Dartford FC played Newport County AFC at their new ‘home’ of the Newport Gwent Dragons Rugby club at Rodney Parade Stadium (which they’ve signed up to using for the next three years). Being a rugby ground there is quite a lot of space behind the football goal, since there is a wide deadball space. That gave me an opportunity to set up the remote camera with a somewhat wider view than I am able to achieve at ‘standard’ football grounds.
The stadium seems to consist of a brand new Bisley seated area on one side and an older Hazell seated area on the other, where the noisy fans go with their drums. The ends of the pitch were virtually empty, with only one end having a handful of Newport fans. The Dartford fans were put at the goal end of the new seated area, which was great for them in the second half. Newport seem to be building a new seated area behind one goal in anticipation of promotion, but they may have been a little previous. The bare stands behind the goals didn’t offer much pictorially, so I tried mostly to get the fans along the sides as a backdrop.
The Exiles made it a hard-fought match, which ended in a 0:0 draw and Newport’s automatic promotion hopes faded.
Dartford’s Charlie Sheringham and Tom Bonner tested Newport’s goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley and Newport’s Andy Sandell and Aaron O’Connor tested Csaba Somogyi, the Hungarian new goalkeeper for Dartford, fresh from Fulham FC.
The above picture shows the sparsely populated behind-the-goal area. Looks like not many people were interested in the match. Compare this with one of the new Bisley stand, where the Director and Sponsors have boxes and the press gallery overlooks the pitch.