Meadow Lane - Notts County
Saturday, January 19th, 2008, 3pm
v Chester City, League Two
By Jon Kelly
1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
As a Plymouth Argyle fan based in Manchester, I quite often go to odd games in
the North when Argyle are at home and I can't get there. My original plan was to
go to Carlisle, but unfortunately having consumed a pint or five too many the
night before I woke up far too late to get to the Scottish border. A quick scan
of the fixture list later and I decided on a first visit to Meadow Lane, the
home of Notts County.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I got the train from Piccadilly station direct to Nottingham and found the
ground well signposted from the station. I wandered around the outside of the
ground and then across the bridge over the river and had a mooch around the
outside of Forest's ground, which is close by (a great source of irritation for
County fans I'm sure).
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
I didn't have time to do anything particularly exciting in Nottingham beforehand
so I went straight into the ground.. I plumped for the Jimmy Sirrell stand on
one side of the pitch, and along with a few other fans watched the end of the
Sheffield derby which was being shown on the TVs on
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then
other sides of the ground?
Meadow Lane is a beautiful football ground. The Jimmy Sirrell stand is a
good-sized, modern all-seated affair, with a spacious concourse underneath.
Opposite was a similarly sized and equally handsome stand. To my left was the
smallish home end, which had a few supporting pillars across, and a scoreboard
on the roof; and to my right was the large Kop End, which surprisingly is the
the stand on the river end of the ground is the traditional home end; certainly
the Kop looks to be the better stand. There were only a hundred or so Chester
fans scattered around the stand and they looked rather lost. I was somewhat
surprised to find that from my seat in the stand the Trent End of the City
Ground is clearly visible - this must be unique in English football for one
ground to be viewable from another. Possibly is Anfield visible from the top
tier of the Pavilion at Goodison Park? Even so, it's highly unusual.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
Both sides were struggling going into the game and it showed; both looked scared
to lose rather than taking a chance and going for the win. After a cagey first
half I decided to stay in my seat instead of shelling out god knows what for a
warm bottle of lager, and during half time about half a dozen kids' matches were
played on the pitch. At one point an eight year old boy scored a magnificent
goal from miles out in the game in front of me, and everyone who saw it started
a chorus of 'sign him up'! Fantastic.
The second half wasn't much better - Notts did eventually score, but it really
was a dog of a game. The atmosphere was pretty good, seeing as the ground was
only a quarter full, but I think it suffered from a lack of away fans. It would
be interesting to see what it's like in a derby game. The fans around me were
passionate and knowledgeable; I was sitting next to a man who went to university
in Plymouth and followed Argyle as his second team so we had a good chat about
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
After the game I wandered back to the station - looking in on the Hooters
restaurant, purely for research purposes you understand - before getting the
train back to Manchester.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A contender for best ground in League 2 - in my opinion bettered only by
Bradford City's Valley Parade. Bags of character, good size - if only they
could find eleven players worthy of it.
an away or general football fan who has visited Meadow Lane recently?
If so why not submit your own review of the ground and general day out?
Click here to find out
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