Preston North End Deepdale
Championship League v Derby County
Saturday, November 27th 2004, 3pm
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)
For a change we had made a decent start to a season and were just outside the playoffs along with Preston. This I thought would produce a good contest. I had also heard from my brother who lives in Preston that it was a decent ground to visit for an away supporter.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:
The journey by car to Preston took about 2 hours and was fairly straight forward. We arrived at my brothers house at about 11.00 am and headed for the city centre after having a pleasant walk around the compact city of Preston we headed to the pub and then on to the ground. Which was well signposted and about 15-20 minutes walk from the city centre.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Before the game we visited The Greyfriars pub in the city centre which is part of the Wetherspoon chain. This meant that the food and beer was good value. However the pub was busy due to it being a Saturday lunchtime and it took a while to get served. Thankfully there was no problem being admitted into the pub with away colours clearly being shown and there wasn't any eyebrows raised from the few Preston supporters present.
Outside the ground I found the home fans very friendly. One even came up to me and asked me how the ex- Derby legend Mart Poom was getting on.? which was seemed a friendly comment although a bit strange.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground:
My first impressions of the ground were good it had 3 impressive stands of the same height and look. However the floodlights were the most impressive part. These towered into the sky and where situated at each corner of the ground. The fourth stand took a bit of the shine of the ground as it looked out of place with its neighbours and reminded me of main stands at lower division grounds. I suppose it has a lot of history behind it though. The away end was good there was plenty of leg room and the view of the action was good.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itself was a bit one-sided including Derby's worst performance of the season to date in my eyes. Preston looked quite sharp and quick on the break and deserved there 3-0 win. The atmosphere was a bit lacking as an attendance of around 12,000 suggests. There was a decent away following but losing 3-0 we didn't have that much to shout about. The home crowd did get behind there team and along with an unusual drum or style of drumming an almost carnival atmosphere was produced.
The stewards seemed very friendly and were quite lenient about standing. The concourse area seemed ok there looked to be a wide variety of food available. However due to the temperature I bought possibly the worst cup of tea in my life!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Exiting the ground was hassle free. We headed back to the city centre amongst the Preston fans which subjected us to a bit of light hearted banter about the score line which is expected as I also dish it out at Pride Park.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall it was an excellent day out if you take out the result. Good ground, nice people, and typically English temperatures. I will look forward to visiting next year if promotion blesses neither or both clubs.
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