Palmerston Park, Queen Of The South
v Gretna, Division One
Saturday, August 27th 2006, 3pm

By Morty the Bromsgrove Baggie

Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be)?

As we were on holiday in Scotland, I wanted to take in my first Scottish football game. We were staying in Dumfies & Galloway & it was great to know Queens had a big game local derby with Gretna.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking

The journey was very straightforward, as I had obtained the ground details from the website. We parked for free at the Ice Bowl which is right next to Palmerston Park.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We got to the ground really early as we wanted a seat rather than stand on the terracing. I was also a bit worried that it may have been �all ticket� but a steward said this has been considered but Queens had decided against it. As we walked around the ground we met a guy from West Bromwich who was ground hopping! The home fans seemed friendly enough and we had already decided that as neutrals, we were going to go in the home stand.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground.

The ground was very run down and the Club shop consisted of a room the size of a porch! My son wanted a souvenir and when he asked about a small pendant he was told it was �10.00. We decided the merchandise was far too expensive & made do with a postcard. The home fans entering the shop were mostly returning faulty home shirts that had been purchased only recently�not a good advert to encourage people to part with their money.

When we got to the main stand, we were a bit surprised, as this was fairly new and admission was only �16 for an adult & child (good to see a Club that encourages a family to attend by reducing the standard admission prices). Luckily we got to sit in the main stand, which provided an excellent view. No tickets are issued and seating is on a first come first served basis.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game was disappointing. I had heard an awful lot about Gretna being the Scottish �Chelsea� with a rich owner splashing the cash to ensure the teams advancement through the leagues. I had heard many of the Gretna players had SPL experience, but although they will probably get promoted again this season, I was disappointed by the general standard of play. For a local derby, it lacked passion on the pitch and the passing was very poor by both teams.

There were hardly any stewards or police and it seemed that the home club has vastly underrated how large the crowd would be. Five and a half thousand may not seem a lot, but when your average home gate is about 1500, you will see what a big increase in attendance there was. They even had to �open� a piece of terracing (that I understand is condemned & without a safety certificate) to house the Gretna fans. Not the best piece of management!

5 minutes before half time I started queuing for a pie, but after missing a goal, standing there for the entire half-time period & 10 minutes into the second half, I gave up! I tried again with 1 minute to go to the final whistle & low & behold missed another goal!

The atmosphere was good from both sets of fans but being a derby, I thought it may have been even better.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

We got away from the ground within 10 minutes, very easy indeed.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

Good to see a game north of the border and sample another ground. It�s hard going for most of the Scottish Clubs from what I heard so it would do some of the premadonas from the English League to spend a month out on loan to see how life compares!


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