Carrow Road - Norwich City FC
Saturday November 20th 2010
Vs Leeds United, Championship League, 3pm
By Craig Stevens
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
and domestic arrangements, plus being an expat Aussie whose mates support
big London clubs (or dismiss football altogether) mean that I’m not able
to get to as many games as I would like to, which means that for away
games I have to rely on a little bit of luck to get a ticket from the
small allocations of tickets for non-season ticket holders. This was to be one of my few
matches for the year and I’d never been to Norwich, so thought I’d take in
the city as well as the match.
I was going to check out Norwich, I arrived some 4 hours before
kick-off. I found the County
Hall car park easily (and was only charged £3 instead of the advertised
just wandered aimlessly around for a few hours. Being on my own, and driving,
heading to the pub wasn’t a good idea. The city itself had some very
vibrant areas, there were lots of people out and about shopping etc. There was, as is usual, a large
police presence especially around the pubs near the train station,
including a few members of West Yorkshire’s finest. I overhead a local constable
remark to a West Yorkshire counterpart that he was trying to listen
to the accents. He may
have been a bit confused if I’d opened my mouth!
away section of the ground was very good, much better than some of the
horrors that were endured during the stint in League One. The viewing was excellent,
although it may have helped that I was in row E, and Rows C & D were
netted off to create a buffer for the disabled fans at the
3 kiosks open for food, a special match pie (steak and a local ale) was on, so minimal queuing whilst the other earlyish arrivals watched the lunchtime Premiership match. They could though invest in some larger, flat screen TVs.
The Norwich fans were quite loud, usually the Leeds fans dominate but I’d probably score it a draw on the day.
The stewards were effective, but in no way overbearing. A young bloke happened to step over the fence to go see his mates before kick off. He was taken out, but let back in after a short talking to.
a cliché, but it really was a game of two halves. We were all over them in the first
half, could have got more than the solitary goal, but the second half they
came back. Whilst the goal
they did score should never have stood after our goalie got a smack in the
mouth in the lead up and as such was lying on the ground when it went in,
on balance they deserved a goal. 1-1 was a fair result
This was (apart from the way their goal was scored) the only sour note of the day. We were let out of the stadium to be confronted by a wall of the Norfolk Constabulary, not letting us go anywhere. There were no announcements that we would be held back until we got out, and then they were from an ineffective megaphone from a mounted officer. There was no real tension during the match, unless you include the vitriol directed at the match officials, but penning us in raised the temperature of a few, especially those that had advance tickets booked on the train and looked like they would miss it.
walk back to the car was uneventful, and having a spot close to the front
of the car park meant I was quickly on the road home.
It was a record all-seater crowd at Carrow Road, so of course the “You’re only here, to watch the Leeds” and “We filled your ground for you” chants got a good run, but in reality it would have been a decent crowd had any other club been the visitors.