Watching Newcastle United from the wrong end at Burnley
Burnley v Newcastle
Burnley1 Newcastle 1 Tuesday 2 December 7.45pm
A Tuesday night in Burnley.
Sometimes you have to do something in order to remind yourself just why you really shouldn’t do it.
For example, deciding to have that last pint on a Friday night, which will turn you from a happy drunk into an extra from Lord of the Rings.
Another thing you really shouldn’t do is watch a game of football in the wrong end.
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For whatever reason, Turf Moor is a ground that I always wanted to visit, so with a bit of forward planning, I found myself working in the area last night. This allowed me to go to the match but it did mean sitting in the home end. So as the crowd begins to gather before the game, you find yourself looking around at your new neighbours and wondering if they are going to be decent trouble free people
Until the referee blew the whistle to start the game, I thought I had struck lucky, but what is it about football that turns normal, sensible looking people into nutcases for a hour and a half? As there wasn’t a single yellow coated steward within 100 yards of me, I thought it best to sit and suffer in silence.
I should mention that this was not the same in the away end where I have never seen so many stewards and police surrounding fans. What was all that about? It’s hardly as if the clubs have history between them, unless the police thought there might have been a few angry pensioners out there still mad about MacDonald’s goal at Hillsborough
I really wasn’t sure if I could manage to keep my mouth shut, but the team came to my aid by hardly having a shot on goal for the first 45 minutes. So far so good, until they scored and celebrated in front of my part of the ground. As everyone seemed to want to hug me, it was time to go and get an early hotdog.
The changes at half time totally changed the game. We all have our own opinions on who should play and what formation should be used, but the difference in the team pre and post half time tells you everything about just what works for us and what doesn’t.
Once Cisse scored (see the goal HERE), the game was there to be won. Burnley became nervous both on and off the pitch. Although happy to have a point after the no show at the start, I can’t help thinking that this was two points dropped.
I think it’s fair to say that Burnley is not the Nou Camp. Neither is their fan base huge, but with all the bigger teams close by, those who choose to support this club are totally committed to it. There are not many prawn sandwich eaters amongst them.
The match day experience reminded me of going to a game in the 1980s , which personally I think is a good thing (Apart from having to pay £40 obviously).
Watching the more excitable element amongst my neighbours jumping up and down, screaming obscenities and banging on the walls of the stand, it did make me smile.
You just are not allowed to show that kind of emotion at St James Park anymore or Mr Luminous Jacket will have your number and you will be banned. It may have made me feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but I chose to sit there and surely isn’t watching football all about showing emotion?
And any town where you can get three pints before the match for a fiver is alright by me.
Team: Elliot, Janmaat, Williamson (S.Taylor 46), Dummett, Haidara, Tiote, Abied, Gouffran, Perez (Cabella 46), Ameobi (Riviere 75), Cisse
Unused Subs: Anita, Cabella, R.Taylor, Riviere, Alnwick, Armstrong, Streete
Ref: Phil Dowd
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