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Bramall Lane
Sheffield United v Carlisle United
Monday, April 1st, 2013, 3pm
League One

Craig Milne
(Carlisle United fan)

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

This was the second time I'd visited Bramall Lane and after enjoying my first visit I was eager to take another look. However Sheffield were playing well in the League, whilst Carlisle were struggling, so I wasn't too confident about getting a result.

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

I've learnt to play the train game now and booked a return ticket from Widnes to Sheffield at the discounted price of 13 saving 8 by booking in advance. It's a direct train, taking an hour and a half with only a handful of stops. The journey takes in views of the Etihad, Old Trafford and Edgeley Park grounds. Sheffield station is no more than ten minutes from the ground and the city centre, where there are plenty of pubs. Finding the ground is easy, you can walk straight up the hill outside the station passing the interesting water features and then turn left along the road, going straight down then under a subway and Bramall Lane is right in front of you.

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

The train arrived on time at 12.42 and we headed straight into the city centre. Wetherspoons, Lloyds and several other bars all offered real ale and cheap food. The Wetherspoons had a mix of fans in and a match on the big screen. No problems with home fans, food or the ale.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

A cracking ground well laid out and a good mix of old and new designs. I like the away end but I've only ever been in the lower tier. The bars are always under staffed so expect queues. On this visit though it was so cold the hot drinks stand had a massive queue and hardly anyone was waiting for beer. They do provide a beer only bar. The stands are very close to the pitch and it reminds me a bit of Anfield. The electronic scoreboard is only any use to the home fans as it is situated directly above the away end between the upper and lower tier.

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

Although a scoreless draw it was a very good game, with lots of incident, seeing Carlisle coming closest to breaking the deadlock hitting a post just before half time and then being reduced to 10 men but valiantly holding on for a point.  The stewards were very thorough checking bags on the way in. Something to note was I had taken my flag and they asked to see if it had a British kite mark on it? Which I presume is a new thing to make sure that it is fire resistant. When I got in and went to put the flag up, again a steward came over to examine it. I presume that if it had not had a kite mark then I wouldn't have been allowed to put it up. All that said the stewards were polite and helpful. A 0-0 draw was a great result for us on current form and having a player sent off.

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

After the final whistle we got straight out and walked the same way back to the station no more than ten minutes walk and no hassle on the way.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A grand day out which Is what I expect from a trip to Sheffield. No hassles with the journey and enough time to grab some beer from the Sainsburys outside the station before boarding the train. I was approached by a Sheffield United fan at the station who apologised for it not being a better game and for the the lack of entertainment provided by his team. Which was fair enough to be honest. We'll still be there next year!.

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