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Molineux

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leyton Orient
League One
Sunday, December 29th 2013, 3pm

Jack Rumbold
(Leyton Orient fan)

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

Mainly because this was billed as the top football league fixture of the weekend, with Wolves placed 3rd and finding ourselves sitting at the top of the league - a very strange feeling for an Orient fan! We always aim to go to new grounds and a rare opportunity to visit a ground the size of Molineux could not be missed.

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

From London we took the direct train to Birmingham Snow Hill and subsequently a Metro tram to Wolverhampton which was a very unique experience and a nice addition to the journey. The ground itself was a short walk through the town centre from the tram station.

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

On hearing advice about a lack of away friendly pubs near the ground we chose to have a few drinks in Birmingham before catching the tram. This proved to be the right choice as many pubs around the ground were indeed closed to away fans, however food was not an issue due to the many outlets around the stadium.

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

The ground certainly looks impressive as you exit the subway as it is situated at the bottom of a hill. Once inside, I was surprised that the ground felt smaller than the impression given off by TV, nevertheless the new Stand Cullis stand looks impressive with two large tiers despite the fact it somewhat comically stops abruptly as it rounds the corner. We were housed in the entire lower tier of the Steve Bull Stand which gave a very low angled view of the pitch even at the back row.

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

The game itself got off to the worst possible start from an Orient point of view, with Wolves going ahead with the first attack of the game inside sixty seconds. Admittedly we were very fortunate to then hang on until half time only 1-0 down and the trend continued into the second half with Wolves looking by far the better team and Jake Larkins in goal in only his second professional game making a number of smart saves. The game then turned with our first shot on target and arguably first meaningful attack on 70 minutes with Mathieu Baudry finishing an inch perfect cross to make it 1-1. Given the importance of the game its safe to say a goal has not quite been celebrated that madly for a long time. The match finished 1-1 with Orient by far the more satisfied with the result, given the injuries we incurred and the significant financial difference between the teams.

The atmosphere within the ground was excellent in the early stages, with a near 30,000 sell out for the first time in Wolves season. The atmosphere from ourselves was slightly broken up by the fact we were along the bottom on the side of the pitch but there was good banter between fans. It is also worth mentioning that I haven't heard a stadium as loud for a very long time.

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

Getting away from the ground was easy enough, although there were a very snark comments from home fans on the way back to the station and the presence of police was reassuring, however this may be down to frustration of the home fans from the actual game than something deeper. Despite this, many fans were happy to chat and this made for a relatively pleasant journey home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, it was a privilege to visit Molineux and its days such as this that rarely come around for lower league fans and one that was made significantly better by the battling second half performance and current league position - why the game was not broadcast on SKY was beyond most people at the game. I would highly recommend a trip to Molineux despite problems with local pubs, and would recommend taking the tram from Birmingham to change the day up.
 

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