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Southend United
Friday, April 18th, 2014, 3pm
League One
Tom Raffan
(Southend United fan)

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

With us in sixth position in the League and hoping for the play-offs and Rochdale in second hoping to cement their place in the automatic promotion places, it was going to be an interesting encounter. In spite of the League standings, Southend tend to do well against teams at the top yet not against teams at the bottom (we had lost to Wimbledon the previous week who were fighting relegation) so it was even more important that we got maximum points.

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

I took the supporters' bus to the game, which should have taken about five hours but due to an accident on the M1 ended up being closer to six, arriving at Spotland just before two. Obviously one of the benefits of going by coach is that parking is not an issue and we were dropped off outside the away stand.

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

This being my first visit to Spotland, I was surprised how different it was to how it looked television. It was peculiar that the gave what was, in my opinion, the best stand in the ground. It was by far the largest and was the one free of supporting pillars. The terrace spoiled the look of the ground somewhat, being significantly smaller than the other stands. Overall it was quite a nice ground, reminding of Roots Hall, although slightly less rundown! The

4. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Southend made a mockery of the league positions by beating winning comfortably 3-0, with goals in the 12th minute, 44th minute and 11 seconds after half time. As you would expect, with match like that the away stand was rocking, but very little noise from other areas of the ground. While the stand was not shared with home fans, but the 421 of us were put at the end closest to the terrace which could have generated a really good atmosphere had the game not been so one sided.

The stewards were generally friendly, with some banter between us and them, although in the back row, next to the netting, they seemed to get very agitated that somebody was standing in the aisle, in spite of the fact that he was obstructing nobody.

With regards to food, I intended to have a hot dog, however I was told that for that particular match they were only serving pies which was a bit of a disappointment.

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

Although the coach was parked a little further away than where we were dropped off, it was easy to find and there was not too much traffic driving out of the city, and we made slightly better time on the return journey, arriving back home at about 10:45pm.

6. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A brilliant day, I agree with what it says in the guide that it is one of the best away days in the Football League. Certainly eleven and a half hours on a coach well spent and definitely one I'll do again!

Attendance 3,884 (421 away)

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