful. The stadium is disappointing but a good atmosphere can be generated from the away section. An easy to find stadium with plenty of burger vans around for food and pubs for drinking. (Please note that we were informed that a lot of the pubs immediately around the ground were for home fans only). If you're a first time visitor I would definately recommend a visit to Goodison Park.
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