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St Andrews
  Birmingham City v Bristol City
Championship League
Tuesday November 6th, 2012, 7.45pm
By Joe White
(Bristol City fan)

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

First visit to St Andrews, and one of the relatively bigger grounds I would have gone to over the years so I was looking forward to it. I was hoping that there might have been some banter with home fans and that they would have good support; have heard differing views to this effect.

We were 2nd from bottom at the time having lost our last 5 matches on the bounce and Birmingham were only a few places above us having not won at home in the last 5 attempts. Our terrible run had to end sometime and was hoping it would be tonight. Looking at pictures of the ground before the game I liked the look of the old Main Stand and the Gil Merrick Stand that we would be stood in, but the other two stands are rather like half of a bowl of a stadium (which I really don't like).

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

Only traffic encountered was coming out of Bristol at 5pm, found the ground fine thanks to the satnav. Did seem weird that there were no signs for the ground until the very last minute (when you could see the ground close by anyway) so good luck to anyone hoping to rock up by car in Birmingham and then relying on signs to direct you to the ground. We parked for free on a nearby residential street which was good. At Ashton Gate arriving at as close to kick off as we did we'd have to parked A LOT further away even with smaller attendances.

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

Didn't get to around the ground till about half 7 so only had time to park up and queue to pay at get in. We'd sold about 400 before the game but most seemed to be paying on the day and there was a large queue for this. Only two ticket booths were open and quite a few fans would have missed the start of the game. We got in right on kick off which is the time I like to get in to avoid having pop music blasted through the tannoys when trying to sing.

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

Away end was steep so had a good view of the game. As mentioned earlier half the ground is a bowl shape although I did quite like the home end. The Main Stand looked proper old school which I thought added character to the ground. I think we were in the most interesting stand however with a small top tier that overhangs a larger bottom tier.

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

Less talked about the game the better. We lost 2-0 and never looked like scoring. They even had a penalty saved. I'd guess about half our support stood at the back and sung throughout the 90 mins. Birmingham seemed to have a group of 200 in their home end behind the goal who stood throughout and sung the odd song, think I only heard them once though.

To our right there was a group of about 40 who started singing in the 2nd half once they were winning, couldn't hear them too well cause we were singing but could see they were making an effort. I did not see stewards making any attempt to get fans to sit down or stop doing this or that as they can do which is refreshing to see. There were quite a few police at the game, a couple stood next to the turnstiles on the way in, very friendly having a laugh and chat with queuing city fans (hopefully the West Midlands Police of old have finally changed for the better).

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

Did not come across any trouble when leaving the ground, didn't wear colours so nobody said anything. Hit a bit of traffic coming out of the ground but nothing like Ashton Gate.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Decent ground, terrible result, home fans were poor but stewards allowing fans to stand and get on with it made it as an enjoyable experience as it could have been.

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