Bescot Stadium - Walsall
Saturday 23rd April 2011
V Sheffield Wednesday, League One 3pm

By Teresa Jewell

I have followed the Owls for many years home and away visiting some superb stadiums and others that are not so superb.
This was a ground I had not visited before, so a few of us decided to travel by Sheffield Wednesday official coaches. The journey was only a short one approx 1hr 30mins, but we decided upon arrival we would find something to eat. The only place we found was a McDonalds on the retail park which is right at the side of the ground. We were not the only ones with the idea as other owls upon getting of the coaches followed. Incidently the coaches park right at the side of the entrance to the away end and stay there until after the game (unlike some grounds).
The club had also put a family fun day on for all fans which meant both sets of fans mingling together with no problems what so ever. We even sat on the grassed area around McDonalds with Walsall fans and general shoppers to the retail park with no problems (a few little Wednesday songs did come from a young group of lads nothing harmful though).
The ground its self from the outside looked ok you could see it was ageing, but not all clubs have millions to spend now. Yet once through the old rusted turnstile it became another matter. The away end was one tierd with the two sides the same. Their Main Stand at the other end, looked impressive with its two teirs.

The amenities were awful. The toilets could be found in the corner of the away end water could be seen on the floor of the entrance. I can only comment on the female toilets, which were water logged so your feet were wet, two toilets one of whch had no handle to flush and one had no lock on the door. You had to have a sense of humour believe me.           

The catering facilities were right outside he entrance of these toilets and comprised of two windows. The staff were helpful a very cheerful. I had a pasty for 2.00 and it was not bad at all.
One of the things I liked about this ground was how near we were to the pitch, but unfortunately there were some supporting pillars holding up the roof on the away end, so at times it got annoying and we couldnt see down by the corner flag. My son ended up standing on his seat.
The game itself was good. Walsall came at the Owls hard in the first 15 or so minutes scoring on the 10 minute mark, but Wednesday hit back on 26 mins with Neil Mellor. There were times it looked like we were in trouble but after half time a second goal was beconning with brilliant saves by Walsall's goalkeeper James Walker.

Due to the compact nature of the away end every noise was two fold it sounded at times like the whole of Hillsborough had come with us. It was brilliant and a good party atmosphere.
After the game the coaches were in the same spot where we got off them and we followed each other out of the ground with a usual police escort back onto the motorway. Incidently, some how our coach got lost and we ended up back at the stadium! 
Glad we went would go again a nice short run of an away game ideal when taking a young child. In addition very friendly and we may try the train next time many fans did this time and reported no problems at all.


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