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London Road
Peterborough United
v Nottingham Forest
League One 
Saturday October 3rd 2009, 3pm
Jason Simpkins
(Nottingham Forest fan)


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

I had not visited Peterborough since the famous, sunny day in April 1994, when a 3-2 win gave us promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. With Peterborough being only an hour and a bit on the train and almost 4,000 Reds travelling, it promised to be another great away day.

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

G
ot the 9.34am train from Nottingham and paid only 9.00 return as East Midlands Trains did a group saver deal for 4 people. I had found this out in advance and told my group of friends who I was travelling with, but with a large away following expected, many bought tickets in advance and had paid 16.00. It was with smug satisfaction and a 'I told you so' and 'you should have trusted me' we boarded the train along with 3/400 or so other Forest fans.

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

Upon arriving at Peterborough, we were met by a wall of riot Police who shepherded us all to The Drapers Arms pub, which was a 10 minute walk away. The Policing was very heavy handed in my opinion and they wouldn't let anyone out of the Pub, even to go to the Bookies down the road! There was at least 3 Police vans and a ring of Police around the pub, which filled up as more and more Forest fans were bought in from later trains. Even though the Pub was rammed, it was still fairly easy to get served and as time wore on the atmosphere got better and better as the assembled hordes went through the Forest song repertoire and by the time the Police closed the bar and herded us to the ground, most fans were in a happy frame of mind! We got a few startled looks from shoppers as we were escorted through Peterborough town centre but there were no reports of trouble.

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

As I am not a fan of standing up, (to my mates amusement and cries of 'seat boy'), myself and my friend sat in the lower tier of 'A' Block in the Main Stand, along with 800 other Forest fans. The view was excellent as we were sat on the 2nd row but the leg room was cramped to say the least! I am 5 feet 9 and 12 stone and I thought it was bad, put there were 2 blokes behind me that were 20 stone plus that must of been in agony! The facilities were poor with a small kiosk serving pies, burgers etc and NO alcohol. (To be honest I don't think that they could have fitted a pump in there, it was that small)! The majority of my mates were standing in the terrace behind the goal and they all commented how good the acoustics were with the low roof but did admit that the view was not great with various supporting pillars and 8 foot Forest fans obstructing their view!

The stand opposite me was a smart new, 2 tiered stand with the obligatory Executive boxes in the middle and both ends behind the goal are terracing, which gives the ground a feel of days gone gone by, which reminded me when I first started watching Forest with my Dad in the mid 1980's. The Main Stand that we were in was also very dated. But all in all, the ground had a 'proper' feel about it and is much better than some of the new, plastic, soulless grounds I have visited in following Forest around the country. As it was a near full house, both sets of supporters were in good voice as the teams came out.

5. Comment on the game itself.

All the goals came in a 6 minute spell early in the 2nd half. Posh opened the scoring with McLean rising to head home a corner past a static Forest defence. The wind had a hand in Forest's swift reply as a Raddy Majewski free kick from the left (taken just in front of my mate and I)! curled past the hapless Posh keeper to equalise within a minute. 5 minutes later Paul Anderson completed the comeback when he bundled in from close range. A scrappy game in which a swirling wind played it's part came to an end with Forest fairly comfortable winners to the delight of the 4000 travelling Reds who had been in good voice throughout. 

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

Straight out of the ground after we had clapped the players off and no Police in sight! A straightforward 20 minute walk back to the station meant we were able to catch the 5.30pm train back to Nottingham to celebrate the win.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

Excellent day out all in all, the heavy policing wasn't too bad in the end and a great result for Forest. The stewarding was friendly and although I didn't have much interaction with the locals, they seemed friendly enough. I would definitely return to Peterborough but I think that when I do, it will be an all seater stadium.


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