Here’s my monthly post about the previous month’s away days, following loyal Rams fans up and down the country on their football travels. This is the article that is all about the fans and their thoughts as they follow Derby around the country.
Leicester City 4-1 Derby County, King Power Stadium 1.12.12
Derby’s poor record against fellow East Midlanders Leicester City continued with a crushing defeat. It’s probably fair to say that the scoreline flattered the Foxes because the Rams certainly had their spells of dominance, but unfortunately couldn’t capitalise and were forced to pay for some poor early defending. Leicester raced to a 2-0 lead through Witbread and Waghorn, Theo Robinson’s first half goal to reduce the deficit was cancelled out by two late David Nugent goals.
Derby fan Michael Sharp watched the game from the stands and told me this-
Derby Support: 8/10 Despite a quiet performance from the Rams the away support was loud all game, local derby giving added spice.
Ground Atmosphere: 6/10 For a crowd of 20,000+ I thought it was a reasonably quiet atmosphere.
Stadium Overall: 7/10 The King Power Stadium is a modern stadium, same build as most average Championship grounds.
Thoughts on the day and game: 6/10 A fairly poor performance from the Rams, dampened what could have a been a good day out and a much awaited win over our local rivals the Foxes.
Bristol City 0-2 Derby County, Ashton Gate 15.12.12
The Rams got their third away win of the campaign over a struggling Bristol City side on a cold December Saturday. Central midfielders Jeff Hendrick and Craig Bryson were the goal scorers for the Rams making it a pre-Christmas away day to enjoy for the Derby faithful.
Owner of the famous flag Nick Webster attended the match and gave his verdict on the day.
Overall Day: 9 /10
Derby Support: 9/10
Ground Atmosphere: 9/10
Stadium Overall: 7 /10
The Day and Game as a whole: 9 /10
Burnley 2-0 Derby County, Turf Moor 26.12.12
A miserable boxing day for Derby, this defeat was against a side who we have certainly struggled to beat in recent times. Talisman Charlie Austin, who always seems to bag a goal against the Rams, and central-defender Duff got the goals to hand the Clarets all three points.
George Whelan went to the game, here’s his thoughts – including comments about some leaks!
Overall Day: 7/10 Unimpressed with Nigel for playing 4-5-1 in the first-half and the fact that Turf Moor was falling down! There were numerous leaks in the away end roof! But for me personally I was quite happy, as it was my first opportunity to try out my new camera at a match!
Derby Support: 8/10 There were just under 1000 DCFC fans to my knowledge and the noise created was good, at times. Although I don’t agree with the chanting of ‘Stand up and support your club’, away from home I normally do stand up, but depending on who sits around you (older, lesser-abled people) particularly at Burnley I would have been blocking sitting people’s views.
Ground Atmosphere: 5/10 Like I’ve said the Derby fans were singing as always, but Burnley fans didn’t create really any noise at all, bar when Austin and Duff scored.
Stadium Overall: 4/10 As the Derby fans were singing ‘Burnley’s ground is falling down, falling down.’ I think you can tell! There was quite a lot of leaks in the roof although I thought the wooden seats were quite good for some reason.
Thoughts on the day and game: 6/10 Derby were OK at times but Jacobs and Sammon were poor, weather was awful and the defending on the second goal was abysmal! My man of the match was easily Gareth Roberts or Hendrick.
Marc Oliver was also at that game and got in touch.
How do you compare the ground to Pride Park ?
Turf Moor is 130 years old, so naturally it’s vastly different to our place. Obvious similarities can be made to The Baseball Ground and that to me, would be very apt. Wooden seats and leaky roofs lead to some humours chants such as “Burnley’s ground is falling down” & “£30 and we haven’t even got proper seats.” Aside from the humour and what would seem drab surroundings these grounds capture the imagination of the sentimental and romantic football fan. You cannot replicate the feeling, the surroundings or the smell of a place like that. Magic!
Views were slightly skewered due to one pole holding the roof up, but otherwise not bad considering we were behind the goal.
A mention should also go out to Burnley’s in house TV systems. (See below photo) Makeshift is the word!
What did you think of the Rams’ performance?
