The previous Stadium had been demolished in 2000 to make way for a new 90,000 upgraded version. Unfortunately we had to wait longer than expected due to 'difficulties' but oh boy was it well worth it.
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Shrewsbury Town had made it to the Play-Off final after beating Milton Keynes Dons in the Semi-Final stage and were due to face Bristol Rovers. Rovers in the end won 3-1 and were promoted to League One; what was ironic is that rivals Bristol City also won promotion that season.
I had visited the former National Stadium twice before when Sheffield United reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in 1993 and the Play-Off Final in 1997, on both occasions the Blades lost so it only seemed fitting that this time round the club would I was supporting on the day also lost.
Stadium and Pitch: 10/10
Walking up the old Wembley Way brought back memories, however it didn't seem to take long to walk to the ground, maybe it was because I was obviously younger and naturally things seemed longer to take! or they had moved the ground closer. Nether-the-less it was great to walk down another time.
We were positioned near the half way line on the third tier, climbing the escalators (and some stairs) wasn't too bad (unlike at St. James' Park); once inside I was in awe of the ground. I have so far in my reviews of the Ground Hopper listed Manchester City as top of the stadiums visited, if I thought that was great then I'd never seen anything in the World quite like it.
The luscious pitch was fantastic; but it was the first club match to be played their and quite frankly you couldn't help but feel in wore of the ground.
Like all Cup finals they are set out in a magazine style with interviews from both parties as well as information concerning the two clubs season campaign.
Performance and Result: 8/10
It was a thrilling game and a good display, only edged out by a dominate Bristol Rovers at their disposal played the dangerous Richard Walker who grabbed two quality goals for his own after Town started the ball rolling via the head of Stewart Drummond and former Swindon Town man Sammy Igoe netted the winner in the last minute.
However Shrewsbury winger Derek Asamoah looked really useful and for me was my man of the match.
Shrewsbury got the crowed going as early as the third minute but Walker levelled on 21 and went ahead on 35, still with the following of 20,000+ from Town and a massive 40,000 from Bristol the atmosphere was eclectic and at only 33% full capacity hate to imagine what it was like two days later when Derby County and West Bromwich Albion contested the Championship Play-Off Final.
:: Previous Visits to Wembley Stadium ::
- Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday (03/04/1993)
- Crystal Palace v Sheffield United (26/05/1997)
- Bristol Rovers v Shrewsbury Town (26/05/2007)