Swansea City v Norwich City
Saturday, February 11th 2012, 3pm
By Steve Chambers
Why you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
Since the fixtures where announced this was an away game I had earmarked to go to as my son lives in Bristol, so I could pop down and take him to the match. This was also my first game seeing the Canaries in Wales as well as a visit to another new much talked about stadium.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
My journey was split into two, travelling down the Friday night staying in Bristol. Left Bristol about 12 midday to make the hour and a half journey to Swansea, after being mugged by the Severn Bridge, £6 is far too steep, we heard there was slow traffic around the M4 near Newport, but decided to risk it and it took a little while to get through, but after hearing that the away coaches had gone off the motorway and got lost, it was probably the best decision!
The rest of the short journey was unevenful, apart from I thought the M4 was really smooth no bumps etc.. and the temperature was a barmy +5 after our -16 in Norfolk the previous night. We decided to use the Away fans park and ride at Junction 46. We followed the signs to a piece of wasteland just off the motorway, however there was security on site, but the car park was fenced in. It cost £6 which was paid on the busand after a short journey to the ground of around 5-10 mins, we were dropped off right outside the away end.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
After the previous nights events we decided against finding a pub, but after being dropped off there was a food outlet over the road, one part served burgers etc the other served fish and chips, very orgainsed. So opted for the burger option, didn't touch the sides very nice. No problems at all with the Swansea fans friendly bunch. In fact there where a couple of Swansea fans on the park and ride buses who seemed nice people.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground itself looked smart from the outside as we headed down towards the away end, really tight security through some stewards then a search, show your tickets through more stewards, then through the traditional turnstiles. On entering the ground it looked really smart altough a bit on the small side, the away end behind one of the goals, we where in the top tier 3/4 of the way back giving us a superb view of the action. It was obvious that the fans to our left where the Swansea singers as they started to go through their range of songs, but the yellow army gave as good as they get, giving superb support close to 2000 I would guess considering its approx 600 miles from Norwich to Swansea return.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
I was if I was honest expecting a really tough game after we lost there 3-0 on our previous visit and the home team had beaten some high profile Premier League teams already this season. We started the game really well passing the ball around but without causing too many problems, however Swansea scored with their first attack we feared the worst, we had a twenty minute period when we where under the cosh, however a superb tackle by the returning from injury Elliot Ward keep the score at 1-0 at half time.
My son purchased a couple of coffees at half time without too much fuss as we waited for the 2nd half to start. I thought however the Swansea fans weren't as noisey as I thought they would be, most songs where started off by a drummer . As the second half started it was obvious from the off set Mr Lambert had given the Norwich team a rollocking, as we started to knock the ball around superbly and started beating Swansea at their own game.
In the first 20 mins of the second half we scored 3 goals as we took charge we also hit the bar and their goalie produced two excellent saves. However just as we thought we where in dream land we gave a penalty away making it 3-2, making the last eight minutes a tough test. Swansea missed a sitter, hit the post and then Ruddy made a superb save and we held on for a deserved victory. We stood throughout the whole game and really enjoyed it, the atmosphere was also very good. The Swansea fans cranked it up in the last 10 mins, but as always this season Norwich's travelling support was excellent.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
After the game we exchanged a bit of banter with the Swansea fans and reveled in our victory. Our park and ride coaches where parked in amongst the cabbage (away) coaches, after about 10-15 mins we set off back to M4 in convoy, here I have to say where I was really really impressed with the organisation of the South Wales Police all roads where blocked on the way out to get us back to the M4, very good. Once back at the Park & Ride it was straight out the the motorway and away, no problems.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A great day out, easy ground to get to, even though its miles away. Two teams loving the Premier League. Nice ground, good organisation using the Park & Ride is a must..
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