North Stand Narrative: Geordie Hate (and Relegation) and Memorable Atmosphere

The Geordies have been in a spot of bother all season and they came to Villa Park in desperate need of a win in their relegation battle against Sunderland. However, for Villa supporters, the day was to offer more excitement in the form of another two protests. ‘The March’ and ‘InTheAirOn74’ protests were both planned by the Aston Villa Protest Group to see out the season in style. So for the final time this season, let’s look back at the Villa Park action from the North Stand.

Prematch Fan Thoughts

The final three o’clock kick off of the season was met with sunny weather and that paired up nicely with the party atmosphere the Villa fans were planning to create.

The plan was to meet at the Holte Pub at 2.15pm for the supporter march, but again I was running late and missed it due to train delays. For more info on the march check out – Five Reasons to be Cheerful

The team news arrived and this time Eric Black did introduce a few of the youngsters. Kevin Toner started and both Jordan Lyden and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy were called to the bench.

The Match

The game kicked off and even though at times we played some decent possession football, we were pretty lethargic going forward and got away with a lot at the back.

Newcastle had a whole host of clear cut opportunities which they wasted – Aleksandar Mitrovic and Jack Colback’s chances come to mind. However, Villa managed to keep a clean sheet and avoid adding another negative Premier League record in Villa’s history books. The first ever club to lose to every team in one season was avoided, as was a record number of Villa league defeats on the trot. It ended up a boring scoreless draw that I was actually thankful for.

The fact that the Geordies couldn’t beat us or even score, just shows why they also deserve to join us in the Championship. They lacked any urgency and if Villa were in their shoes in a similiar situation, I would have been absolutely fuming at the way those players failed to show any desire. It was supposed to be a cup final for them and they managed to make a poor bunch of Villa players look half decent.

The positives that we can take away from the game was that the young lad Toner managed to help the team to a clean sheet, we stopped the barren run of defeats and MOMS Tips prophesied another correct Villa result which carried on a run of 15. Get in!

The Atmosphere

As I made my way to my seat for the game, the atmosphere was electric. There were beach balls, balloons, and claret and blue streamers everywhere, plus, a giant inflatable c*ck. I instantly knew that this would be an atmosphere beyond the season’s norm. Regardless of the mere 33,000 people and the lack of action on the pitch, the action and effort off of it was stunning. All game it was non-stop singing and fun in R2.

Something I haven’t seen in a long time was a pretty packed Holte End and the true heart of Villa Park was beating loudly.

What made the atmosphere even more enjoyable was the effort to wind up the Newcastle away fans, especially after news of Sunderland’s winning goal against Chelsea came in.

The banners came out spreading all kinds of messages, including the most infamous two of the day – ‘Sob on Tyne. Again’ and ‘No Sobbing on The Holte’. It was a great effort all round from the fans to really create a real vibrant and party-like atmosphere in order to show our solidarity through tough times. It was definitely one of the most enjoyable Villa games of recent seasons.

Post-Match Fan Thoughts

It was a brilliant day to soak in the atmosphere in R2 for possibly the last time. I’ve had some great memories in that section of the ground. Even in the darkest of times as a Villa fan, fans have delivered as in the Blue derby and I’ve also been cheered up by some daft chants that you just can’t help but laugh at.

The conversion of almost half the Lower North stand into a wheelchair concourse for next season is likely to change things going forward though. Currently, I still plan be in the Lower North Stand next season, so the North Stand Narrative will continue. Thanks for your support with this column, it’s greatly appreciated.

Away Fans Score – 7/10

The Newcastle fans filled both tiers, so credit to them, but they seemed nervous and didn’t really live up to their name as one of the best set of away fans in the country.

They started well with some lively chants and went absolutely mental when the Sunderland score line was going in their favour, however, they were a little too sensitive to our wind ups and I think we’ve now developed the sort of hatred and rivalry between the two sets of fans that should at least liven up the Championship next season.


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