So, What did Tottenham think of Newport?
Newport County 1 v 1 Tottenham Hotspur
FA CUP – FOURTH ROUND, RODNEY PARADE
After the historic FA Cup 4th round game between Newport County and Tottenham in front of a passionate crowd of 9,836. Inside Welsh Sport spoke to the Co-chair of Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, Katrina Law, to discuss her experience of the match and visiting Newport for the first time.
Hi Katrina, did you find the ground easily enough?
Yes. There was a significant police presence in the Town Centre effectively lining the route to the ground. All very good natured. The only difficulty came when neither the police or Home Supporters we spoke with knew the quickest route to the away end.
Have to queue for long to get in?
Not especially. A hold up of 5 or so minutes before the searching area. Then straight through the turnstiles. We arrived 15-20 minutes ahead of kick off.
Did you go into Newport before the game?
Yes. We met up with a good number of travelling Spurs fans in the Queens Hotel (Wetherspoons) at around 3pm.
Any thoughts on Newport City centre?
Didn’t really get to see much of it, tbh. But there was a hen party in progress which looked pretty fierce 😉
First impressions of the ground from the outside?
Proper old school football ground. A refreshing change from the steel and glass cathedrals of the Premier League. Very tight residential streets bordering the ground. A ‘community’ club.
First impressions on the inside?
Nice tight ground with tonnes of atmosphere.
Better than expected. The temporary away stand was far sturdier than anticipated. The free standing food and drinks kiosks behind that stand were well positioned and looked to provide a decent selection of refreshments. The toilet provisions seemed adequate, too.
In the Bisley stand, I had to clamber over two rows of seats to reach mine on the back row, and the catering area was extremely cramped in that stand at half time.
How was the view from your seat?
We were in the Bisley stand and we were impressed with the view, apart from the far corner of the pitch being obscured by the TV camera position.
Did you ever feel security was an issue?
Not at all.
Were you treated respectfully by police/stewards?
Yes. They were very good indeed. Among some of the best, we’ve encountered on our travels.
How did you find the quality of food and drink on offer?
I would say we put more effort into getting a pint at half time than our players did in the first 45 minutes of the game, but that would be a cheap shot! The ‘queue’ was crazy and it was bordering on impossible to get served. But we eventually managed it! Hardly Newport’s fault that the travelling Spurs fans enjoy a drink!
I did think that £5 a pint was excessive however and suggest that was a one off price point for our visit as I doubt that would be sustainable for League 2 fixtures.
As always, just because we support a megabucks club doesn’t mean we are mega rich fans!
How would you rate the home supporters out of 10?
I thought they were a very solid 8.5/10. It speaks volumes that at the final whistle, we turned to applaud the Newport fans rather than our own team, which was reciprocated by those we could see on the segregation line.
How would you rate the atmosphere from both sets of supporters combined?
Decent. We were quieter than usual. A combination of having half of our usual Premier League allocation and of that allocation being split across two stands, having no roof to keep the sound in and general lack of much to sing about from our players on the pitch!
Enjoy the game?
It was an FA Cup tie at a new ground. What’s not to love?
A fair result?
I thought we were very lucky indeed. Genuinely thought we were out.
Unbelievable effort from the boys tonight to get a draw at home against Tottenham! 🙌🏾⚽️ Fans were different class as usual!!🔶 Wembley..👀
— Shawn McCoulsky (@SMccoulsky) January 27, 2018
Think you’ll win the replay?
This is going to sound really cocky but I think with the huge pitch at Wembley, the occasion, hopefully, the return of a couple of key players for us and the fact we’d be hard pushed to play so badly again, yes.
How do you rate Newport as a side?
First time I’ve seen them play, to be honest. I thought they did themselves credit and did League Two credit. They looked stronger than a team sitting ninth in the division.
Any of the Newport players capable of playing at a higher level?
Possibly. But I’d be making a guess on the basis of one match, so I’ll let a Newport fan answer that question!
Who was your man of the match?
I’ll go with the official MOTM – Joss Labadie. Definitely not a Spurs player!
What recommended improvements would you suggest to Newport to improve your experience?
Better signposting of Gate 6 – the visitor’s entrance. Quicker service at half time in the Bisley, or alcohol licences for the other kiosks to ease the pressure. Otherwise, all good. Loved the smoking areas.
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