RAMS ON TOUR in February: Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City & Watford


Here’s my monthly post on recent away days, gathering supporters’ thoughts on ground visits. This is the article that is all about the fans and their thoughts as they follow Derby around the country.

Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Derby County, Hillsborough 9.2.13

After the Rams led 2-0, goals through Jeff Hendrick and a Jamie Ward penalty, it looked like it was going to be a brilliant result. However, quickly after the goal the hosts scored two in quick succession to ensure Derby of a frustrating result. Nigel Clough’s Rams were backed by 3,649 travelling DCFC fans, making themselves heard in Yorkshire.

George Constantine was at Hillsborough, here’s his verdict.

Ward Penalty Sheff Wed Away

My photo of striker Jamie Ward stepping up to take his penalty.

Overall Day: 7/10

Derby Support: 8/10

Ground Atmosphere: 8 /10 for the first half and 6/10 for the second.

Stadium Overall: 6/10

Nick Calvert was also on hand to give his opinion.

How do you compare the ground to Pride Park?

Nick captured the pre-match huddle.

Hillsborough is quite different from Pride Park. You wouldn’t need to be a hardened football fan to notice it’s authentic and full of character. The concourse felt enclosed with small gangways up to the stands and a gents’ toilet that had definitely seen better days. Still, it felt like a proper football ground rather than the newer grounds such as Pride Park, which although are family friendly, can feel like a watered down way of going to a football match.

What did you think of the Rams’ performance?

All in all, very encouraging. the first half was a joy to watch. Knocking the ball around with confidence reminiscent of our dominant home performances against Blackpool & Middlesbrough. Second half, after we went two up, we lacked the experience needed to close the game down and take the sting out of it. This wasn’t the fault of the players on the pitch, they gave everything  but if we had the know how of a Robbie Savage or an Ian Taylor we might just have weathered the storm and got to the hour mark with our 2 goal lead intact.

Nick’s photo of a crowded concourse at Sheffield Wednesday.

Where did most of the stadium’s atmosphere come from – the home or the away end?

As with most games the atmosphere was generated by whichever team was in the ascendancy, us in the first half and them in the second. Away games are always better for atmosphere, and this wasn’t a let down.

Hull City 2-1 Derby County, KC Stadium 12.2.13

A trip to Hull on a cold midweek night didn’t bring the Rams any points. Ahmed Elmohamady’s late header snatched three points for the Tigers, prior to that Jamie Ward had levelled proceedings for Derby. The dismissal of Gareth Roberts added to Nigel Clough’s frustration.

Nick Webster, or commonly known as DCFC’s flagman, was at the game and gave a very low score on one particular question, take a look.

Overall Day: 7/10

Derby Support: 8/10

Ground Atmosphere: 2 /10

Stadium Overall: 7 /10

Watford 2-1 Derby County, Vicarage Road 23.2.13

Dave’s photo of goalkeeper Adam Legzdins applauding the away support.

A trip to in-form Watford was never going to be an easy game but the Rams came out of it believing they should have had more. Matej Vydra opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the season, Joel Ekstrand doubles the Hornets’  lead in the second half. Unfortunately a Jamie Ward penalty, making it 2-1, wasn’t enough to get a better result for Derby.

Phill Toone went to Watford, read his account below.

Overall day: 6/10.

Hey, I thought the day overall wasn’t a bad day, we travelled up by car and parked at the girls’ grammar school near to the ground at a cost of £7 which was steep but secure, we ventured into the town centre and into the Wetherspoon’s pub which was a mix of home and away fans but was a calm and relaxed atmosphere, the day was cold and it tried to snow all day. Not a bad day and not the worst drive in the world.

Derby Support: 6/10.

Derby’s support was noted at 929 which for us isn’t bad these days though I do feel we were a bit quiet in general, just the normal group at the back trying to create a atmosphere though some songs are a bit silly at times and a decent drum is needed.

Ground Atmosphere: 4/10.

The ground was dead!!! No atmosphere at all, in the past when I’ve visited Vicarage Road they have a drummer and make a bit of noise, I heard hardly anything apart from a few minutes after each goal, and for a team in Watford’s position I expected a lot better.

