1. Why you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
A local derby where we
could effectively relegate our local rivals! Unfortunately it did not
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
We travelled by coach but due to our
status of local rivals, we were greeted to four-letter chants, two
fingered salutes and a young man mooning at us! We arrived about 45
minutes before kick off at a coach park about 5-10 minute walk from the
ground and due to the hostility WBA receive, we received a police escort
into the stadium. There were taunts by both sets of fans to each other
over the police divide. We sat in the Steve Bull Lower (formally the John
Ireland stand) which runs down the touchline however I am informed for
clubs with a lower following they are situated in part of the Jack Harris
(South Bank) stand behind the goal to our left.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
All bars in the city centre and
surrounding area were closed due to the intensity of the
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
inside the ground, the concourse is like an old subway and is very dark
and dingy. Due to the nature of the match no alcohol was on sale. We then
took our seat in the JL8 section, about level with the edge of the penalty
area at the South Bank end. I was concerned to learn that Wolves fans
were situated directly above us in the Steve Bull Upper as I felt that
things may be thrown at us from that area.
itself is quite unique with it’s extremely bright orange look. Both stands
behind the goals are large single tier stands and the two other stands are
curved two-tier stands allowing for a very good view of the pitch even
though you are quite far back from the pitch. In the far-left corner there
was a temporary stand. The opposite two-tier stand houses the players
tunnel and benches.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
For a two bottles of Coca-Cola,
two hotdogs and a packet of crisps it cost approximately £11. The banter
in the stadium was mainly good fun however there were one or two idiots on
both sides of the divide behaving inappropriately.
kick off there was a rendition of ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ in which the home
fans sing ‘Hi Ho Wolverhampton’. The away fans sang their version which
unfortunately can not be repeated for this review!
half was a disaster from our point of view, conceding two sloppy goals
from corners scored by Steven Fletcher and Adlene Guediora. It was a must
win game for Wolves to help them avoid Premier League relegation however
we were already safe after Roy Hodgson had masterminded a fantastic end of
At half time there was some entertainment with
fans shooting at the goal and more friendly banter between the
Within three minutes of the restart it was more
disaster for the Baggies after a defensive error by Abdoulaye Meite let
Steven Fletcher in to score a third. As the Wolves fans above us cheered,
one threw the contents of a drinks bottle over us which prompted no
reaction by the club stewards, even though earlier in the game a West Brom
fan was warned for sticking fingers up to opposition fans. Minutes later,
Albion won a penalty which Peter Odemwingie converted. Jerome Thomas hit
the crossbar and another couple of chances went begging as Wolves
deservedly won 3-1.
Another major gripe was that Wolves fans
had, like the reverse fixture, smuggled a flare into the stadium. It took
stewards five minutes to get the situation under control, once again
prompting my accusation of the club not taking the crowd trouble situation
seriously. Thankfully it was not thrown.
On a lighter note,
there was some taunting and great banter by the majority of the the
genuine supporters of both clubs with some Wolves fans doing the ‘Poznan’
which was painful as a Baggie to watch.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
When leaving the stadium, the police had an
extremely successful and effective set up directing visiting supporters up
a road away from home supporters and the stadium and that must be
commended. Some fans did confront each other and a couple of arrests were
made. All genuine away fans were given plenty of protection and time by
the police to clear the area.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day
Poor game from our point of view and an extremely
disappointing result. The club need to look at its stewarding and the
position of away fans. I am not pinning all of the blame on Wolves as
there was some poor behaviour by our fans but the poor organisation and
reaction of the stewards just adds fuel to the fire. I am not condoning
the behaviour of some supporters of either side but putting away
supporters underneath home fans in a two-tier stand in a derby voted the
most fierce in Britain, above the Old Firm, is just