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Vale Park
Port Vale v Gillingham
League Two

Saturday October 16th, 2010, 3pm
Matt Harris
(Gillingham fan)

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

Its always exciting going to somewhere new for the first time and Vale Park was no exception. Having seen the pictures online my expectations of the ground were high as it does look quite big and impressive, especially for a League Two side.

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

We left Paddock Wood railway station at 7.20am and got to London Euston at around 8.50. We were hoping to get on a 9.20 train to Stoke on Trent but we hadn't realised that we were not allowed to travel until after 9.45 as were the restrictions on our advance booking train tickets. This was very annoying as we had to hang around for an hour and to make things worse we were only allowed to travel on a slow train which ate up most of drinking time for before the game, luckily there was an off licence at the station so we got some cans for on the train! Once we got to Stoke we grabbed a taxi to the ground which only took around 10 minutes and cost roughly 12 for 5 of us.

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

We went to the social club right next to the ground. It was really good, a nice friendly atmosphere between both sets of fans. Its great to be able to talk and get the opinions of the oppositions fan before the match.

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

My first impressions were good, the turnstiles were right outside the social club so we fell straight in upon leaving there. The stadium itself inside seemed quite roomy, but not much height to it. It does look a bit odd with half the Main Stand having seats missing but apart from that the ground is very nicely presented. We chose to sit at the back of the stand, we like to stand and sing at most away games but the problem with the away stand at port vale was the scoreboard hanging from the roof, we could only just see the goal line at the other side of the ground so we found ourselves hunched over trying to see what was going on when there was a goal scoring chance.

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

The atmosphere was fantastic as it always is with the Gillingham away support (despite not winning away for over 30 games!), we took 288 fans and sang constantly throughout, the stand was perfect for amplifying the chanting. We were a little disappointed how quiet the Port Vale fans were though! The match was great, we dominated 90% of it and were very unlucky not to come away with that illusive away win! I didn't have any food or drink but though the toilets were good, large enough to accommodate a much bigger ground, and clean and fresh. The stewards were okay, I don't think anything really happened to call them into action, we're usually pretty well behaved fans!

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

We jumped straight into a pre-booked taxi and got to the station in around 15/20 mins with the extra traffic around.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Apart from the mix up with the trains on the way there it was a really good day out, we did feel we should have come away with 3 points but at least we didn't get beat 7-4 like 2 weeks before!! The stadium was nice and the Vale fans warm and friendly. Will look forward to going back there one day, hopefully in League One or above though!


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