1. Why you were looking forward
to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
With me not
being a Season Ticket holder for Liverpool, it is very hard to get sorted
for away games. I decided I would buy a ticket for the home end for this
match, due to the ticket only being £17 for under 18’s, and the ease of
buying a ticket on Middlesbrough’s website. I was looking forward to it
because away games with Liverpool are fantastic, the following is always
sold out, the atmosphere is great, and everyone stands, which I prefer,
also it would be my first visit to the Riverside.
2. How easy was your
journey/finding the ground/car parking?
After leaving Sheffield at
around 10:30, hoping to get there at about 1:30, I got to the ground at
12pm, and with the game kicking off at 3, I had gotten to the ground far
too early. This was because the route on the motorway was pretty much
totally clear, barely any traffic, It was slightly irritating that I had
loads of time to spare, however better to be early than late of course.
The ground was very easy to find, satellite navigation never lets
you down. I parked on a bit of wasteland on dockside road, which cost a
reasonable £5, much better than the extortionate prices at
3. What you did before the game
pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
I sat in the car listening to
the radio for about half an hour, then decided that I would walk up to the
ground. The ground looks rather plain and doesn’t really seem to have
anything special about it from the outside, the design of the ground is
just a sort of bowl. The surrounding area is nothing special at all, it
seems that the ground is really in the middle of nowhere. I walked around
the ground and looked at the front entrance which has the old Ayresome
Gates, I felt this was a nice touch. I then realised that I had no money
to buy anything to eat or a programme, which meant I had to make the 15
minute walk into the Town centre for a cash machine, by this time I was
freezing and desperate for the toilet.
When I returned to the
ground, I purchased the worst beef burger and chips from a
refreshments van at a game ever! I stood outside the away end and watched
the stewards open the turnstiles, I felt very jealous that I couldn’t be
going into the away end, however, I noticed the ‘visiting supporters
ticket office’ next to our turnstiles, I thought I may as well go up to
the office and try my luck for a ticket. The woman behind the desk said
they were sold out, however she directed me to a bloke that had some
spares, RESULT! I went up to him and asked to see if he had any under 18
tickets, he did. I only had £16 on me, but he still gave me one. I was
over the moon, now I just had to sell my home ticket, I simply went to the
North Stand ticket office and returned it with no problems at
4. What you thought on seeing
the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the
When entering our end, the
steward asked me for ID for my under 18 ticket, I was astonished, luckily
I had my drivers license and was allowed entry. The concourse is rather
tight and cramped, however there are screens to watch the noon kick off,
which was our lovely neighbours in blue, versus West Brom. After about an
hour on the concourse mingling with the reds fans, I made my way to my
seat in block 62. The ground is not very impressive, like many new style
grounds, it desperately lacks character. However the view from the away
end is nothing to complain about.
5. Comment on the game itself,
atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was nothing I
would really like to talk about. With us desperately needing a win to keep
up the chase on United, who were storming in the league, we put on one of
the worst displays I have seen away from Anfield, and lost 2-0. The
players didn’t even clap us at the end, which was very infuriating.
Looking back now, that game was where we lost the title. One other thing
is that I have heard stories that the stewards are very strict on
persistent standing at Boro, we had no problems with this and the stewards
never bothered to tell us to sit down.
6. Comment on getting away from
the ground after the game:
After an utterly dire game and
performance, I wanted to get away from the Riverside as soon as possible.
The queues leaving the car park were absolutely terrible, we had to wait
for all the fans to disperse from dockside road, and then very slowly make
my way to the A66, it took about an hour and 15 minutes to get on the A66,
after that it was plain sailing back to Sheffield.
7. Summary of overall thoughts
of the day out:
The day out is something I
would rather forget. After the luck of getting a ticket in our end, the
rest was a total disaster. The ground really needs some history and some
character. Dare I say it, I am glad I don’t have to be making the trip to
The Riverside anytime soon after their relegation to the Championship.