Monday, 11 August 2014

Our fantastic day at the John Smith's stadium

We had an early start for our drive up to the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield. At least the weather was good and by 8 O'Clock we were on the road. We soon reached Newport Pagnall and stopped for a quick tea before carrying on to the Woodall Services on the M1 where we saw a few AFC Bournemouth fans and a Birmingham fan wearing a Stephen Gleeson shirt - it wasn't going to be a good day for him. We steered into Huddersfield by 1pm and we had a quick look to see where we could get into a main car park for the stadium before finding the one right behind the away supporter's stand. We were a little less pleased with the fee of £7 but at least the car would be safe.
Stephen and Robert fully refreshed.
At the stadium at last.
John Smith's stadium - one bit that hasn't got beer logos all over it.
The club shop could just about squeeze a small coach load of people into it, but we were happy enough to wait our turn and have a look at the red and white away shirt and a few of the Terrier mascot soft toys and goodies that were on view. We also spoke to a few Huddersfield fans about the stadium and we were shocked to hear that it was 20 years old now.
Stephen looks a bit more comfortable than Robert
who's choice of seat was perhaps not the best. 
Inside The Rope Walk there were plenty who decided
standing was the only option while many spilled outside.
AFCB and Huddersfield fans found plenty to talk about.
Our next target was the Rope Walk Bar just behind the stadium and we rushed inside to get a drink and to sit down to see the Sheffield Utd v Bristol City game on the box. Much to our delight we saw Wade Elliott get the winner. The bar got full very quickly and Huddersfield fans were happy to chat to us about their hopes for the season. Many seemed content with a position around 18th which is something that I don't think any AFCB fan would be pleased with this season for our team. Little were we to know that Mark Robins would leave the Yorkshire club the next morning after the poor result for Huddersfield Town.
It would be tempting to try and sneak in as a player but I think the
steward behind the door may have had something to say about that.
It was 2pm by now and just an hour until kick-off so we thought we would head on up to the gate and see if we could get some early photos of any of the players warming up. Walking back past the main reception we saw the programme sellers trying to get us to buy one of their newspaper programmes for £2. Apparently the home fans had asked for a more traditional newspaper programme rather than a push bound booklet this season.  I was not convinced that it would really add to our day greatly and decided to give it a miss having heard a few comments from fans. Today, I think many of the home fans would be happy to use them as fish 'n chip paper!

We had a full security check at the South stand and a bit of fun with the steward who was most intrigued at what I had in my pockets but was slight disappointed with a set of keys and a tattered old wallet. "I'll need those keys to get home," I said and he quickly decided that I was not going to do any one any harm with my Ford keys.

We were immediately please with the space around the facilities on the concourse and hundreds of fans could stand around and talk without falling over rows of chairs or down loads of steep steps. We wanted to get to see the pitch though so hurried down to our seats and started to take in the scenery. Darryl Flahavan had ventured out first and was warming up all by himself in the sunshine. I started to take pictures for Cherry Chimes and Robert and Stephen listened to the radio. I had bought a new splitter jack so they could both listen to the same radio but all we could find was the BBC Radio Leeds station which did not cover the Huddersfield game at all. It was all a mess of wires and bags around us but the boy's didn't seem to mind.
Darryl Flahavan puts a bit of swerve on his kick.
Fraser and MacDonald did lots of sprinting reps away
from the main squad and I expect they will feature on Tuesday
in the Capital One Cup game against Exeter City.
As there was such a lot of space in the stand, we decided to vacate our ticket seats and sort out a place higher up. It did mean we could not see the big score board, but it would have been a stretch behind our heads to see it any way if we had stayed in our original positions. You didn't really need a clock though to see that Marc Pugh had put the Cherries ahead in less than 30 seconds! It was bonkers and the AFCB fans didn't hesitate to start partying from the first minute to the last.

The game sped along with AFCB passing the ball well and Ritchie looking to get on the score sheet  whenever he could. Most eyes were on Callum Wilson and we were all soon singing "Callum Wilson - Bournemouth's goal machine!" It was 0-2 by half time and there was no real fear of Huddersfield being able to create anything that was going to change things in the second half.

You'll have seen from the match report that I had a bit of fun in trying to do a Chimes fan cam at half time. I'll have to think a bit more about the setting for such reports next time as we were rather drowned out by the tannoy system, while my friend Damien Hill was rather silhouetted against the backdrop of the John Smith's stadium.
AFCB players and Huddersfield Town come out for the second half.
AFCB went on to register a 0-4 win and we felt that while the Terriers might have scored a goal if they had had a bit more luck, Lee Camp was never in great difficulty during the afternoon and probably was pleased that his comeback was not too strenuous.

Coming out of the car park was a bit more of an exercise for us but eventually we got going and to avoid some of the traffic heading south on the M1 we headed down the A roads to Sheffield as I knew United played early at midday and that Sheffield Wednesday were away at Brighton, so we could go past Hillsborough and have a quick look at the ground before heading off back to Redhill still singing: "We're top of the league, we're top of the league".  


  1. The reason you got no Huddersfield Town coverage was that the station splits to allow Leeds types to listen on FM and our match on AM and DAB digital but you weren't to know that. No comments about the match it's too upsetting!!

    1. Danny G of had indicated he was only going to do one or two reports this season. He was sufficiently irate after having witnessed that (glorious) shambles that this mismatch is going to be immortalised on his site.
      I rather like the symmetry - he covered the 5-1 last season as well, my lowest point of that season.

    2. I received an email from Danny after the game and he was very honest in his opinion and thought there was a good deal of madness about Huddersfield's team selection and said AFCB were very deserving of the win. His cartoon report will be more difficult this time, but I guess he has plenty of things he can cover now - I suggest all AFCB and Huddersfield fans look out for it this week