So, what did Tranmere really think of Wrexham?
27/01/18 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
After an enthralling game between Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers in front of a National League season high attendance of 8,471. Inside Welsh Sport spoke to Tranmere Rovers Official Supporters Club Chairman Mark Bartley after the game, to discuss his experience of the match and visiting Wrexham and The Racecourse Ground.
Hi Mark, did you find the ground easily enough?
Yes, I’ve been a few times before to the ground so knew where it was. I’d expect that most people arriving by car would see the signs, train which I caught was very straightforward.
Have to queue for long to get in?
No, about 2 minutes which was good – this was about 2 pm ish
Did you go into the town before the game?
No, the police had advised all travelling fans that they were not welcome in the town centre or surrounding pubs so I stopped in Chester en route.
First impressions of the ground from the outside?
Again I’ve been before, but it’s a decent ground especially when you compare against other non-league teams
First impressions on the inside?
No problems, shame the lower tier in the away end isn’t used, and a real shame the terrace on the opposite side was shut
How was the view from your seat?
Not bad, although I did have a large post which obstructed part of the goal
Did you ever feel security was an issue?
No, the ground had a high police presence
Were you treated respectfully by police/stewards?
Yes, personally I had no trouble, the stewards on the turnstiles were fairly pleasant which is good since at quite a lot of away grounds there is a humour bypass! They joined in a bit of banter with away fans and seemed fine
How did you find the quality of food and drink on offer?
My friend had a hot dog which didn’t seem too good, I had a pie which was fine. Reasonable range of beers too, all food and drink average prices so can’t complain. One niggle was at half time the bar staff refused to serve until they had confirmed the half time whistle had been blown. I’m not sure whether this is an actual restriction on the license but it seemed OTT to me. The result was the bar area became extremely crowded. I was at the front because I’d come down a few minutes earlier and felt myself getting crushed against the bar. After persuading the bar lad he eventually started to pre-pour pints which saved a bit of time but I feel the club is missing a trick by refusing to sell drinks until the ref has blown his whistle.
How would you rate the home supporters out of 10?
Obviously, Wrexham are local rivals, but they turned out in numbers and got behind their team – I’d say a 9, one mark deducted because of their hatred for Tranmere haha!
How would you rate the atmosphere from both sets of supporters combined?
It was a great atmosphere, a big crowd and lots of singing. I think both clubs should be pleased with how the fans got behind their respective teams
At the start of the day, I said I’d be happy with a draw. After the final whistle, I’m disappointed that we didn’t win as I felt we shaded it overall and I thought the referee’s decision for the Wrexham penalty was extremely poor. Overall though I suppose a draw was a fair result
Think you’ll get promotion?
I hope so! I think we will be challenging come May, whether that’s for automatic or via the playoffs
Yes, apart from the referee’s decision making I thought the game was good – almost like a cup tie!
How do you rate Wrexham as a side?
They seemed determined but I find Pearson’s constant hounding of the referee tiring – he needs to focus on his game rather than constantly whining. Credit due to Wrexham that they bounced back quickly after our early goal
Would you take any of the Wrexham players into the Tranmere side?
I’d say our team is pretty strong at the moment in most areas so wouldn’t want to change it. A lot of people like Quigley but I’m happy with our strike force currently
Who was your man of the match?
There was no obvious MOTM for me – I thought McNulty put in a good shift, I’d say the Wrexham keeper played well. Overall though it was a game of teamwork
What recommended improvements would you suggest to Wrexham to improve your experience?
Only really the half time bar procedures. Obviously, if the club could sort the lower tier out I’m sure we could’ve brought an additional 500 fans which is worth several thousand pounds of revenue to Wrexham FC. Maybe the Wrexham supporters trust could look at what the Tranmere Rovers Trust have done and install a big marquee that away fans can use before the game? Understandable there is little need for that when certain clubs arrive with 30 away fans though!