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The Valley
Charlton Athletic v Nottingham Forest
Championship League
Saturday, February 23rd 2013, 3pm
By Liam Tolley
(Nottingham Forest fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

A trip to London was always going to be an attraction and when the fixtures came out a trip to the Valley was always on the cards. With ‘King Billy’ back in charge at the City Ground it seemed only right to attend his first away game back and it had the potential to turn into an absolute great day.

2.How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Living 20 miles away from Nottingham in Grantham, we took the one hour train journey to King’s Cross and arrived there for 11am. After exploring the pubs and the attractions in Covent Garden and Leicester Square we arrived at London Charing Cross for the 13:35pm train to Charlton and arrived there an hour before  the 3pm kick-off.  Finding the ground was straightforward with just a five minute walk from Charlton Station.

3.What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

When arriving in Charlton, we headed to a pub called the Rose of Denmark for a quick drink. The pub was packed full, with both set of supporters mixing without any trouble. The home supporters seemed friendly and seemed happy to share their pub with Forest Fans. Just before you arrive near the away end there is a small Fish and Chip shop which seemed very popular judging by the queues.

4.What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

My first impressions of the ground when entering through the away turnstiles is that it was very similar to the City Ground in terms of 3 ‘good’ stands with one stand looking out of place. Guess what? The stand which was out of place was the away end with very basic facilities. The toilets were outside alongside a small refreshments bar which sold a variety of drinks and warm food.

5.Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

As previously said, the facilities were very basic but they were good enough. The stewards seemed friendly, however the amount of police and security present you would of thought it was a local derby. The atmosphere within the Valley wasn’t the best however 3,000 away fans created an electric atmosphere. The game itself was dominated by Forest which resulted in a comfortable 2-0 win, with goals from Radi Majewski and Henri Lansbury. Didn’t try a pie but got great comments from the man next to me, who was enjoying his.

6.Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was very easy and was at Charlton station for 17:05pm. We caught the 17:15 train back to London Charing Cross and was back in the centre of London twenty minutes later. Train was busy on the way back so it might be suggested to wait 45 minutes after the game while the queues go down.

7.Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Brilliant day out and was made even better with Forest bringing home three points. One of the best away days yet and there will be no doubt at all to attend in future.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the Valley recently?
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