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Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday
v Exeter City, League One
Saturday May 7th 2011, 3pm
By Steve Ellis

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?
 
I was looking forward to going to this ground as it is one of those places with a big but also infamous history, but also after a good season with Exeter I was hoping to see them sign off in style.
 
2. How easy was your journey and finding the ground?
 
I travelled up by train, leaving Exeter at 6.20am, arriving in Sheffield about 4hours later. Finding the ground was very easy as it was a short tram ride from the city centre upto the Leppings Lane End. 
 
3. What did you do before the game, pub, chippy....home fans friendly?
 
Arriving early I was able to book into my hotel before going up to the ground. After having had a drink at The Bankers Draft, a Wetherspoons pub which was reasonably priced, I then took tram upto Leppings Lane, where there was another Wetherspoons, called the Rawson Spring which again was reasonably priced and also seemed to be the local for many owls supportters, all of who were very friendly. Away fans would probably be okay in this pub, if thet aren't wearing visiting colours or red and white!. I also met some familiar faces from those that travelled down to Exeter for the reverse fixture earlier in the season. From there I headed up to the ground where I also found the memorial and paid my respects to the 96 Liverpool fans.
 
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,  first impressions of away end and then other sides of ground?
 
On arriving at the stadium it is easy to see how old it is and how much work needs to be done, but get inside the age does not show that bad. Yes it is a very tight ground where the stands are almost on the pitch but that itself adds to the atmosphere.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.
 
Once the game started the atmosphere was buzzing from both sets of supporters, a real end of season party feel was about the game. Stewards were helpful and for a football ground refreshments were averagely priced and toilets were clean. After going 1-0 down we (Exeter) won the game 2-1 with goals from Danny Nardiello and a spectacular first of the season to Troy Archibald-Henville, then to raptious cheers the City manager came on to end his career as a player.
At the end of the game City fans paid tribute to striker Adam Stansfield who died from cancer at the start of the season and it was good to hear the owls fans also joining in that tribute.
 
6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game.
 
Getting away after the game was easy as it was  the return tram ride back to the city then a short walk back to my hotel to prepare for the night out. Overall what turned out to be a great day, turned into a great weekend too!

 

 

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