Why you were looking forward to going
to the ground (or not as the case may
I visited this ground many years ago
but my son could not recall. Southend
had only lost one in the last 12 games
and were unbeaten in 2014. Whilst
Mansfield were 19th in the League
having won only two home games since
coming back into the Football League
last season as Conference Champions.
Southend had won 3 nil at home to
Mansfield earlier in the season so the
prospect of another 3 points made the
trip a must.
2. How easy was your journey/finding
the ground/car parking?
My son and I travel to games from
North Wales as exiled fans so it was
about 110 miles each way and just over
2Ĺ hours along the M56, A6, A619 and
A617. The ground was easy to find and
we asked about parking at the ground,
which we could for £5 but decided to
park in a side road just round the
corner to avoid delays in getting out
of the car park. We turned into Quarry
Lane and then parked in Highfield Way.
3. What you did before the game
pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We ate our usual pre-packed picnic and
listened to radio commentary on
Liverpool v Arsenal. We didnít meet
any fans to talk to.
4. What you thought on seeing the
ground, first impressions of away end
then other sides of the ground?
The ground came into sight on our
right as we arrived next door to a
retail park. The ground appears quite
impressive with a large Main Stand. As
we walked to the away entrance gate
via a small gate from the club car
park, we got a full view of the
adjacent busy retail park. Entrance is
via an electronic system scanning
ticket barcodes. The Main Stand and
stands behind each goal appear modern
and all seated. The stand opposite the
Main Stand is dilapidated and not used
being covered in large wooden
advertising boards. The 40 or so,
advertising boards make the ground
appear scruffy in my opinion. There is
a small wooden hut on the top with a
couple of hardy cameramen trying not
to be blown away by the gale force
winds. The manager dugouts are also on
that side of the ground, isolated from
any fans of either side. We were given
the whole of the away stand and the
leg room is comfortable. The views of
the pitch are superb. The pitch was
rain sodden but played well.
5. Comment on the game itself,
atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities
The game was played in freezing gale
force gusting wind and rain and there
was not much atmosphere until
Mansfield took the lead with a great
shot in the first half. Southend fans
did their best to will the team on but
a 2nd Mansfield goal in the second
half subdued even the most die hard
Southend fans. There is a food service
area under the stand, offering the
usual pies and drinks at reasonable
cost. I can recommend the hot and
tasty beef and onion pies at £2-50.
The stewards were relaxed and
friendly. Southend managed to get a
consolation goal in the 90th minute
but, too little too late. The
Mansfield mascot is a stag (adult) and
he was accompanied by a baby stag
(youth) which was an unusual sight.
The match program of 70 pages was £3
and a reasonable read.
6. Comment on getting away from the
ground after the game:
There was no delay in getting away
from the ground and we relied on
satnav to take us back to North Wales.
The weather had worsened as the satnav
guided us to the M1 we assumed wrongly
that we would be taken directly north
to the M62 and a straight forward
journey. We instead, found ourselves
taking the old Sheffield to Manchester
elevated route via the A628 Snake Pass
road, which is a tricky route, even in
the middle of summer. Luckily, being
dark we could not see the drops
neither side of this high, twisting
road, only the twinkling lights of
villages and towns way below us! The
route was interesting to say the least
in driving rain and gales force winds,
and one I would not recommend in any
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the
This was a good day out with an
interesting journey, but the weather
and result spoiled the day. Mansfield
is a good ground to visit and the Main
Stand is modern and impressive.
3,055 (484 away).