Last night I was in the Matthew Harding Lower for Chelsea’s first outing this season in the Capital One Cup against Bolton.
Mourinho picked a ‘reserve’ team to start that should have been able to see Bolton off quite easily. But typically enough we made it harder than it needed to be.
I always enjoy my trips to the Matthew Harding stand, as long as you don’t go too far back in the lower tier, as the constant standing means you have no view of the pitch at all.
It feels like you are more in the game, closer to the pitch somehow than the west stand and the pitch doesn’t seem as long, but I guess it’s just an illusion. But you have to watch the wayward free kicks!
The game saw us win 2 – 1 in the end with the Bolton goal being in front of us, I watched the ball sail past Cech as if it were in slow motion. It was nice for Zouma to score the opener on his first team debut with Oscar scoring the winner.
With the chances we created last night the score line should have been more comfortable but in the end the result stood and we weathered the late pressure to see the game off without needing extra time and penalties.
The Matthew Harding stand is quite something, the crowd sing for 90 minutes and I heard songs last night I haven’t heard in ages. One particularly rude one I don’t think I’ve heard before and couldn’t make all the words out on! I joined in a bit with the ones I knew and clapped along with the rest.
It’s been so long since I stood all the way through the match I was glad for a seat on the train on the way home but it definitely makes the game more enjoyable.
I know the supporters club are looking at getting standing trials for the stadium in the next couple of years so you can have the option of standing areas and I think that will help bring the atmosphere back to the ground.
Onwards to Shrewsbury in the next round! Apparently their meadow is new rather than gay nowadays!