Preston North End
Championship League v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Saturday, September 20th 2008, 3pm
I'd been to Deepdale before to see Wolves play them twice, but hadn't seen them win there, and also hadn't been in a couple of seasons, so I thought i'd make the visit again seeing as though Wolves were top of the league and the 4th stand has been added to Deepdale to complete redevelopment of the stadium. Also Preston is the closest ground in the league to me so it wouldn't be wise to miss it out.
I went with my dad, and the drive down from Dalton-in-Furness took just over 1 hour, which is very good going, getting in from the north is really simple, take the junction which takes you to Blackpool (M55), and come off there at the A6, make a left at Blackpool Road (A5085) and you see the ground very soon after this turning. You shouldn't get lost as Deepdale is clearly signposted from this, and I would imagine, all directions.
We parked in the Tom Finney School, which is on your right as you go up Blackpool Road for £3, which is very good when you look at other places' prices, and it is only a 2 minute walk from the ground itself, there is some street parking around Deepdale, a few streets over from the Alan Kelly end, but this may be restricted.
We got a burger, then went around the National Football Museum which is at Deepdale, and it is a very interesting place, lots of things on display and would reccommend that you get to the ground at least an hour and a half before the kick off so you can get a good look around.
Deepdale itself is a very smart and tidy ground, 3 stands being similar height and being single teired affairs, the 4th stand, the new one, is the same height, but due to a row of executive boxes, which aren't in the other stands, there is less seating there, which is a shame, but at least gives some variety, it is certainly a better looking stand than the one it replaced, completing the ground's redevelopment.
The Concourse was very crowded, the thing about Deepdale is that it would certainly benefeit from a seccond concourse at a higher level, but I guess it's a bit too late to think of that. Legroom is fair, I mean I have long legs and there was enough room for me, just don't expect to stretch out an awful lot. Refreshments however are rather expensive, 2 Meat & Potato Pies and 2 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola were £10, which is steep. The pie was nothing special and Coca-Cola tastes the same wherever you go.
The game was very open to be honest, you could tell both sides were towards the top of the table, and Wolves led at half time 1-0, from an overhead kick from Iwelumo. he went on to score 2 more, one from the penalty spot, on the seccond half to grab a hat trick and put us 3-0 up. However, he was promptly sent off soon after following a clear mistake by the referee. But they happen in football. Annoyingly. Our goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was later sent off in the 93rd minute and Preston scored from the resulting penalty. Wolves won 3-1, we opened a 3 point lead at the top of the table thanks to Blackpool beating Birmingham. The Preston fans weren't very good, they didnt really get going at any stage which was quite dissappionting.
Getting away from the ground was simple enough, traffic was heavy, but the road system around the ground is very good and we got away with minimal fuss and it took us around an hour and a half to get back to Dalton.
So overall Deepdale is a good day out and a worthwhile trip, the ground is impressive, the traffic is fair and the National Football Museum is very interesting. If you go then you won't be dissappointed.
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