Shrewsbury Town v Darlington
Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 7.45pm
By Rob Haynes
Rob Haynes is a Nottingham Forest fan visiting in his attempt to complete all 92 grounds:
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):/
Had never been to the new ground, was really looking forward to the visit and I'm getting close to completing the 92 now.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:
Finding the ground was fine. I was at the stadium well in advance of the game. The problem was parking. Pretty much all streets within 2-3 miles of the ground seemed to have the dreaded 'no football parking signs' which I found to be very inconvenient and way over the top. There were many, many streets that it would have been perfectly easy for people to have been allowed to park without it impacting the residents. The park and ride seemed miles away. I started to drive towards it but gave up and turned back 15 minutes into the journey as it was in the wrong direction for my drive home and I figured it would add 30 minutes at least onto my journey back.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Nothing much as to be honest there just isn't much to do. The stadium is in an area lacking in any facilities other than a retail park and a BP garage. Neither appealed to me so I sat bored in an empty stadium waiting for the game.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
It was OK. Tidy little ground but a bit dull. Typical new ground in many ways.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game was awful. One of the worst I have seen in recent years. The rain didn't help but it was a terrible game. Atmosphere was very quiet. No problems with stewards. Had a Bovril at half time and it was almost undrinkable.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
To be honest I gave up with 15 minutes to go to avoid any problems. The game was so dull I figured I wouldn't miss much and I had seen a sign saying one of the roads was going to be closed so I wanted to make sure I didn't get stuck in traffic.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I've now visited 84 of the 92 current league grounds and I can honestly say my visit to Shrewsbury was the least enjoyable of any ground I have ever visited in 25+ years of watching football. This stadium is everything I hate about new, identikit, out of town stadiums. No soul, nothing interesting to look at, no facilities for fans in the area outside, very unuserfriendly for car visitors. 2/10 and that is being generous.
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