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Boundary Park
  Oldham Athletic v Everton
FA Cup 5th Round
Sunday, February 16th 2013, 4pm
Jack Hanratty
(Everton fan)

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

Usually when I do away games, Iíll travel with my parents, but on this occasion I would be travelling with my uncle and cousin and as well as that, I had been keen to visit a lower league ground should we get a lower league side in the cup (in which we did), so this away was pretty much going to feel different compared to the away games I have done in the past.

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

Nice easy journey to the ground, we travelled along the M56, M6 and then the M62 before coming off at the A627 (M) onto Broadway (A663), by this point we could already see the floodlights of the ground in the distance. There we would park up on Baldwins Close along Broadway, which was an apartment block and so we ended up paying nothing for it, although it did kind of dawn on us that we might end up getting a ticket!

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

We stopped at a McDonalds just as we came onto Broadway before parking up, after which we headed towards Boundary Park.

Didnít really come across the home fans, although it was hard to tell who was who considering the hats and scarfs were virtually the same colour, but everyone seemed fine and were just walking to the ground.

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

We walked along the stadium car park (which straight away, I could see why people have commented about it taking a while to get out of if you donít arrive early!) and we could pretty much almost see into the whole ground as the stand in front of us had been knocked down. As we walked on to our end, we noticed that we had to walk up a hill that had a small path to the side of it, but was a mix of grass and mud elsewhere, which on rainy days must be fun to get up!

We then got to our turnstiles, but before we did there was the standard procedure of the stewards doing body searches, and while me and my cousin didnít get searched, the man in front of us must have had the longest body search I can remember, this didnít go down well with the fans, who were getting understandably frustrated at the wait while fans being searched by other stewards, in other queues were searched and in the ground in 30 seconds. 

When we did get into the ground we noticed that the concourse wasnít the usual under the stand, but was partly covered with the roof being over where the queues for the refreshments would be, so if itís a rainy day, itís best to get to your seat quickly.

We got to our seats which were directly behind the goal and next to the steps, which meant we would be close to the playing action, although the crossbar obstructed our view of the midfield and the half towards the Chaddy road end.

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

The game itself saw 4 goals shared equally by both teams with a 2-2 draw with Anichebe and Jagielka scoring our goals and Obita scoring around at 10-15 minutes before Smith scored their equaliser with the last kick of the game, that left us annoyed at the fact that weíll need to play a replay at Goodison.

The atmosphere had been good to start of with from the Everton fans before it started dropping off and becoming patchy during the game. With the Oldham fans being next to us, it would lead to banter from both sets of fans. These Oldham fans were noisy and were non stop for most of, if not, all of the game including what felt like 30 minute long chant of the theme of ĎThe great escapeí, just a shame that this was where most of the chanting took place, but it probably isnít much of a surprise considering the Main Stand was far from the stand where the noise was coming from, so it was hard for it to spread around the ground.

As for facilities, well, I didnít try out the pies or go to the refreshment stalls, but I did use the toilets and it was cramped when I was in there, the toilets were on par in my view, but the main problem for me was that the sinks were closer to the entrance and before the majority of where the toilets were, which may not be a problem if you went during the game, but if you were to wash your hands, you had have a battle to get past the oncoming fans, as well as that, they were the only toilets for away fans which probably didnít help it being cramped.

Stewards were fine, they were fine with us standing and were giving polite reminders to fans (me included) who were partly on the aisle ways, which you can understand and didnít cause any bother with the fans around me.  

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

It was probably the best getaway from a ground Iíve had. Seeing as we were on the 5th row, we got out the front way pretty quick and walked back to our car which probably didnít take much more than five minutes. From which we went onto Broadway, got through a set of traffic lights and were then on the motorway before we knew it! Better still, my uncle had dropped me off at home in less than an hour than when the game had finished!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I found it to be a good away day, easy to get to and (if you didnít use the stadium car park) very easy to get away from if you are heading in the direction of the M62. Along with other fans, the ground probably has seen better days, but it wasnít bad considering it is 108 years old! The ticket price of £20 for an adult is probably a bit much for League One, but itís around there with the cheapest tickets Iíve come across. The concessionary tickets were basic with the only ones being OAP for £10 and under 16ís for £5, so I would advise you to be aware of that if you bring any younger relatives aged 16-21, that might qualify for a concession ticket elsewhere, they would have an adult ticket at Oldham.

Out of 10, I would rate it 6-7/10.

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