Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Molineux - memorable for cold toes more than red cards!

Starting out from Surrey and leaving at 9am to get to the station in Redhill, we had a bit of optimism that AFCB could get a positive result at Molineux. That was not only because of Wolves recent form. We ran into a Brighton fan on the platform who had every confidence that AFCB would get a better result than his Seagulls up at Derby. He proved a good judge.
Up early and yes it was freezing!
Stephen in his colours on the train. 
Robert prefers to keep a lower profile. 
We were soon in London and made our way to Euston station where we  would pick up a fast train to Wolverhampton. On board I got chatting to a Wigan fan who was travelling up north to see his side take on Norwich. We shared quite a few views about the Championship and the time quickly went by. There were a few Bournemouth fans also on the train who were living in London so we had plenty of red and black numbers walking out of the station and into the town centre.
At Euston, I think Robert is still awake.
Me and Stephen wait for the train to Wolverhampton.
Time to jump on board.
Having grabbed something to eat, we checked the map and headed towards the stadium. On the way we went passed a statue of Albert the Prince Consort the university. Another statue we saw was Lady Wulfrun whose name and the land she owned (Heantune) from the middle ages eventually became the place name Wolverhampton. Shortly after we got our first view of Molineux resplendent in its yellow attire. As we were at the ground early we thought we would do a walk around the entire outside of the stadium. The ground was very large and would take a good 20 minutes to skate round.
The boys in Wolverhampton on statue watch.
Without the medieval Lady Wulfrun there would be no Wolverhampton.
A busy Molineux.
Robert by the enormous Stan Cullis stand.
While being bombarded with people trying to get us to donate our organs (obviously a good cause) we managed to work our way to the club shop and museum area. I guess you know your club has some heritage when you have a museum on site. The club shop was full of merchandise that was wolves specific and it was one of the bigger shops we have visited. Stephen found a place to watch the Newcastle v Chelsea match that was going on but was soon ousted from his spot on the floor by the shop attendants. 
Stan is the man at Wolves.
Billy Wright stand.
Side view of Billy Wright stand.
On our way out we saw yet another statue, that of Wolves player and manager legend Stan Cullis. The boys had their photo taken there and also further round where we saw Billy Wright. The boys were more keen to tell me though that the junior Wolves fans who were having their faces painted had a giant yellow football that they were knocking around in their indoor area.
Me next to the Billy Wright statue.
Entering the ground I was clearly a spectator that looked to be carrying far too many goods and was gradually asked to remove my bag and half the contents before arms, legs and anything else was searched in the vain hope of an AFCB fan having something that could bar them from coming in. As usual the security stewards took an instant dislike to my camera and asked me not to take any photos or if I did to do it very discretely and not during play, which was fair enough. When inside though I was always going to take a few photos even if not so many as to annoy any steward who might take offence.
Michael Dunne thought he could come by
and get away without getting his picture taken - no chance.
Peter Bell (Cherry Chimes author) looks forward to the game.
The teams are out.
No I can't see anything. There's a big flag in the way!
We found our seats and were surprised to be so near the front of  pitch just three rows back. Leg room was at a real premium, but we squeezed ourselves into position between the close rows. It was a good place though on the half way line and we were soon surrounded with 1800 AFCB fans in the Steve Bull Stand. Our friends, Damien Hill and Michael Dunne came down to chart to us pre-match having travelled up on one of the official supporter buses. Apparently one of the drivers had been a bit break heavy and had not done a lot for their backs on the long journey up from the south coast. They were on good form though and we watched the players during the warm up and were quite impressed that the Wolves flag bearers could keep going for so long at the side of the pitch. I was also pleased to see Callum Wilson coming out on to the pitch about two minutes after the rest of the AFCB squad - Bournemouth's goal machine was back!

It was not long before AFCB photographer Steve Cook came along. He is always moaning that us fans don't jump up and down enough to make a good photo, so I started playing about just so that he would have at least one photo of a loopy AFCB fan before the match kicked off. I was also freezing by this time and my toes had turned blue so any exercise was a good way to warm up. 

As the game started I was a bit apprehensive of the slow start the Cherries were making. I didn't feel that our supporters could make much of a din being spread out thinly along the sideline with Wolves fans above us and on either side. But like caged animals, we did our best even if we were told repeatedly to sit while the Wolves supporters stood. With Wolves making the break through we knew it would be a long afternoon. 

At half time we decided that we really needed something hot to warm up so we bought some hot chocolate drinks. The queue was pretty slow morning but we just got our drinks before the second half was ready to kick off. The drink was pretty watery but at least it was hot. we just hoped that AFCB would have a good second half and get us jumping up and about before we became frozen icicles stuck to our seats.

I was pleased to see that half time had rejuvenated the Cherries who started well and with the sending off we really felt that Wolves were there for the taking. Sure enough, Harry Arter scored an amazing goal and he ran right over in front of us and celebrated with a great slide on his knees before us. We were back in the game and also on TV, I later found out with that celebration capturing Robert, Stephen and me going totally barmy! Along of course with 1800 others.

For once it was the opposition that you felt were hanging on as AFCB looked for the winner and what a moment it was when Bournemouth did score again. The Cherries just kept plugging away with the Wolves goal leading a charmed life for so long. Their keeper really earned his money and was pulling off save after save, but Ritchie had his eyes set on getting the Cherries the lead and he made no mistake, drilling his shot into the goal to send us all crazy again! 
A terrific win for the lads.
Great to see a good comeback.
AFCB players leave the pitch very contented.
It did not matter that we had won against nine men in the end. I don't care how many players the other team has on the field as the referee is in charge and if he calls a challenge a red then you have to play on and live with that decision accordingly. AFCB smelt blood and they took their chances. We were delighted and three points at Molineux is something to savour. The atmosphere among the Bournemouth fans after the final whistle is something that I'll remember for a long time. It was a bit like being back at Tranmere when we won promotion a couple of season's ago - epic!

Leaving the ground was fairly entertaining too. The fans were in good voice as you can hear!

No comments:

Post a Comment