Watford A

George Whelan caught the team huddle on camera.

Stadium Overall: 5/10.

Dave captured this photo at Vicarage Road.

The stadium is old and in need of an upgrade drastically, IF Watford get promoted they should use the cash to improve the ground not squad, the cold wind blows in from the away fans and it’s bitter.The stand by the dugouts is derelict and needs rebuilding.

What’s your thoughts on the day and game? 

Derby, in my opinion, did a lot better than I expected against an organised and tidy Watford team who won’t be a million miles away from promotion, though on yesterday’s performance I’ve seen better this year…I expected a pasting and not a lot of teams will peg Watford back for 40 minutes, first half we could have been 2/3 down but we wasn’t and in the second half we could have scored 2/3 ourselves. I thought Mason Bennett looked lively as did Martin…I couldn’t work out Coutts’ position in the second half though. Not as bad as feared and positives can be taken!

Jonathan Rodger’s photo of Jamie Ward stepping up to take his penalty.

Sam Maudlsey was in attendance too.

How do you compare the ground to Pride Park? 

Watford A 1

A close up shot of a few of the Rams’ players, photo by George Whelan.

No offence to Watford FC but the ground is a shambles, they only have three stands and some of the seats were broke and others had lost their colour.

What did you think of the Rams’ performance?

In the first half Watford dominated most of it, they got the most chances but Derby were dangerous, in the second half Derby dominated Watford but Watford scored from one set piece and once Ward had scored the penalty we looked like we were going to score again and should have.

Where did most of the stadium’s atmosphere come from – the home or the away end?

There was no home atmosphere at all, they only sang when they scored. As I was standing with Nick (flagman) and all of them the atmosphere was brilliant.

Flagwatch

The giant Super Rams flag follows Derby up and down the country and if you’re a Rams fan then you definitely should be aware of it now!

Here’s a fantastic photo of Rams fans packing the away end at Hillsborough with the famous flag!

Here the flag sits alongside supporters at Hull’s KC stadium.

Dave Smith gives his views about the best and worst parts of his away days, including a couple of observations about some ground’s toilets!

What’s your favourite ever away day?

Best away day…………..probably Blackburn a few years ago. Last game of the season…….loads of Rams fans in fancy dress……. just a good laugh.

What’s the best stadium you have visited as an away fan?

Best stadium…… after Wembley….has to be….. the Emirates Stadium……….. great stadium…..padded seats……….. just a fantastic stadium.

Which of the stadiums visited has been the worst?

Worst stadium has to be Colchester’s old ground………… 2 urinals and 1 sit down toilet for 500 people…… if you had the runs… you didn’t stand a chance. Chesterfield’s old ground as well…..no roof on the toilet block.

Tom, or you may know him as Boz The Ram, gives his views on away days.

What’s your favourite ever away day?

Favourite ever away day has to be our 10 men win over Forest. Absolutely unreal day. Glad to be able to say I was there because a game like that will never happen again!

What’s the best stadium you have visited as an away fan?

Best away ground I’ve been to is definitely Peterborough’s London Road. Terracing makes the place triple in atmosphere and overall a much better day out. Hopefully Safe Standing will replace those terraces.

Which of the stadiums visited has been the worst?

Worst stadium I’ve been to has to be Turf Moor. The roof leaks, the seats are wooden, pillars in the way of the pitch, need I say more? Absolute dump.

                                                                                                                                                           

If you ever want a look back at previous editions of Rams On Tour, view the archive by CLICKING HERE. Finally, I’d like to give a huge thank you to all the supporters who contributed to this month’s edition of Rams On Tour.

Twitter- @NMtherams

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One Response to RAMS ON TOUR in February: Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City & Watford

  1. Dan says:

    As a Watford fan I feel I should chime in on a minor issue. Indeed, the ground hugely needs updating/serious work, and the 4th stand is embarrassing, but in terms of seats being broken, I believe that they are only in that state thanks to certain Crystal Palace fans during our match a few weeks ago. I understand that Hertfordshire Constabulary has written to Crystal Palace and steps such as reducing future Palace away allocations are being considered.

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