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Meadow Lane
  Notts County v
Rochdale
League Two
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, 7.45pm
Paul Walker
(Rochdale fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):  

I was looking forward to the game as both teams had gained promotion the previous weekend, and the game would have a big bearing on the final destination of the League Two Championship Trophy. With the pressure of promotion taken off both teams I was looking forward to an open entertaining game. I was hoping for a win, but our recent form meant it wasn’t very likely although some of our best results of the season had come in similar circumstances.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

The journey was quite easy as I travelled with the clubs official travel coaches, however on arriving at the ground we were delayed by Police and traffic around the stadium. Although the stadium was only 200 yards away from us in plain view, the access to the car parks at the away end were extremely busy and those last 200 yards before we parked and got off the coach took fully 15 minutes!

Parking close to the ground did seem to be fairly easy however I would recommend you get there early to avoid the congestion. If you do travel by car the cost of parking in these car parks is £3.00.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 

Due to the delays outside the ground I had very little time before kick-off and went straight into the ground itself. We did pass a few home fans, mostly friendly, however some were determined to have a go at the Dale fans over the cheat jibes from the “Munto affair”. In general it was just harmless banter and there were literally dozens of police in the immediate area to ensure nothing came of it.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The ground is quite impressive, although it is too big for a Lower League club, but is a good modern stadium. Away fans are usually stuck in one corner nearest to the home fans main stand, which is behind the goal. However due to the number of travelling fans for the game we filled almost half the stand. Queues at the turnstiles into the stand itself were slow moving and the police are constantly moving the fans back onto the pavement to avoid obstructing the footpath and road. Once inside the ground the atmosphere for this game was electric which given what was at stake you would have expected, however it did seem a little strange that the atmosphere was so good when the ground was only half full, and being so close to the main home supporters stand the banter was goods as well.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was fairly entertaining and in truth could have gone either way. It was settled by an opportunist goal from Lee Hughes who profited from a mix up in the dale midfield and the result effectively handed the title to Notts. The atmosphere in the ground was good although I would point out on the down side is the sheer number and attitude of the stewards employed by the club. If you stand or cause any disruption they will throw you out. I was aware of this before we travelled and to be fair it seemed to be a far bigger problem for the home supporters as several where ejected for standing despite being at the back of the stand and not causing a problem to anyone, Whilst quite a few at the back in the away stand were shouted at to sit down but no action was taken against them when they didn’t. Toilets are your basic affair, but clean. Couldn’t comment on the food as queues were so long and slow moving, like the queues at the turnstiles I decided not to wait as I didn’t want to miss any of the game.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The same delays applied leaving the ground as arriving. The volume of traffic meant we were back on the coach outside the ground within 5 minutes of the game ending but getting back on the main road to leave the ground which is only around 200 yards away took 20-25 minutes. If you can park a little further away from the ground and walk, you will find that it will save you time as once you are on the main road leaving the stadium traffic does flow quite easily.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 

Overall a good day out, and will probably return next season when we meet again in League One!


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