The Riverside - Middlesbrough FC
Sunday 16th January 2005
V Everton, Premier League, 2pm
By Debbie Smaje
1. Why you were
looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)
Boro were just a few points behind Everton before kick off. With Liverpool losing the day before, it was a big European place six pointer that Boro needed to win to stay in touch with us.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Drove up early on Sunday morning, straightforward journey. The ground appears to your far left, didn't seem to be much parking around, so we parked in a retail park (free at weekends, handy!)
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Took a walk around the retail park and the ground. Home fans were
annoying, but friendly!
Yet another new ground that looks similar to the others, especially
similar to the Madejski. The away end was the same as the rest of the
ground! The view was good, but the acoustics weren't
very good at all. We were halfway up, but the roof was too high.
Home fans were the quietest I've heard, barring Leeds. Even when they took an undeserved lead (given to them on a plate by Richard Wright's indecision again!) We were on top for most of the game, but it looked like the elusive goal wasn't going to come. We even hit the woodwork twice! Sent on Big Dunc, back from suspension after Charlton. First action was heading down a Bent cross to the feet of Cahill who scrambled it in to send us bananas behind that goal!
As good as the game was and as well as we played, the day was spoiled by the police and stewards. They were bullying and ejecting away fans for nothing, filming us for the entire game, threatening people who stood up etc. Quite a few fans were ejected when we equalised.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Murder! The police were herding people into the subway to get us across
the traintracks, but there were 20 odd thousand people tying to get through, so
most of us tried to walk around the tracks. We ended up walking all the way into
the town centre and back again! Once there, we were sat in the car for about 2
hours trying to get out of the car park! A big new ground like that, but nowhere
sensible to park!
Not the best day out in the Premiership. As with most new retail park based grounds, there isn't a lot to do beforehand. We were lucky we were treated to a good game, but apart from that, not one of the better days out in the Premiership. The police and stewards spoiled it. Talking to other Everton fans, there is always big trouble when Everton or Liverpool are in town, by far the worst police I have ever seen, and they clearly believe everything they hear about scousers.
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