1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
This was on paper, one of our toughest remaining
fixtures. The Blades were on a sensational run of
form under Nigel Clough, recently winning 10 games
on the spin, as well as keeping 8 clean sheets in
a row. We were in pretty good form ourselves, and
although we came unstuck at Crawley in midweek, we
were still top of the League. It was also United's
125th Anniversary, so a bumper crowd was expected.
I hadn't been to Bramall Lane before, so I was
looking forward to a new ground to tick off.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
I went on the official club coaches, which meant
an early start, given the 1:25 kick off. We left
Molineux at around 9:30am, and arrived in
Sheffield at 12 noon. That included a 20 minute
wait on the hard shoulder of the M1 for our Police
escort. The journey into Sheffield was pretty
easy. The coaches dropped us off outside the away
end, so all in all the journey was pretty simple.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
I went straight into the ground, as I didn't fancy
walking around too much. The home fans seemed
pretty friendly, and obviously in celebratory
mood, given their recent form, and anniversary.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
I think Brammall Lane is, in a very real sense, a
'proper' football ground. I mean that in a
complimentary way too. There are quite a few
identikit stadiums knocking around these days, but
you can tell Brammall Lane has bundles of
character. The three home stands are all one
tiered, with only our away stand being two tiered.
However, the way the stand is built, you feel very
close to the pitch even in the upper tier.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
As expected, the game started at a rapid tempo,
with United coming close to scoring early on, the
lively Scougall forcing a good save from Carl
Ikeme. Wolves took the lead soon after though,
when James Henry's cross fooled everybody to
nestle in the far corner. The first half continued
in a similar vein, with both sides looking
dangerous. United perhaps had more possession, but
Wolves looked dangerous on the break. Richard
Stearman did well to clear off the line, whilst at
the other end Henry hit the woodwork with a
curling effort. Arguably, the Blades were helped
by a bizarre refereeing performance from Kevin
Friend, who seemed determined to join in with the
Blades' birthday celebrations. Every decision
appeared to go their way, which led to ironic
chants of "Free Kick, to the Wanderers!", when a
decision did go our way!
Wolves doubled their lead just after the second
half got underway. There was some good link up
play down the right from Henry and Matt Doherty,
and the ball broke to Dave Edwards, who finished
with aplomb. I was surprised about the lack of
response from the Blades after this, as aside from
a couple of long range efforts, Wolves held their
lead comfortably. Leon Clarke perhaps should have
extended Wolves' lead, but fluffed two decent
chances. Wolves play was sharp throughout, with
signing of the season Kevin McDonald shining on
his return to his former employer. I was also
impressed by Sheffield United, and you get the
feeling that had Nigel Clough been there all
season, they'd be challenging near the very top of
the League. In the likes of Doyle, Maguire,
Scougall and Baxter they have some very capable
players. In the end it was a hard earned but
thoroughly merited three points to take home to
the Black Country, taking us onto an impressive
tally of 80 from 37 games.
The atmosphere was obviously helped by the
occasion, and the parade of legends before kick
off was a nice touch. Being in my 20's, some of
the names weren't familiar, but the likes of Neil
Shipperley, Simon Tracey and Georges Santos
brought back memories of previous battles with the
Blades. Both sets of supporters were loud
throughout the game, with a fair amount of banter
between us in the away end and the fans nearest us
in the Main Stand.
The stewards were there if you needed them, but
didn't get involved with the fans unnecessarily,
which is how it should be in my opinion.
The facilities were decent, however the concourse
was a little crowded, but there was still room to
move. It just meant a bit of a queue to leave at
the end, but with plenty of singing and chanting,
it wasn't so bad. The £3 pie was very nice, and
served with a smile too, which is always a bonus!
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
As before, the coaches were parked outside the
away end, meaning it was a simple journey from the
stand to the coach. There was no trouble with the
home fans on their way home.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Overall, I would recommend a visit to Bramall
Lane. Without naming names, there are quite a few
soulless, out of town stadiums in this League, so
Bramall Lane offers a chance to see football
played in a proper ground, in a proper city. The
day was helped by another good performance in
what's turning out to be a good season for Wolves.