Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Charlton Athletic - The Valley

Charlton Athletic FC
The Valley
Floyd Road

020 8333 4000

Matchday Number: 117

Thursday 23rd March 2006
Charlton Athletic 0-0 Middlesbrough
FA Cup Quarter Final

My first visit to the Valley was for a dull 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup Quarter Final. I had been planning to do a game in every round of the FA Cup that season, starting at the Extra Preliminary round (which in my case was Stourbridge v Glossop North End) and carrying on to the final. This sadly proved to be my last in that run, a £400 price on a semi final ticket from a tout website really put me off doing the semi final.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket for this game through my mate Adam, who was a member at Charlton Athletic, so I was able to get in at the cost of £25. On the day, he picked me up at mine and gave me a lift to our local train station, from where we got the train to Charlton. Upon getting there, I got myself a chicken biriyani (little did I know then that that wouldn't be the last I would hear of it) Then off to the pub for a pint. The game itself was shown on the BBC, and they must have wondered why they bothered, as both sides played out a dismal 0-0 draw. On the way home I started to feel really ill and when I got home I was violently sick and was up all night with the shits. I had a hospital appointment (for an unrelated matter) the following day and they told me it was probably down to some uncooked rice. I also went up to Birmingham to see my brother at Uni in Birmingham, but was to ill to do anything. Even the day after, the Saturday when I went to Leyton Orient v Wycombe, I was still too ill to eat anything.

Luckily the next trip held much better memories. Wycombe had been on a great run in the League Cup, and against all the odds had made the Quarter Final. The fairy tale continued as Wycombe won 1-0 at a side who the previous week had beaten Liverpool 2-0. Jermaine Easter was the hero, just as he was in the next round where we drew 1-1 with Chelsea in the first leg of the semi final. I decided to play it safe this time, having Saveloy and Chips, not wishing a repeat of last time. I also made a visit a few years later, for Wycombe's first game back in League One. In an untypical Peter Taylor performance, it was a good game and we were unlucky to lose 3-2.

THE VALLEY is one of the better grounds in League One and will offer a great view wherever you sit, due to being rebuilt fairly recently. It is all seated and has a capacity of 25,000. There are plenty of pubs and takeaways around. None of which are brilliant, but they do a job. And the one that gave me food poisoning has long since closed down, thankfully.

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