Oxford United v Port Vale
Saturday, October 29th, 2011, 3pm
(Port Vale fan)
I like to visit new stadiums and I heard that Oxford had a good ground. I was looking forward to this game, as both Oxford and Port Vale were pushing for promotion.
There was a lot of traffic on the main roads leading up to the turn off to the ground. The stadium is well signposted, but it is in the middle of two very big council estates and near to a huge industrial area. The car park wasn't full outside the ground when we arrived at 1pm. Although it was completely full after the match. This made it difficult to locate our car as the car park is very big.
Before the game we had something to eat at a leisure and bowling complex outside the ground. The place was very full with local fans mixing happily with Vale fans. I got the impression that they aren't so friendly if local rivals, Swindon are visiting.
The ground looks pretty impressive, although it is odd that the fourth stand hasn't been built. One of the Oxford fans explained that a temporary fourth stand will be erected in 2012. The North stand is where the away supporters are put. This is shared with the Oxford supporters, who have one half of the stand. The ground looks very impressive and the double-tiered stand opposite is Premier League standard. The Oxford fans are quite vocal and they have a lot of flags flying in their main end. This was quite an impressive sight at a League Two game.
The atmosphere at the game was really good. There was lots of singing and banter between the rival fans.The stewards are friendly and seem happy to answer any questions. The toilets are really clean and the catering staff selling refreshments are very efficient.
It was a good day out, even though we lost 2-1. Oxford fans generally are well behaved and friendly. The huge police presence in the car park makes it feel like a safe place for a game of football. My overall impression is that Oxford is a good place to watch football.
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