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Molineux - Wolverhampton Wanderers
Vs Chelsea, Premier League
Monday January 2nd 2012, 3pm

By Harry Williamson

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground?

This would be my first away game north of the London area. With Wolverhampton being easy to get to by train and reasonably priced match tickets it was an easy choice to make to go to this one. I had heard that the Wolves fans could be shall we say 'not very welcoming' but I did not encounter any problems on my visit.

With Chelsea losing 1-3 at home to Aston Villa just 48 hours earlier, I was not ruling out a repeat of last year's scoreline when Wolves beat us 1-0 at Molineux.

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

It was a simple trip up from London Euston to Wolverhampton followed by a little walk along a ring road to the ground. From the train station you can make out the new large cantilever stand which is currently under construction as part of a large scale redevelopment of Molineux. As you walk along the ring road the ground becomes easily visible.

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

I decided to go straight to the ground with only 30 minutes to spare before kick off. I had no interaction with the home fans although they seemed nice enough. There is an ASDA store located behind the new stand.

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

The first thing you notice is the new single large stand, as it is taller than all of the others. This is currently under construction with only the bottom of the two tiers open but it looks like it will be very smart once completed. The away fans were located in the Steve Bull stand and were given the whole of the lower tier. Upon entering the ground, I noticed that the concourse is quite dark and dingy and unusually it seems to have a bit of a slope to it. The toilet and refreshment areas are adequate though.

Inside the seating area there is ample leg room although the stand curves away from the pitch slightly, meaning that some seats seem to have been crammed in slightly. I was in row M which was the back row because the last 2 were netted off. At first I was slightly concerned that there were Wolves fans directly above us but there were no problems and both sets of fans engaged in some friendly banter. Behind the seats in the lower tier are some rather small looking executive boxes. All of the stands are fairly similar in design (apart from the new one of course) so Molineux has quite a smart look to it although it will look even better once it has been redeveloped.

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

The first half was scrappy with several bookings in a spicy affair which helped to create a terrific atmosphere. Lampard was lucky not to see red for a late tackle early on and both sides had good chances in the first half. In the second half Chelsea upped their game and were rewarded when Ramires turned and fired into the top corner. However, Wolves came back and Stephen Ward scored from close range to equalise for the home side after Jose Bosingwa's defensive frailties were highlighted once again. Within 7 minutes though, Chelsea regained the lead. Frank Lampard tucked home Ashley Cole's cross from 6 yards on 88 minutes. Chelsea held on and Wolves were unfortunate not to snatch a point when Petr Cech pulled off a super save in the second minute of added time.

The stewards were very relaxed and friendly. The only action they had to take was to kindly ask a middle aged man to stop standing on a seat which was fair enough.

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

It was straight out the ground upon the final whistle with a brisk walk back to the train station and onto the train back to Euston in no time. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Very enjoyable day out and good value for money. I had no problems with the home supporters despite hearing bad things. A great away day and a great football match. I will certainly be returning next year if possible.

 

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