The Valley………one of those stadiums that gives you fond memories of the past with that huge banking crammed full of spectators, which I think at one stage was just a mud hill, treacherous on a wet day, but now long gone.
Its situated-on Floyd Road, Charlton (SAT NAV – SE7 8BL) is a 27,111 all seater stadium, and a 75-mile trip from Le Stad MK.
Parking is not brilliant and mainly of the street variety, with plenty of restrictions in place, and a tow truck just ready and willing to take you to a more expensive parking spot. The Valley is also now in the ULEZ area meaning you will have to pay about £15 for the privilege for driving to the game.
I’m not sure where we will be seated for this with only very small numbers expected to attend from both sides. We are usually in Jimmy Seed (South) Stand which accommodates 3,000 fans, and there is no chance of that, so thankfully you will not get lumbered with an unrestricted view, of which there are a few.
From experience the stewards are fantastic, very friendly, and helpful but last time around weren’t helped by some day trippers that insisted on sitting in the back row, that meant many being moved to accommodate the “he’s in my seat brigade”.
Food on offer include a range of pies; Peppered Steak (£4), Chicken Balti (£4) and Cheese & Onion Pies (£4), these outlets are supplemented by separate hot dog stalls (£4 per Hot Dog) and alcohol is also on sale, but it does get very busy and congested at peak times. There is also a decent chippy on Floyd Road which is well worth a visit if that’s your pre-match food of choice.
There is also a Ladbrokes betting kiosk inside the ground. Admission is by ticket only, no cash facilities, but tickets can be purchased from a ticket booth near the away entrance.
The Antigallican, a big pub near Charlton station, seems to be the favourite haunt of away supporters, it’s not that great inside, but I hear the beer is decent enough, however, it can get busy, and this is not helped by the local Police not allowing fans to drink outside.
It is a rather basic pub but has real ale available (albeit a lone handpump) and offers a selection of filled rolls and pork pie, another good shout for an away boozer is the Rose of Denmark on the Woolwich Road and features a Wall of Fame of photos of visiting supporters.
Those that prefer for the train to take the strain, the ground is a short walk from Charlton Railway Station, which is served by trains from Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo East stations.