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Boleyn Ground
West Ham United v  Southampton
Premier League
  Saturday, February 22nd 2014, 3pm
Steve Malloch
(Southampton fan)

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

I was looking forward to visiting the ground because of the great reputation of West Ham fans, in terms of generating a good atmosphere. Also this was the first Southampton away game I had been to in many years.

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

I now live in North London so I just hopped on the underground. The grounds closest tube station is Upton Park (five minute walk and well sign posted from the station) but it was incredibly busy when I arrive.

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

We went to a chippy on Green Street before the game. Green street gets very congested so it wasn’t too fun trying to eat while weaving in and out of people. Home fans are friendly enough, but I wouldn’t mouth off too much!

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

The ground is squeezed into a tight area, as many inner city grounds are. The size of the concourse for the away section concourse is tiny to be honest. Only one drinks/food outlet, so I didn't even bother trying to get anything, the game may well be over before you get to the front! But quite a few toilets, which is a plus, especially at half time. The away section of the ground was quite good I thought. Apart from being on the bottom tier of the stand, meaning that West Ham fans are above looking down on you, which is intimidating for some people.

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

The atmosphere was fairly non-existent until West Ham scored. Before that it was the away fans manking all the noise. I was seated very close to the boundary with the home supporters. I spent most of my time there laughing at the banter between the fans, and not concentrating on the game. The stewards/police warned a few blokes about winding people up, nothing too serious though.

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

Wouldn’t bother with Upton Park station after the game, we left 5 minutes early and still found ourselves at the back of thousands of people. Do yourself a favour and walk the 10 minutes to another tube station. East Ham was our choice.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good day despite the result. The grounds worth a visit, but wouldn’t say the West Ham fans weren't as particularly as loud as I had expected.

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