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Molineux

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Blackpool
Premier League
Saturday, February 26th 2011, 3pm

Dean Williamson
(Blackpool fan)

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

This was my first visit to Molineux and after hearing some great reviews of the ground and atmosphere I was expecting this to be a special day out.

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

We took the train from Manchester with a friend, were both Blackpool exiles, and as I'd travelled this route but never alighted in Wolverhampton I half knew what to expect. The ground itself is a 5 minute walk from the train station and is heavily sign posted making it easy to find.

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

We went in the nearest pub to the ground 'The Great Western' which is generally for home fans but if you get in there early enough, like we did, the landlord will welcome you with open arms. There was no trouble before the game but this was, in retrospect, an ominous sign as events took a nasty tone during and after the game.

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

As you walk along the dual carriageway to the stadium there is a lot of burger vans and not much sign of stadia anywhere until you reach the University where the ground appears suddenly and looks like your looking into a valley. It is an impressive stadium with four separate stands all brightly adorned with Wolves' colours. All held up by large steel structures that give the stadium character unlike a lot of Premier League grounds. The stadium itself is really easy to access with minimal queues but there is a stop and search policy rigidly enforced by the security staff. The away end of the ground, in the Steve Bull stand, is evenly spaced and your view of the pitch is excellent wherever your sat. The only restrictions are made by the stewards who form a line between the home and away supporters. There are two large screens on either side of the ground but both these were switched off during my visit.

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

This was probably the worst performance from Blackpool this season with very little to cheer about from the away fans after going one nil down within the first few minutes. The rest of the game panned out completely in favour of Wolves who had a chance to open the flood gates and improve their goal difference considerably. How we lasted until half time only goal down is beyond me. This wasn't helped by our start striker DJ Campbell who exemplified the frustration of the Blackpool fans by pushing Wolves centre half Richard Stearman in the face and being shown the red card. The second half was all Wolves and they ran out 4-0 winners.  There was some very sad news during the game as Dr Peter Lake, a Blackpool supporter, went into cardiac arrest and unfortunately passed our away after the match. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

The atmosphere was buoyed by Wolves biggest home crowd of the season (29,000) however the homes fans nearest to the away end vented a lot of abuse towards the Blackpool fans and threw coins and other objects towards us after the second goal went in. On complaint of this towards the stewards no motion was made to eject any of the Wolves fans. During half time I was very impressed with the speed of service from the refreshments kiosks. However this may have been down to the expensive cost and lack of food on offer. I paid 6.80 for a pie and a pint but you could have paid 7.00 for a hot dog and pint. Generally though this is quite standard at most Premier League grounds. The toilets were also very clean.

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

We had an easy journey away from the ground and even stopped in a city centre pub for a quick pint before the train. A few stories did materialise after the game that some Blackpool fans were set upon by Wolves fans.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A terrible day out given the scoreline but a must for anyone trying to 'do the 92'. I would strongly advise keeping colours hidden when visiting Molineux.

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