The Hawthorns - West Bromwich Albion
Sunday 5th December 2010
V Newcastle United, Premier League, 1.30pm
By John Price
1. 1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
This was another new ground for me. Eventhough I had yet to see Newcastle win away so far this season (all the other away games that I had so far travelled to, we had lost), I was still hoping that we would pick up a valuable win at WBA, and considering our fantastic record away to WBA (unbeaten in 16 league matches) and with our form at the time, I was confident we had the beating of them.
2. How easy was journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I decided to go by train, eventhough the country was in the grip of the 'Big Freeze'. I was worried that the journey might become a bit of a nightmare (considering that in the prior week only 9.3% of trains across the whole of Britain actually ran to timetable), bit it turned out to be great. No problems at all. Well apart from just outside Birmingham they finally ran out of beer! Once we got to New Street, it was a short walk (all signposted) to Moor Street station, then on the train to The Hawthorns. The home fans on the train were find and I'm sure a raven idiot could find their way to the stadium from the station!
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We didn't have much time before the game, so it was a case of a pint and a pie in the ground. Again, around the ground no problems with home fans despite the huge police presence!
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground is fairly traditional although on the small side. The away fans were mostly searched before squeezing through the narrow turnstiles. The concourse is okay, just a little on the small side. On the subject of leg room I can't really comment as along with the other Newcastle fans, we stood for the whole of the game.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
It was a fairly terrible performance by the magpies, with the home side scoring just before half time, who went on to take control in the second half, running out winners with an embarrassing score line to us of 3-1. I found the home fans to be fairly average, never really getting going despite their crushing 3-0 lead. There were a number of empty seats in the home sections so cue the empty seats songs from the usual large and vocal support of the Geordies. The stewards seemed fairly lenient and were friendly. Pies were good and hot. And as for the toilets, well I didn't use them but I never heard any bad complaints.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
back to the station was to say the
least interesting. As the Station was
we needed to wait for a short while
until the WBA
fans had left.
Well the game was awful, however I always enjoy away trips despite the score and this one was no different: plenty of beer, laughs and singing.
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