|Shepherd's Bush Station Underground|
Shortly after I came out of the store, I met up with my pal Sean MacDonald. He arranged to secure a ticket through a person he contacted online a few days before. He wound up meeting that person by the box office. However I still needed to get myself a ticket. There was a line by the box office but that was for members if you will. In other words, season ticket holders as we call them here. I tried to ask people in line if they would be willing to help me out. I wasn't able to convince anyone. So I decided to look around on the street right outside the box office. A guy approached me. He said to walk away with him. I was reluctant to do so because I sensed he was a scalper. Less than a minute later, another person came along & he said he had a spare. I asked him what he wanted. He told me 30 pounds. Without hesitation, I took it. I knew that was what face value was for that match. This particular ticket had a face of 36 Pounds so I know I did good. The seat was located close to midfield too. The only problem I had with the seat was that I wasn't able to see the scoreboard due to the overhang that blocked it. As a result, I didn't know how much time was left as the match went on. I did my best to keep score anyway. When I needed to write in a time, I walked down until I could see the clock. I was able to see the flying Eagle fly back & forth before the match got underway. I was put wise to that thanks to Lisa & John who mentioned that to me in our conversation on the train.
Before the match even began, the crowd was very festive which is what I was told about seeing a match in Europe. People were in their seats chanting as they were singing to their adopted anthem song of Glad All Over. It was quite an experience to say the least for me. It doesn't compare to anything here in the States.
|Live action from my seat at Selhurst Park|
After the match, I met up with Sean again. We walked out of the Stadium a different way as we walked back to a different train station. I just followed Sean who knew where he was going. Since we had some spare time, Sean wanted to go to his hotel to check into his room. When we got within walking distance, I decided to get something to eat while he did what he needed to do. I wound up having a Chicken Bake at a local convenience store chain called Gregg's. It worked out well since I only had a half hour until we reunited again. Once we did, we hopped on a double decker bus that took us to the area called Fulham, London. After we got off the bus, we walked towards Stamford Bridge, which is the home of the 2014 EPL Champion Chelsea Football Club.
As we approached the Stadium, there were signs saying "No Touting". In other words, it was against the law to resell tickets there. If you get caught, you face serious consequences. As a result, Sean & I needed to be very careful. We wound up walking around the Stadium to see if we could find someone who happened to have extra tickets. Like Crystal Palace, tickets weren't offered to the public. As we walked around, we came across a gentleman who said his daughter couldn't make the match. He said he wanted 50 Pounds for the ticket if you will. As a member, he had a card which had his tickets loaded on it. He said one of us would have to go in with him. Sean told me to go ahead. He told me to meet him outside by a bar restaurant we saw after the match. I proceeded to go inside. I wound up having a great view of the match between Chelsea FC & their opposition, the Southampton Saints. My seat was five rows up in the upper level which was right over the pitch. I couldn't be more happy.
As for the crowd, they were loud but not quite as festive as in Crystal Palace. However, their Stadium was bigger & better.
As for the match, Chelsea struck first as they scored in the tenth minute on a goal by Willian. The Saints got even in the 43rd minute when midfielder Steven Davis tied it up at one. In the second half, the Saints extended their lead with goals in the 60th minute as Sadio Mane made it 2-1 then in the 72nd minute they added an insurance goal as Graziano Pelle tallied to give the Saints a 3-1 lead. Chelsea wasn't able to recover as they went on to lose much to the dismay of their faithful fans.
After the match, Sean & I headed back to our hotels to get some much needed sleep & rest.
Stay tuned for another post that will recap that Sunday.
Thank you for reading & following along.