Nothing to write home about I’m afraid. In fact looking at the stats, I would say it doesn’t paint the correct picture of our performance. We lacked any real attempts on goal, which was a result of no real spark of flair to coax the ball upfront. Usually we do this well, however in this game we didn’t get into gear. We paid the price with the inevitable Charlie Austin goal, five minutes before time. Much of the frustration from the stands grew throughout the 2nd half with Clough’s persistence on 4-5-1 formation being the route of the unhappiness. So much so, the fans began chanting “4-4-2” and “We want our Theo on.” We got what we wanted with Tyson and Robinson coming on for Bryson and Sammon, but the move didn’t prove enough to change anything with Duff netting a 2nd for Burnley with just over 15 minutes to go.
Where did most of the stadium’s atmosphere come from – the home or away end?
Definitely the away end, which I guess can be common in football ground new and old in this day and age. Lots of great chants from the Derby faithful which projected loud and clear over what seemed a really quiet and un-atmospheric home support. I often find that when you are the minority in football grounds you go wanting to make your voices heard and this certainly rang true at Turf Moor.
Charlton Athletic 1-1 Derby County, The Valley 29.12.12
A trip to London saw Derby emerge with a point in a game that probably should have seen Derby win all three. Sub Jamie Ward returned from injury to equalise from the penalty stop, only to be brought off early after feeling his hamstring again. It was Danny Haynes’ early wonder strike that gave the Addicks the lead.
Rams fan Darren Walker made the journey to The Valley and told me this-
Overall Day: 8/10 Not often we dominate a game so much away from home, especially in London. A point and a decent atmosphere has to be worth an 8.
Derby Support: 8/10 The most we’ve taken to a London game this season so far with around 1,500 in attendance, an improvement on Millwall and Palace. The fans made quite a bit of noise, especially after the equaliser and being able to celebrate Wardy’s goal at our end made for a fun few seconds.
Ground Atmosphere: 7/10 The ground feels a lot larger than I was expecting but the Charlton fans seem a long way away so there is a lack of interaction between fans. The stand away fans are housed in is the smallest and probably oldest, and the tin roof (with holes) is conducive to making a decent racket.
Stadium Overall: 9/10 Very impressed, looks a lot bigger than it actually is. View was great from the away end too. Mainline station is only 5 minutes away from the ground and is 200 yards away from the oddly named Antigallican pub which welcomes away fans, and was packed to the rafters with noisy Rams on this occasion.
Thoughts on the day and game: 9/10 The team selection and formation was a big surprise to most there on the day, but in the end it paid off. Derby dominated the first 20 minutes then Charlton scored with their first shot. It was much more even after that until, just after Charlton hit the bar, Derby equalised from the spot through Jamie Ward and Charlton were reduced to 10 men. In the end we came away slightly disappointed with the point. I fear for Charlton and Chris Powell’s job on this evidence.
Jonathan Rodgers also went to the match and got in touch, he answered these questions.
How do you compare the ground to Pride Park?
It was my first trip to The Valley and I was really impressed. Recently redeveloped (in the 90s) on three sides and, if they redeveloped the away end it would have a capacity similar to Pride Park. It’s in quite an interesting setting to, surrounded by streets, pubs and shops rather like the Baseball Ground was. Still, not as modern a ground as Pride Park though!
Tickets were £25, which I suppose is comparable to us. I know they reduced their prices for a few games recently and got bumper crowds. Atmosphere pretty subdued in the home bits as we dominated the match but I can imagine the atmosphere being good generally as it’s pretty enclosed and the crowd are close to the pitch.
What did you think of the Rams’ performance?
As for the performance, as you know, we played really well and should have won. Coutts was fantastic but Hendrick really impressed me too. And I never thought I’d be saying that this season.
What did you think to the atmosphere?
I actually really loved the atmosphere in the Derby end. There were about thirty fans in front of us (including a very decent drummer) who were singing/chanting etc throughout the game. I think Nigel Clough and the team appreciated it!
Derby County fans are fortunate enough to have a giant famous flag, fan owned by supporter Nick Webster, travel the land with them. It’s believed to be the largest fan-owned flag in the country. Browse through the photo slideshow (below) of the flag at the away grounds featured in December’s Rams On Tour.
Below are two fantastic images of the flag, great use of Photoshop!
If you ever want a look back at previous editions of Rams On Tour, view the archive by CLICKING HERE. Finally, If you would like to take a look back at all of Derby’s goals during December, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to all the supporters who contributed to this month’s edition. A big happy new year to you all and up the Rams!