TUESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2013
Salisbury City 1 Forest Green Rovers 4
IT’S TUESDAY night and it’s cold – where better to be than out at a game?
After winding through the country lanes of Wiltshire I eventually arrive at Salisbury City’s Raymond McEnhill Stadium, which is tucked at the end of cul-de-sac in a housing estate.
Eco warriors Forest Green Rovers are in town and I’m eager to see what the apparent big spenders are going to bring to the party.
A space in the car park is £2, entry is £14 – with a special ‘kids for a quid’ – and it’s straight to the burger bar to warm up.
Sausage Casserole is a tempting dish on the menu but it’s a £3.20 cheeseburger for me. It even comes with the pleasant surprise of two slices of cheese – other clubs take note!
As a one-off special they are even selling hand warmers for a pound!
The Ray Mac – as it is fondly known locally – has one big stand that houses the changing rooms and corporate boxes on one side with a small seated stand opposite. And two scoreboards! One counts up, the other count downs.
Everywhere else is terracing with a roof one end extending into the corner. I’ve arrived in plenty of time so it would be remiss not to experience the bar.
The beer selection is decent – Seafarers Ale for the proper drinkers – and the ladies behind the bar are even more welcoming.
Pennants from the likes of Sheffield United to Ashford Town are pinned up and action pictures from last season’s play-offs adorn the walls.I sup my pint while flicking through the programme (£2.50) which is a nice read if a bit populated by adverts. Not that we begrudge them that.
Things are going well for Salisbury under their young manager Mikey Harris so far this season but the first half can hardly be described as a thriller and Salisbury fans in a near 800 crowd seem particularly flat.
Salisbury’s keeper Will Puddy was fooled by James Norwood’s dipping shot but the hosts get one back before half-time through Dan Fitchett. In the second half though Forest Green eventually start to take over.
Danny Wright scores before a penalty makes it 3-1. From where I’m standing it’s hard to see what the offence was and the locals around me are far from happy. They can’t have any arguments really when? Norwood finishes the best move of the evening.
An enjoyable game at a welcoming ground, but by the time I’m back in my car I can’t help but wish I dug a little deeper and bought those hand warmers!
Ticket value 3, Programme 2, Food 4, Bar 4, Toilets 3, Atmosphere 2, Match 4, Overall: 4