In the first of a new series, forum member Daniel Reeds gives us a review of Gresty Road.
New place and a new ground was on the cards for me Tuesday night as I made the late call to be part of the crowd at Gresty Rd, home of Crewe Alexandra as they took on the famous Blackpool FC in the Carling Cup 1st Round.
It isn’t every game that people tell you that the food is better than the ground itself but last night it could be said. Arriving via minibus in the company of Tangoman, Bloomfield Bear, Plumber and a army of kids, some of us parted company and settled into a boozer for a couple of pints (at £1.85 I wasn’t complaining) and a chat with Smiffy and his uncle who we met previously. As hunger set in some of us decide to place a bet on the evening’s football and get some chips (for a small chips I was presented with a massive mound compared to my mates, the girl serving must of liked me more).
We made our way ,after, towards the ground to get tickets, and using my negotiation skills (well simply asking for an U16 ticket) paid £3 BARGAIN.
Entering Gresty Rd reminded me of The Valley with its open air concourse, The Valley is much bigger though of course, and I was amazed at how many supporters we brought in comparison to the home fans. The stewards had to open up more seats to accommodate the extra fans who came down on the day which added to the incredible vocal support led by Hoggy and his drum drowning out the attempts of Crewe’s drum and their teenage choir.
Looking at the ground it seemed strange to have 3 stands that looked to be of conference quality then a massive main stand that looked to be of League 1 quality. They might aswell given us half of that main stand and we would have probably filled it. The stand to the left of us was their family stand and corporate boxes. That stand didn’t have many seats and were quite low down with the goal in the way. To the right we had the noisy stand I would of thought which accommodated the drum and their ‘singers’ trying to intimidate Gilks with 30 or so kids shouting ‘You’re S**t AHHHH’. But the vocal atmosphere from where we were stood was top quality and faultless, can’t say that about the match though.
The first half Crewe ran the show and we were lucky we didn’t concede. Nardiello, GTF and Clarke looked in good shape and were probably the only good players on he pitch. The defence did OK but weren’t helped by Hudson losing the ball every time he touched it. The 2nd half improved and we took the victory. I didn’t get chance to sample the refreshments as the queue was massive and looked like only one kiosk was opened, but looking at the pies people had they looked quite good. The toilets reminded me of what we have in our away end, a cabin.
If you ever feel peckish after the game then a short walk round the corner and you hit ‘the strip’ when every building on that street is a takeaway of some sort, Chinese, Chippy, Kebabs, Pizza etc. Of course you got the ever packed Gresty Rd Chippy but we opted for a Kebab and was pretty tasty actually. The man even gave me free chips on mine, must be a good day for me with food. However when I found out I lost 115 quid on my bet when the Watford match went to extra time I nearly cried.
All in all a great night was had, well for food anyways. Will I be back if we play here again, I would like to say I would.
Overall Ground Rating – 5/10 – Lacked more kiosks for food and just looked a strange ground that lacked character.
Overall Day Rating – 7/10