Millwall v Leicester City
Saturday April 14th 2012, 3pm
By Jack Stanley
| 1. Why you
were looking forward to going to the ground (or
not as the case may be):
We weren't planning on going to this game at all. Me and a few friends were on a day out seeing and experiencing the wonderful attractions of London, and we were in town and went to London Paddington station at approx 1:30pm planning to get a tube to Waterloo. However inside the station, it was packed with football fans making their way to their respective games in London, plenty of West Ham fans were there especially. Seeing this really got us in the mood to go to a local game, and we picked Millwall v Leicester at The Den. I've always wanted to go there to experience it after hearing everything about it.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
At Paddington station we jumped onto the Bakerloo line and remained on it until we got off at Waterloo, where we swapped over and got onto the Jubilee line. We then got off at Bermondsey tube station and walked to the ground after receiving numerous directions. It took approx 20-25 mins of walking to reach the ground, and after walking through Bermondsey I can see why they say bad things about a visit to Millwall!
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We actually had a Burger King back at Paddington station before we decided to come to the game, so food wasn't an issue at this point.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
We walked down Ilderton Road (following the crowds) and couldn't see the ground, then everyone took a left turn into Zampa Road, and through the tunnel you can see it. We got to the ground just after half 2, and saw the blue bars on the back of the stands which make the ground look very modern indeed. We got our tickets from the ticket office and were sat in the East Stand upper tier, block 16 just to the left of the halfway line. These seats offered us a great view of the pitch and stadium, and were impressed considering they were some of the cheapest seats. However one problem we experienced throughout the afternoon was that when the sun comes up above the West stand (situated opposite), it gets in your eyes and is really annoying.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Millwall went into the game knowing that they were pretty much safe but a win would mathmetically confirm it, whereas Leicester still had a chance of making the play-offs. However defeat here would end their hopes, so we were expecting a fiesty game. Leicester started off well and were showing their quality on the ball as well as squandering a few good chances. But it was the Lions who moved into the lead after 23 minutes, a free kick was delivered from the right to the back post where captain Paul Robinson headed back across goal, and on loan Spurs striker Harry Kane was there to smash home into the top corner from close range. For the rest of the half Leicester had a lot of the ball but didn't do much with it, and Millwall were battling away creating a few chances. The most notable thing about Millwall was their work rate, especially the two lads up front Keogh and Kane.
Millwall came out in the second half looking for the second goal, and they got it on the 55th minute when Keogh cheekily dinked his penalty into the net from 12 yards to send The Den into raptures. Despite being 2-0 down and needing the win, Leicester didn't really show much and were letting Millwall boss the middle of the park, especially the lad Josh Wright who had a terrific game and looked a quality player. It was only in the last 10 minutes where Leicester started to play again, and on the 82nd minute substitute Danny Drinkwater finished well into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. This goal was to make it an anxious finish; but the Lions held on for a 2-1 win to secure their Championship status for another year and ending Leicester's hopes of sneaking into the play-offs.
The Den holds around 20,000 but it was just over half full with 11,525 turning up including 1,400 from Leicester. Despite this the atmosphere was generally good, with the top 2/3 rows of the upper tier of the stand to our left (South stand upper tier) making a good go of things. We noticed to our right, their were a group of about 100-200 Millwall fans on the end of the East upper creating a good atmosphere as well being situated next to the Leicester fans. The main song sung was 'no one likes us we don't care' and this 'miiiiiiiiiii' chant which does sound good to be fair, it also drowns out the oppositions' fans and makes it intimidating. I thought the Leicester fans were a bit monotonous of their chanting of 'Leicester, Leicester, Leicester...'.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Straight after the final whistle most of the crowd stayed behind to applaud the team off for surviving and gaining a good result, singing 'miiiiiiiiiii' at the same time. We walked around the stadium, under the tunnel through Zampa Road and then up Ilderton road to South Bermondsey train station. The train took about 4 minutes to get to London Bridge where we got off. Our train was full of Millwall fans who were continuing the 'miiiiiiii' chant into London Bridge station! However local rivals West Ham and Crystal Palace were also at home that day, and their fans reached London Bridge at approximately the same time causing a bit of aggro, At London Bridge we jumped on the Jubilee line and got off at Waterloo, changing over to the bakerloo line and getting off at London Paddington again.
Again at Paddington, there were plenty of West Ham fans, and because both scouse teams had played each other in the smei-final of the FA Cup at Wembley earlier that day, Paddington was covered with Liverpool and Everton fans. Most of the Everton fans we came across sounded to be true scousers whereas the Liverpool fans had some southern accents, surprise, suprise. Our train was delayed for an hour and when it did come about 800 people tried to clamber on! We managed to get seats and took about 40 mins to get back to Reading, getting back about half 7.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Considering we'd been in London since 10am and hadn't planned to go to the game, we all really enjoyed our day out apart from walking through Bermondsey! I've always said it, but after visiting The Den, I think it's a smaller version of Wolves' Molineux Stadium except both ends at Millwall are two tiered. The experience had increased my love for the city of London, what a place! I will definitely be visiting The Den again next season hopefully.
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