1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground:
First visit to Victoria Park, Hartlepool.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
We drove from North Wales (exiled Southend fans)
via M56, M62, M1, A19, 320 miles round trip, clear
roads taking three hours journey each way. We
stopped at Wetherby Services enroute, which was
busy but clean and efficient.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
We took a packed meal with us and sat in car after
walk round outside of ground. Home fans we met
whilst collecting tickets from their office were
particularly friendly, talking of Hartlepool's
relegation last season and discussing merits of
Southend's manager Phil Brown who did play for
Hartlepool in his younger days and pointing out
pubs worth visiting.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
The ground was easy to find by following Town
Centre signs and then the floodlights came into
view. We found a small car park at the rear of the
Niramax Stand. The ground is clean neat and
compact, the away end is standing with barriers to
lean on which I feel is better than cramped seats
particularly when weather is cold.
The popular Niramax Stand has a seated top part
with no backs to the seats and a standing paddock
room in front. The away end is all seated and with
only 200 or so Southend fans it was easy to find a
seat with a fair view to avoid the stand supports.
The electronic scoreboard between the home and and
Niramax sSand counted down the minutes and is
easily viewed by away supporters, which is not
always the case at other grounds. The pitch was
like a bowling green, being the opening game of
this new season 2013/14.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The Hartlepool mascot “Angus” the monkey climbed
into the away end to meet the Southend fans before
kick off. A welcome gesture and he was greeted
with friendly handshakes from kids and adults
alike. Southend took the lead after 5 minutes so
home fans enthusiasm was dampened and then just
before half time Southend's Barry Corr was sent
off to ensure a tense 2nd half for us away fans.
The away stand was noisy for the last few minutes
as we survived the sending off, to gain a 2nd
The stewards were good and allowed some standing
at the back of the stand. There was a cold breeze
from the North Sea blowing in to the back of the
The chips were the biggest I have seen at any
football ground and the hot dogs appeared to be a
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
It was easy to get away from the ground and main
roads were clearly sign posted.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A good day and winning our 1st away game of the
season. The weather was pleasantly warm except for
the breeze at the back of the away stand.
Result: Hartlepool United 0-1 Southend United