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St Mary's Stadium
Southampton
Coventry City
Saturday 28th April 2012, 12.30pm
Championship League
By Alex Smith
(Coventry City fan)

1.Why was you looking forward to going to the ground (if not if the case may be):

In a way I was still on a bit of a downer really after we had been relegated the previous week. But at least I didn't have to experience those last day nerves! Also I felt a bit uneasy at the prospect of  watching another team getting promoted

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

We took the Cross Country Bournemouth bound train from Birmingham International direct to Southampton it took about 4 hours. We got off at Southampton Central and on exiting the stadium we found that there were free buses to take people from the station to the ferry terminals. As this also stopped at the West Quay Shopping Centre we decided to hop on. I thought these free buses were a great idea for any visitor to Southampton.

3.What did you do before the match pub/ chippy/ home fans friendly

We walked down the road to a JD Wetherspoons and I ordered my Usual Eggs Benedict. We had had a conversation with some Southampton fans wishing us the best of luck in League One and hoping that we bounce back up. From there we caught a taxi upto the ground and on entering we watched the players warm up.

4.What were your thoughts on the away end other sides of the ground

St Marys looked almost identical to other grounds such as the Britannia in Stoke, the King Power in Leicester and not too dissimilar from our own Ricoh Arena. I think this why I prefer older grounds as they have more character.

5.Comment on game itself, Toilets, atmosphere, Pies, Stewards,

The game started off with Southampton starting off poorly, we had the first chance of the match Cody McDonald skimming the bar from a powerful header. It didn't take long for Southampton to Get there groove on Billy Sharp opening the scoring, Southampton continued to dominate 3 minutes late Jose Fonte headed in from a corner. The game went quiet for a bit then in the 56th minute Jos Hooiveld scored from close range, and in the 63rd minute Adam Llanna completed the rout for the Saints sending them to the premier league, winning 4-0.

As you would expect the atmosphere was rocking from both sets of fans, Southampton were singing 'We are going up!' while we were singing 'We're all going on a League One tour.' The stewards were rather anxious. The Coventry jokingly sung that if city scored, the Cov fans would invade the pitch, which led to large amounts of stewards taking place in front of us, blocking the view of some fans in the front rows. Some banners criticising our Board were also taken down by the stewards further which inflamed tempers further, but things did calm down after the final whistle.

After the match it was depressing watching all the Southampton fans on the pitch celebrating their promotion in front of us. But they applauded our fans for brilliant support and some invited us to join them but the stewards would have none of it (unsurprisingly).

7.Comment on day itself:

On the whole a good day, although the stewards should really learn to try and chill out a bit.


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