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St James' Park
Exeter City v Leeds United
League One
Saturday, January 16th, 2010, 3pm
Richard Naylor
(Leeds United fan)

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

Iíd never been to Exeter before and was looking forward to discovering a new town and a new ground.

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

I arrived at Exeter St Davidís station and followed some directions Iíd written down from Google Map.  It was a straight forward and pleasant 20-25 minute stroll through suburbia and did not feel like I was going to a match until I arrived outside the ground.

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

I went straight into the ground as I was pushed for time but compared to other Leeds away games, the locals, police, stewards etc were all remarkably laid back and non-confrontational. It was certainly a friendly Devon welcome.

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

From TV footage I knew the away end was a small open terrace but seeing it, was believing it.  Three sides are what youíd expect from grounds at this level but I was in shock at the size and poor state of the away section.

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

The game felt like a cup tie but was not enjoyable as we lost and played unexpectedly rubbish.  Exeterís players were more up for it and their fans were obviously excited at hosting a team like Leeds.  There were problems getting Leeds fans in and a crush developed just inside the ground near the turnstiles with the police and stewards not seeming to have any idea how to deal with it.  They also seemed to bring Leeds fans from the home areas into an already over-crowded away terrace.  The toilets were the worst Iíve ever seen and it rained heavily in the 2nd half so all in all this was a game to forget. I was also disappointed by the 'southern' Leeds fans lack of passion and singing.

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

I managed to slope off about 30 secs before the final whistle as we were two down and I needed to get a train. Again the journey back to the station was easy apart from the torrential rain.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Exeter seemed like a good place to spend more pre-match time and take in the city sights.
If Leeds had played well and I hadnít got soaked to the skin, I wouldíve had a great time.  As it is, I really donít want to go there again as it means we will not go up. Give me a prawn sandwich at Old Trafford any day.

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