The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

THE away ter­race at AFC Wim­ble­don runs along the touch­line. Low roofed, shal­low of depth, close to the pitch. On a rainy flood­lit night, it is a sur­pris­ingly at­mo­spheric place to watch from.

It’s that close to the pitch, you are re­minded of the in­cred­i­ble speed and phys­i­cal­ity of the pro­fes­sional game.

There was not a lot of qual­ity in Wim­ble­don’s 1-1 mid­week draw with Gilling­ham, which even in mid-Septem­ber shaped up as a rel­e­ga­tion six-pointer, but the com­mit­ment was in­tense.

They make mis­takes and are crit­i­cised. But, com­ing straight from play­ing a game of five-aside, it was a re­minder that, with very, very, few ex­cep­tions, we spec­ta­tors would be ut­terly out of our depth.

Be­ing at the game was more en­joy­able than watch­ing one of the one-sided Cham­pi­ons League ties the same night, but there was one draw­back.

Kingsmeadow is close to a sewage farm. When the wind blew the wrong way, the away ter­race did not just look like a cow­shed, it smelled like one. At­mo­spheric though it can be, it will not just be the home fans who will be de­lighted when the Dons fi­nally go home to Mer­ton.

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