Shrewsbury Town v Plymouth Argyle
Saturday, August 6th 2011, 3pm
By Will McCormack
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
The initial excitement of going to this ground is the fact of it being the opening day of the Npower League Two season which was a huge milestone to make for a club (Plymouth Argyle) being in so much turmoil over the past months. The fact the ground is fairly new and modern also made it seem to be what would be a comfortable trip.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
After travelling with the official club coach finding the ground was very simple as the coach drivers were guided on nearing Shrewsbury, by a Police escort consisting of two motorbikes. The ground had a substantial car park where the coach was directed to.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
After arriving at 1pm it there was plenty of time to find a local pub. The first pub we went to was the Brooklands Hotel, which was a short 5-10 minute walk from the ground itself and had a good atmosphere as this was where a large contingent of travelling supporters congregated. The pub itself struggled with such a large influx of supporters which lead to a lack of change behind the bar and people being turned away! We decided to leave and go to the the Charles Darwin Pub, which was located on the opposite side of the stadium. This is also had a fair contingent of Argyle fans in attendance. The pub had screens showing Sky Sports and the bar itself provided quick and helpful service. I strongly reccomend either of these pubs, as lomg as the Brooklands has plenty of change!
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
First impressions of the ground were good, a neat tidy looking place and well laid out. The away stand was of a high quality with good views of the pitch from all areas. This was also the case with the concourse althought with a large following of 1207 supporters it became overcrowded around the food outlet. The seating itself gave a great and generous amount of leg room and the seats themselves were comfortable. The other sides of the ground all very similar to the away stand gave the only negative point of the ground was that it looked quite basic looking in design.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game itself turned out to be a great day for the travelling supporters. The Argyle fans made an amazing atmosphere which was rarely if at all matched by a small contingent of voiceful Shrewsbury supporters in the West Stand. With a 90th minute equalizer for Argyle it made what was turning out to be a dissapointing result into a great one. The stewards were present but unobstructive and when a small contingent of troublemakers started to cause a disturbance they dealt with the situation swiftly and calmly.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting away from the ground after the game was a very quick and easy process on the travel club coach. The police led a group of coaches and minibus's away from the ground effectively and quickly back onto the main road out of Shrewsbury.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall the trip itself was a great one! A brilliant atmosphere in the away end, a good quality ground with a high quality away stand and 90th minute equalizer from the team captain for a 1-1 result! Definately a trip worth making and would be well reccomended to anyone considering doing so!
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