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Friday, April 14, 2006

SO NEAR YET SO FAR: Sheffield United guarantee going up while Cardiff stay down

The massed hoardes of Sheffield United go wild as they steal a goal against the run of play

This time last year city were battling against relegation, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that this year we would be disappointed not to get promotion to the premiership, but amazingly, that is the position we have been in. Despite major financial problems and selling off all our best players, City will be finishing higher in the league than they have for 30 years.

It was only in the last few games that we blew it and we now have to concede that statistically it is now impossible to finish in the play offs. For Sheffield united, today’s opposition, it is a slightly different story; three points today meant they are guaranteed to go up.

For some reason we decided to sit in the lower Grandstand today, first time ever for a competitive game. We sat as close to the away fans in the Grange End as possible. This is probably the only section of the grandstand that has any atmosphere, with lots of singing and chanting at the away fans. I still prefer the Grange End terrace, but the bar facilities are better; no queue, indoors etc.

City pretty much dominated the game and it looked like we were going to spoil the party for Sheffield, who up until Christmas had been runaway leaders of the Championship. But well into the second half they caught us napping and banged in the winner. The large vocal following from up north went wild and from where we sat we had a good view of their celebrations. It reminded me of days gone by when we had secured enough points to go up, but we have not been in the top flight (premiership or old first division) since long before I started watching them. Obviously there were a few city fans abusing the Sheffield massive, but I was quite happy, at least it meant Leeds would now have to suffer the hassle of the play offs before they go back into the top flight… IF THEY ARE LUCKY!


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