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The Den
v AFC Wimbledon
 Capital One Cup, 1st Round
Tuesday August 6th, 2013, 7.30pm

James Anstee
(AFC Wimbledon fan)

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

I was looking forward to going to the Den as I had never been before due to the fact that the paths of our respective clubs had only crossed once since our inception. I had heard many rumours regarding the reputation of the club and in particular the Millwall fans so that was something that slightly concerned me, but the fact that it was a Capital One Cup tie I thought it may be much quieter than usual (a point that was proved to be right).

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

I found the journey very pleasant as I took the official supporters coach. The journey itself was good, seeing different parts of London for different angles was great and found the atmosphere in the coach extremely pleasant. However the only down point to the travel had to be that we left Kingsmeadow at 4:30pm, which is only about 40mins to and hour away from The Den so unfortunately we were there around 5:30pm for a match that started at 7:30pm. This meant that we had to hang around at the back of The Den waiting for the turnstiles to open so that was a bit of a pain, however thatís something to do with the organisation of the coach not the ground itself.

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

I had eaten prior to getting the coach so I didnít get a chance to sample to Millwall food, but due to the fact that we were so early I know plenty of us did grab something from either the Millwall cafť or from inside the ground when we were finally let in. The range of food seemed good looking at the menu board with pies, burgers and chips all making an appearance. As for what I did before the match was mainly hang around the outside areas designated for away fans but so others braved the outside of the away fan compound to buy a programme and have a look round. The home fans were few and far between when we arrived due to the fact that we arrived at 5:30pm but although many stared at the coach nothing was shouted or gestured towards us.

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

When you initially arrive into the away end there isnít much there only the turnstiles and the away exit from the train station, however when you get into the ground itself there is plenty of toilet facilities and an area to buy food which was handy for many of the fans who hadnít eaten prior to getting the coach. The area under the stand were these are situated is very dark and mainly made of concrete but as soon as I took my seat in the North Stand (upper tier)  I was really impressed with the view as well as the turn out from the rest of the Wimbledon fans.

View From The Away Section

View From The Away Section
                  At Millwall

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

The game itself was fairly poor from our point of view due to the fact we failed to really make an attacking movement until the last twenty minutes. Millwall looked to make so decent passages of play and tested our keeper Worner on a number of occasions. In the second half Worner slipped leaving Andy Keogh to score and we conceded a second after another mistake. Luke Moore pulled one back and nearly grabbed an equaliser in the last minutes. The atmosphere from us was brilliant and we sung from the first until the last minute even if the Millwall fans didnít really get behind the team. There was a little trouble in our end with some flares being let off during the last ten minutes which were dealt with very well by the stewards. The toilets were nice and there was no trouble getting around the ground.

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

As for getting away from the ground, there was no trouble at all in fact I was out of my seat and into my seat onto the coach within about three minutes which was a huge positive. As the Millwall fans were few and far between throughout the match itself there was really no fans around to cause any trouble which was great.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out
I had a great night out at Millwall, and despite the result which left us out of the cup it was a decent match overall and was nice to get such a warm welcome from the AFC Wimbledon players as they came out to begin a warm up. Overall a lovely looking ground that Iím sure on a Championship match day its buzzing.

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