Firstly, I have to say a huge thanks to Wonga.com who chose me as one of their lucky winners on Twitter. Without them, I never would have had in my possession 2 tickets for the Newcastle vs Chelsea match on Saturday 26th September and therefore would never have experienced my first ever football match. Thank you Wonga!
I wasn't originally going to bother going to the match thinking that my other half would maybe prefer taking a friend with him but instead, he asked if I'd like to go and I said yes - and so glad I did!
We travelled by public transport and after getting off the metro, we trudged up towards St James Park where I was absolutely gobsmacked by the sheer amount of people. My other half kept tight hold of me as we headed to collect out tickets. We received our envelope containing 2 tickets for the Platinum Suite and that's when my excitement began to surface.
We found our seats with ease after receiving helpful directions from the stewards - all of whom did a sterling job on the day!
This is how it looked when we first found our seats. I, being the novice that I am, didn't even realise that this was some of our team having a warm-up and kick about before the match lol
Around 5 minute before kick-off, I noticed 2 men coming onto the pitch carrying these huge NUFC flags - wish I knew where to get my hands on one as they're fab!
Next, quite a few children arrived and stood around this ready to lift and carry it off the pitch in preparation.
Not a great pic but this was the mascots arriving on pitch just before the players appeared.
And here we have the players doing the pre-match handshakes .......and the excitement really kicks in!
I'm not what you'd call an expert when it comes to football, but I do enjoy watching the game and this was the most incredible experience I've ever had. The first half was absolutely amazing and NUFC played really well tackling for the ball, chasing it down and even managing to score 2 goals!! The crowd was absolutely fantastic and all giving their full support to our beloved team - I was so proud to call myself a Geordie! I did notice a few cold stares etc towards the Chelsea fans as they began chanting, but the strong police presence meant that there was no fighting or scuffling anywhere ...as far as I could see. When that first goal went in, I found myself on my feet, arms in the air shouting like a mad woman - and loving it!! The thrill and excitement totally took over the calm side of me and I surprised myself as much as anyone by my natural reactions to the game. I found myself booing when Chelsea had the ball and shouting 'Go on lads' when we had possession - so out of character for me. When Chelsea scored their first goal in the second half, I was absolutely gutted as were many other supporters. We simply weren't as strong during the second half and seemed to have given up on getting a win which was very disheartening, especially after the amazing display shown in the first half.
Anyway, I'm no football reviewer, just telling it like it is from the perspective of a novice. Overall this was a great game where the passion from out players was shown throughout the first half but sadly didn't continue during the second. The end result was 2-2 and both Chelsea goals were scored during the second half where we really let ourselves down.
I would definitely love to attend more matches as the buzz, atmosphere and everything else was flippin amazing but sadly will have to start saving before that's gonna happen! I seriously recommend that this is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.