Victoria Park, Hartlepool United
League One v Norwich City
Saturday, August 29th 2009, 3pm
Newcastle-based Canary I took the train with my 8 year old son to
Hartlepool for the
into one proper Pub on the west side of the ground, name escapes me, and
was OK. The rest seemed, from the outside at least, to fall into one of
two categories; either a town centre chain or ‘locals’ joint with, if not
menace, just that small northern town that’s been on its knees for too
long vibe or a Grandad’s Working Men’s Club (entrance is a ‘door in a
wall’) type place where you don’t know if you want to ask the doorman if
you can go in – just in case you get welcomed in and then can’t escape
again!! I can’t vouch for the size of the pies though as,
annoyingly, if you want a drink then you have to go to a separate hatch
for a beer as you would for a pie – leaving you with a choice between the
two if you don’t want to miss any of the action. Maybe it was a testament
to the numbers that
Getting to the ground is simplicity itself by train with Victoria Park being a short walk from the station and with an average attendance of 4,500 of which 1,000 tops are away fans, you’ll get a seat on the train out again no probs.
My first thought of the ground was ‘not quite the shed it thought it was going to be’ shortly followed thereafter by ‘my god, that’s a terrace, and there’s another one too!’ just a shame that the away fans are all seated by comparison. The stewards were excellent, just enough of a visible presence without being present, and yet on-the-ball when one of the more exuberant NCFC contingent fell over and hurt himself.
My second thought was ‘my gosh we are really close to the pitch’ and I mean really close. The playing surface is ringed by some sand/gravel not sufficiently wide for two people to walk two-abreast along it and that’s it. Declan Rudd and Fraser Forster were almost literally within reach as they performed their Goalkeeping warm-up.
thought is: tidy little ground and a lot to be proud of if you’re a Pools
season ticket holder, I may even return as a neutral someday. Especially
if they get Darlo or
Highlight of the day was as
we pulled into the station the drive/guard announces over the tannoy “The
next station stop is
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© Duncan Adams 2009
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