Strathclyde Homes Stadium  - Dumbarton
Tuesday July 23rd, 2009
V Middlesbrough, Pre-Season Friendly, 7.30pm
By Graeme Patterson

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
When this fixture was announced, it didn't really appeal due to the fact it was a 400+ mile round trip for a midweek friendly but as I missed football throughout the summer and the chance to see 'The Boro' again was too good to turn down.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking
The journey was a lot easier than I expected. Two of us left Teesside around 12:30pm and headed west to join the M6 which would take take me north of the border. We fancied a spot of lunch so opted for a 'Toby Carvery' just off the M6 at junction 43 which was a godsend and I'd highly recommend this to anyone travelling either to or near Carlisle. We continued our journey and hit Glasgow around 4:30pm and Dumbarton was easily signposted from there. We knew that the ground was located next the the famous Dumbarton Rock which stood out in the distance therefore was very easy to find. The stadium had space for around 200 cars behind the main stand at no cost, perfect.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
There wasn't an awful lot around the ground so we opted for a nearby Morrisons which was around 10/15 minutes walk away and stocked up with food/drink. Once the turnstiles opened, the stewards allowed you to use the club bar which was getting busier with teessider's as kick off approached. Until kick off, we didnt see any home supporters.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
Being a Middlesbrough fan, a lot of the grounds were used to visit over the past 10/15 years are usually of a high standard. Dumbarton's ground only had one stand, which looked quite new and of a decent standard. The other three sides were just fenced round but I would expect that the stand holding around 2/3k would be sufficient for them.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itself turned out to be a comfortable 5-0 win for Middlesbrough. Dumbarton had a bit of play at times but never looked like scoring. The atmosphere was helped by a few hundred making the journey from Teesside that got behind the team from the first minute. There was no issues with the home support of stewards. The food inside the ground was just your run of the mill food, Burgers, Pies etc for around 2 but was well worth the money. The toilet facilities were very clean.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
The ground was easy to get away from. We applauded the Boro players off the field and made the short journey back to the car. Dumbarton's ground is on a 'one road in, one road out' system but after a short queue to get back onto the main highstreet, we were away. We arrived back home about 12:30am which was helped by very little traffic on the road due to the time of day.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Very enjoyable night out and a Boro win which always helps. Would recommend a trip to Dumbarton to any Scottish supporter or an English fan if your team plays there in a friendly. I wouldn't think twice about returning. 


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