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Boleyn Ground
West Ham United v  Chelsea
Premier League
  Saturday, December 1st 2012, 3pm
By Joe Fowler
(Chelsea fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had never been to Upton Park before, so when the fixture list was published, I made sure that I would be free on the weekend of the match.

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

Getting there was easy. Tube to Tower Hill, then to Upton Park. However, our tube broke down, and took 20 minutes to get going again.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We went to a pub at Tower Hill called Liberty Bounds. This wasnít overly crowded, and had plenty of Chelsea supporters in there. We didnít sample the food, but the menus looked decent - your usual pub-grub. Home fans seemed okay, and there was a bit of friendly banter on the way down Green Street to the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

We arrived at the away end just as the match was kicking off. Despite jogging through the concourse (we were at the furthest end), I noticed how old and compact it was. We took our seats Ė about 15 rows up behind the goals, great seats. The stands opposite and to the right of us looked fairly good, but ours, and the one to our left were shockingly dated.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

We got off to a flyer, taking the lead through a good goal from Mata. We could have put the game to bed at the end of the first half, but some good defending and a great save prevented it. Half time was mental. The concourse was jam-packed with Chelsea fans jumping up and down and chanting. We finally got to the front of the queue. The burger was terrible (£4), but the Carlsberg (£3.80) was ice cold. We joined in with some songs, and made our way back to our seats.

The second half was shocking, with the match finishing 3-1 to West Ham.  The atmosphere was very good throughout the second half from West Ham. Probably, man for man, the loudest Iíve heard all season.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We exited the ground, and the police did a good job of keeping (most of) the supporters apart. We joined a ridiculously long queue for the tube, and eventually, headed back home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All in all, a ground that must be visited by traditional football fans. No thrills, just a ground that has a good atmosphere, and a good old fashioned stadium. Not one of my favourite away days, but definitely somewhere worth re-visiting. 

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