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Goodison Park
Everton v Hull City
Saturday 3rd January 2009, 3pm
Premier League
By John Miles

(Hull City fan)

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

I was looking forward to visiting a number of grounds during Hull City's inaugural season in the Premier League and Everton was on that list. Itís a ground steeped in history and has relatively little development during the Premier League era maintaining character.

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

The journey to Goodison Park was easy, straight down the M62 and we parked in Stanley Park at the designated Park and Walk site, be prepared to fork out £8 though!

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

We arrived about 2.15, the local fans seemed friendly enough although we headed straight for the ground to get some refreshments.

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

The ground is quite imposing as you walk down through the Park, with all of the original structure clad in grey and blue. Upon arrival the away stand looked okay, however once negotiating the automatic turnstiles and the spacious stairs to the concourse it went downhill fast. 

The concourse is not up to the standards of many other Premier League grounds, itís narrow and even tighter around the food and drink outlet. There is about 2.5m between the counter and the opposite wall which makes queuing and getting round the queue very difficult and claustrophobic. 

The stand is a wooden stand which really shows its age, although the character and atmosphere is one of the reasons why I wanted to visit the ground. It was great however for helping to create an atmosphere and I was lucky as I was on the end of a row and had plenty of leg room.

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

For Hull City it was a poor match, we could not decide whether to defend our attack, leading to us being on the back foot for much of the 1st half and ultimately conceding 2 goals. The atmosphere is good at Goodison, the home fans get behind the team and put pressure on the referee, and for away fans the old stand meant good acoustics so we could make plenty of noise.

The pies were barely warm but I was took my chances rather than rejoining the queue again. Pints of Chang lager are available for £3.80 as are pints of Marstonís beer. There is also a choice of hot dogs, sausage rolls tea, coffee etc.

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

Getting away from the ground was not too difficult, although the hardest part was leaving the car park which took about 45mins.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Despite the result it was good day out, the ground has a fantastic atmosphere which has a lot to do with the character of the place. I would recommend a trip to Goodison Park before they moved to a sanitised new stadium! Like the nearby Anfield the writing is on the wall for these old grounds, see them while you can!

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited Goodison Park recently?
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