City Ground - Nottingham Forest
Saturday 19th March 2003
Vs Derby County, Division One, 7.45pm
By Adam New
1. Why you were
looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then
other sides of the ground
Into the stands we went and I saw it was one of these away fans in the lower tier, home fans in the upper tier places, something I don't personally like, though it's not as bad as Wolves if your in the side stand. Overall the ground looked quite good from the inside. On the walk there we saw the Trent End backing onto the Trent, in the darkness, just dimly lit by the surrounding lights it looked really nice. Though I think I was the only one appreciating it though!
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game from the view of a Derby County fan was a terrible one, a 3-0 defeat to the local rivals was not a pleasant thing to watch. The atmosphere was electric as you would expect, and I must give major credit too the Forest fans, the noise was coming from all areas of the ground, unlike Derby where it just comes from one stand mostly, the Derby fans started in fine voice, tailed away for a bit but were back by the end, after all we had been getting used to losing. The stewards generally went unnoticed to me, which to me is a very good thing, the only time I saw them is when about 10 piled out of the back of the Forest end and into the Derby end during half time, not sure what happened but it soon died down. Overall the stewards at Forest were much better than I see at Pride Park week in week out, but most are.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
Now this is where the real nightmare begins, after the game we get told we're being kept behind, it seems the Nottingham police had the same genius idea as the Derbyshire police earlier in the season. Anyway we made our way outside the ground to see a brick wall one side and a wall of police vans on the other side with a tiny gap in which they were letting people out of 2 by 2. 30 minutes later and we were still trying to get out, as you would expect the Derby fans were getting pretty impatient and then I heard someone shout CHARGE! and the crowd pushed forward, which was most worrying. Thankfully for me, I wasn't that far away from the gap and I got pushed right through it, but people behind were looking very worried. The Police though were quick to react and they moved their vans to let people through. I just hope they don't do that sort of thing anymore, of letting the fans out slowly, because it is not a clever idea, especially at 10:30 pm. That was not the end of the fun as it then took us a further 20-30 minutes to get back to the train station, it probably seemed worse than it was because we didn't know where we was going. And then to cap it all when we got back to Derby it took us 45 minutes to get a taxi.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out.
All though it was far from being a perfect night out, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, there is nothing that compares with a local derby, there was a few hairy moments around the ground, which come with a local match, but overall it wasn't too bad. I never went last year, but fully intend on going this year, and hopefully seeing a better result which will lead too a much more enjoyable day. And I'm sure when it's not a derby day the approach to the ground would be a lot different and more friendly.
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