Saturday, 1 October 2011

Rochdale - Spotland

Rochdale FC
Spotland Stadium
Wilbutts Lane
OL11 5DR

0844 826 1907

Matchday Number: 106
Monday 28th March 2005
Rochdale 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Coca-Cola League 2

Rochdale is one of my favourite away days. Good friendly fans and club, one of the best chippies in the UK and all in all an enjoyable day out. I had previously been on 4 occasions, with Wycombe having a great record - winning 3 times and drawing once.

But the trip I will concentrate on for this blog is the latest visit, today in fact. As it is far easier to remember something that happened earlier as opposed to something 7 years back.

Anyway, I had arranged to take mates to the game. So after meeting Salmon near my house, we made our way to pick Paul and Danny up. We left Wycombe about 8.10 and I had planning to go into Rochdale itself before the game. But the M6 was true to recent form, and we had an hour wait after some tool overturned their car just before Stafford. You can only hope that the victims of the crash were OK, but it's damn frustrating all the same, especially when you find out too late to come off the motorway and take an alternative route. At least I got to visit Curzon Ashton and Chadderton's grounds, though it was a tiny bit too late to walk into town as we got there about 12.45. I did console myself with a very nice Rag Pudding, Peas and Chips from the aforementioned excellent chippy. By then the team were due to arrive so we all waited to applaud them off the coach. After chatting to a few other fans in the vicinity I decided to go out and check a pub about 10 minutes walk away that came well recommended - the Cemetery Hotel. It was not bad at all and after a bottle of Thatcher's Katy cider and watching the end of the Merseyside derby, I made my way to the ground, arriving just before kick off.

Paying £20 to get in, I was hoping to get some value out of my ticket. It started well enough, with Scott Donnelly putting us ahead in the first 10 minutes.But it was not to last. 2 goals from Ashley Grimes, the second one after a bounce deceived James Tunnicliife, saw the Dale through 2-1, To be frank, they deserved the victory after being by far the better side.

SPOTLAND is a modern ground, perfect for Rochdale's and most other clubs in the bottom 2 divisions' needs. Away fans are probably given the best stand of all. The Wilbutts Lane stand is the biggest one and the only one with no pillars. It is all seated, as is most of the ground. To the left is the Pearl Street stand, a medium sized all seater stand behind the goal. Directly opposite is the main stand, slightly smaller than the one used for away fans. It also has executive boxes, a bar and houses the dressing rooms . Finally, completing the set, is a small covered standing area - the Sandy Lane Terrace, now the only standing accommodation in the ground.

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