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Galpharm Stadium
Huddersfield Town v Preston North End
Saturday October 22nd, 2011, 3pm
League One
Andrew Riley
(Preston North End fan)

1.Having previously researched the stadium on this useful website, it looked very inviting to visit due to the style and size, besides I was confident that the North End could get a result with high expectancy following our relegation from the Championship. The journey there was very easy. I departed on the coach from Deepdale at 12:30pm for a short trip over the Pennines on a glorious day. At the stadium there was a designated area/car park for coaches only. Unlike many other stadiums, this makes the walk to the ground a lot easier and shorter.

As the stadium is positioned in a valley type area, there wasn't much food outlets/facilities around the stadium so we were stuck with the outdoor concourse which was not a problem. Although there seemed a large number of police outside the ground, both sets of fans seemed friendly to each other as we walked to the stadium.

My first impressions of the superbly designed sporting venue put a smile on my face and it gave a sense of excitement. The stadium from the outside looked surprisingly small and less tall to how I had imagined, however that was due to it being situated in a dip. The outside spacing area was level with the back row so when you entered, you were looking straight down on a stand that I would say consisted 20 rows'ish which was not steep. The Pink Link Stand (away) was single tiered however it was good to see two of the other stands having a second tier which made the size of the stadium look rather large from inside.

As kick off approached I was surprised by how many Northenders made the trip to support Phil Brown's men and soon came close to filling the away end. This was a perfect recipe for a great atmosphere and with most PNE fans standing for the whole game through out, there was a large group of Town supporters stood to the right of us on the adjacent single tiered stand, which gave an opportunity for both sets of fans to give plenty of banter to each other. The atmosphere was one to remember.

Huddersfield were 3-0 up by half time due to the superb brilliance of Jordan Rhodes which gave the North End faithful not much hope coming into the second half. Furthermore, the Town fans did make sensational noise after they scored and felt like I was in a Premier League environment. Despite that, North End did put on some pressure second half and as a result, Juvhel Tsoumou gave the whites a glimour of hope on the 61st minute however it only resulted in a consolation.

At half time, the food options was extremely limited and this is a point I would like to highlight. They had ran out of pies etc, with only having microwaved sausage rolls on offer which were served on a paper plate. In addition the prices seemed a bit steep. The toilets were clean and had no problems using them although busy! These problems could have may been prevented if not so many North End fans turned up on the day, as you could pay on the day. These situations caused problems for the stewards in my opinion with over 2,600 Northenders altogether though I am not complaining about that.

After the match, getting away from the ground was easy after a short walk back to the coach it was hard to find your coach with there being so many of them from Preston. This was quite amusing however nothing to do with the Stadium.

All in all, despite the result, this was a great day out representing Preston, making so much noise! I would definitely go back to this stadium in the future and depending both teams are still in the same division next year, I will be making a return without any doubt. Also I would recommend traveling to this stadium wherever you are in the country as a friendly, relaxed and fun day out is on offer supporting your beloved team. However remember to go stocked with plenty of food in your pockets!

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