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Sheffield Wednesday v Newcastle United
Pre-Season Friendly
  Wednesday July 30th 2014, 7.45pm
  Matty Desforges

(Neutral fan)

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

I had visited Hillsborough two occasions before as a neutral fan, usually to watch a higher division of football than Sheffield United (my local club). I was itching to get to a match after the Summer break and with the prospect of a Premier League side in town, I decided to go.

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

I caught the 53 bus from the city centre straight to Hillsborough (stopping directly outside the Kop Stand entrance). However it was very slow, due to a large amount of traffic on Penistone Road.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Due to the slow bus, I arrived later at the stadium later than anticipated. There was just enough time to buy my ticket and get inside the stadium to watch the teams come out. I have to say that the queue the tickets moved very quickly, however I would recommended for league games to buy a ticket in advance, as it is cheaper than paying on the day.

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

I sat in the South Stand and Hillsborough itself is a very nicely set out stadium, with plenty of character. However parts of it are showing their age and it could do with some refurbishment in  parts. As expected Newcastle fans came in their hordes to watch the game and as expected, made more noise than the home supporters.

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

The game finished in a 1-0 victory to Newcastle, with a goal coming from the counter attack mid way through the second half. The away fans caused a bit of bother by setting off a flare within 5 minutes of the kick off. This resulted in a few Newcastle fans being chucked out, but other than there were no other problems. Massive respect to both sets of fans who gave a standing ovation in the 17th minute for the two Newcastle fans that died in the recent Ukranian plane crash.

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

Getting away from the ground was fairly easy, however the bus again took a bit of time back along Penistone Road before entering the city centre.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good to get a game in
before the season started, and watch a Premier League side too (unfortunately they donít come to Sheffield  much anymore!).  I would recommend Hillsborough as a good away day!

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