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Bramall Lane
Sheffield United v Charlton Athletic
 Saturday October 1st 2011, 3pm
League One
Nicholas Rice

(Charlton fan)

This was a match I was very much looking forward to. Before the game I was very intrigued as to how we would perform in our first real test of the season. We were unbeaten since April and a trip to Bramall lane is never easy for any team.

The journey up was easy enough. We got on the train at midday from St.Pancras and within two hours we were in Sheffield on a scorching hot day!

Having arrived at 2pm we had a good hour to get to the ground. Opposite the station  is a main road and just on the other side plenty of travelling addicks fans were gathered outside the Howard pub enjoying the sun and making plenty of noise! The walk from the station to the ground took around 15 minutes.

When we got into the ground the massive stand opposite us behind the goal at the far end of the ground (the home Kennedys Kop) is the most noticeable of all the stands. The ground is traditional but not old or run down like you would expect from a traditional stadium of that size to be. In fact it's very neat and presentable. Also there was a red tent outside the main ticket office purposefully for away fans looking to buy tickets on the day which I found to be very handy and efficient.

The home stands were filling up well and the sun was still out as the game kicked off. The south Londoners made most of the noise. Eventually a few chances fell the way of the Blades half way through the first half, but it remained 0-0. At half time the bogs were as you would expect, compact, packed and smokey with a number of fans grabbing a fag. There were a few food kiosks around the away end but I didn't fancy a pie in that heat!

The 2nd half kicked off and the game was close until Charlton substitute Yann Kermogant leapt from the bench straight onto the end of a Dale Stephens corner to make it 0-1. Shortly after that the ball fell to Bradley Wright Phillips after an error from a blades centre half and there was only one outcome; 0-2 Charlton. After that a few good chances came the way of United but to no avail for the home side. The 3 points were going back to south London.

Getting away was easy enough, I headed back to Sheffield station and made the train with plenty of time to spare.

A very memorable away day, with a great traditional ground, good support for both sides a good result for the Addicks and Sheffield itself came across as a nice city with plenty of character.

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