1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as
the case may be):
I heard the ground was quite big 19,000
capacity and that it had been described as 'the Wembley of the North' and was a
traditional, atmospheric place, I also knew Leeds were taking around 4,500 fans
so thought the atmosphere would be good.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:
I travelled down with the Leeds United official travel so didn't
have to worry about getting there.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
All the Leeds fans on the official travel buses were heading into
the town so I just followed them and was hoping to head into a pub,
unfortunately there was only 4/5 pubs in the town advertising away fans only and
all were packed out with fans over-flowing onto the streets so decided against
fighting my way through to the bar and headed straight back to the ground. I
only saw about 3/4 Port Vale fans presumably due to being their early.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away
end then other sides of the ground?
I was disappointed with the ground to be honest I expected it to be
better than it actually was, however what did make me laugh was the paper
advertising stuck on the front of the stadium reading 'Saturday March 15th 3pm
Port Vale V Leeds United' which was reminiscent of a Sunday league club. The
away end was quite large (4,500 capacity) and the view was reasonable if you
were sat low down, however as the roof dramatically slopes down and there is a
tv screen hanging from the away stand which obstructs your view if you are sat
higher up at the back.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets
The atmosphere was very good with the
Leeds fans not stopping singing throughout. At half
time Leeds were winning 2-0 and the Port Vale fans sat near the away end moved
to the other end of the stand towards the goal they were attacking, however when
they equalised they came running back down the stand to 'taunt' the Leeds fans,
the ground struggles to carry noise and atmosphere and I couldn't hear any
chants at all from the Port Vale fans although I could see them singing and
clapping, the atmosphere was also lacking due to the Leeds United away fans
outnumbering the Port Vale fans in the home stands.
I wasn't particularly impressed with the facilities at Vale Park, the food was
edible but the ground does not contain a separate bar and food facilities which
resulted in large queues and poor variety of beverages. The toilets were also
disappointing and similar to that of a school with graffiti, no toilet roll and
were not particularly clean.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
After the game we got straight back onto the bus and when all the
coaches and mini buses (over 15) were loaded we received a police escort for
over 5 miles until we got back onto the motorway which was quick due to the
police cordoning off all roads and letting us straight out of the ground.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I did enjoy my day out at Port Vale, apart from the
final score (3-3), the atmosphere was slightly disappointing but I would
definitely recommend Vale Park for supporters of League 1 teams as although the
ground was below my expectations it was definitely more impressive than some
stadiums in League 1.