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Goodison Park
Everton v
Oldham Athletic
Saturday 5th January 2008, 3pm
FA Cup 3rd Round
By Alan Ferguson
(Oldham Athletic fan)

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

As this was a massive match for my team Oldham Athletic, 3rd round of the magical FA Cup a lower league team against a Premier League Team - a possible banana skin in the making. Being an Oldham fan based in Northern Ireland and due to the fact that Oldham have been playing in the lower leagues for a number of years this was my first visit to a premier league teams ground hence the excitement.

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

We flew into Liverpool airport from Belfast on the morning of the game, and a friend from Oldham drove across and met us at the airport. We drove into the centre of Liverpool as we got lost we stopped and asked a more than helpful taxi driver how to get to Goodison. He must have been from the red side of Merseyside as we followed his directions and we ended up and Anfield the home of Liverpool FC. We knew both grounds are located within touching distance so within 5 minutes we could see Goodison in the distance. We drove past the main stand and parked our car down a small side street we arrived at the ground around 11.00 so there was plenty of available spaces.

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

We went for our breakfast in a small cafe located near the ground and to our surprise they served an Ulster Fry and being from Northern Ireland this was ideal, so the 5 of us got stuck into that. We then headed off to the Wetherspoons pub for a few beers, the pub was empty when we arrived apart from a few fans kitted out in Everton tops. We all had Oldham Athletic tops visible in the pub but there was no trouble at all very very friendly, until it came to about 13.45 when the pub started to get busy and we started to get a few dirty looks from a number of guys. We thought this was the right time to leave so we made our way to the ground. In all the home fans where quite friendly apart from the guys that tried to stare us out at the pub, but you get these sorts of people no matter what ground you visit.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground.

On approaching the ground it looked quite impressive, it was very busy in and around the ground, therefore we made our way to the away end. What a disappointment the away end was, our tickets where for the Bullens Stand (Lower Tier) at the back. The view was dire and as it was a 5,500 sell out for the away fans there was no spare seats to move to. We had small wooden seats bolted to a wooden type floor and hardly any room to manoeuvre. The rest of the ground looked okay especially the main stand towering over the pitch. You can know understand why Everton are looking to move to a new ground as parts of Goodison really are not fit for Premier League footie.

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

What can I say we won 1-0 against a team riding high in the premiership, Oldham mid table League One Team - Everton 6th in the Premiership and still in the later stages of the UEFA Cup. Everton did field an under strength team, however they still had 7 internationals on show. Not to mention we had 6 players unavailable from our win at Leeds a few days earlier. The stewards our the best I have encountered on my football travels, no hassle at all I wish a number of other grounds I visited had the same type of stewarding take note Nottingham Forest.

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

We celebrated long after the game and this allowed for the disappointed Everton fans to disperse. On leaving the ground the police where out in force, helicopter circling above with a giant search light beaming down on top of us and mounted police visible. We covered up our Oldham colours and made our way back to the car just in case some Everton fans took the defeat bad. On all quite easy to get away from the ground we reached our car and made our way back to Liverpool Airport for our flight back to Belfast.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great day out and what made it even better was the Everton fans at the airport shaking our hands and saying Oldham deserved the win.

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