Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Has four sides made a difference?

I was very keen to pay close attention to the sound of the home support this last weekend to work out whether our new four-sided ground really was having much of an impact to the atmosphere and the game. Is the sound more hemmed in? Do we get a louder reaction from fans and most importantly – is it less drafty?

Well, I'm not sure about the last question, but there is certainly a new feel about the Goldsands stadium and that's not just because Steve Fletcher's head has gone walkabouts to the club shop. There was obviously a great buzz about the place when Real Madrid came and played here and also for the first Championship match against Charlton. The Ted MacDougall stand has made a huge difference to the atmosphere. The away fans must feel really packed into that small corner of the ground now. But for the Charlton game there was quite a lot of empty seats in the South stand.

Are you enjoying the atmosphere at Dean Court
more now with the fourth stand in place?
So it was of interest for me to see how things matched up when Wigan came to play us in a regular Championship game. While they are a big northern club I was not sure how many would make the trip all the way down to the South coast, but I think many of their fans will have enjoyed the experience and the prices compared to visiting some of those Premier League stadiums last season. For sure, their supporter coaches were reasonably busy as they were calling for fans to book quickly for the last few seats that were available last Thursday.

Far from being quite, I thought the home crowd was just as noisy as when the season kicked off against Charlton. We perhaps needed the loud vocal support considering the task ahead. If we don't win our home games AFCB will be up against it. But the noise was quite incredible and I did not hear a great deal of away supporter songs although they had their moments.

With two home wins out of two perhaps the Ted MacDougall stand is helping to give the team that little bit extra something that is proving very valuable. 

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