Brentford v Bristol Rovers
Saturday, February 26th 2011, 3pm
By Luke Phillips
I have attended Griffin Park many a time with my father, however this season was the first time that I had attended Brentford away with a group of "lads". I always look forward to Griffin Park as the away terrace is a fantastic little covered terrace where you can really make some noise, oh and there is a pub on each corner of the ground!
If you are coming from the South West, please be advised that there is no direct route to Brenford station. We set off from Bristol Parkway at about 11:00 to Reading station, we then had to dash through the station to get to Platform 4A to catch the train leaving in 5 minutes time to Virginia Water. Once we had arrived at Virginia Water we then had to get onto the middle platform (can't quite remember which platform number it was) to Brentford station which is only about a 15-20 minute trip. Once we had arrived at Brentford, finding the ground was easy, you simply turn right out of the station and walk along Orchard Road and turn right onto Windmill road and take the next left onto Hamilton Road. The walk should take you no less than 10 minutes!
Once we arrived at the ground we all noticed a very strong Rovers presence in The Griffin Pub. So we went in there and had a a pre-match drink with the Gasheads. After we had left the pub we walked around the local area and discovered a small take away on Albany Road-I do believe it was called the "Best Kebab and Fish Bar" that serves halal food (which was perfect for us considering we were travelling with a Muslim). The prices were very reasonable, a burger was roughly £2.50 and Chips wrapped in Pitta bread was about £1.50. The home fans were very friendly and welcoming and couldn't of done enough to help out other away fans who may of been lost or whatever.
For those who haven't been before, Griffin Park is a fantastic ground that just oozes character. The away end is unusual as above the terrace there is an area where fans who prefer to sit can do so. The away terrace has wind shields at the side and back so it's obvious a good away following will generate some really good noise. However there are some rather annoying supporting pillars in the way but you can still get a good view of the pitch. The two stands at either sides of the are pretty much identical all seater stands. Right opposite the away end is a modern(ish) looking terrace where the noisier Brentford fans will stand.
There was just shy of 900 Rovers fans in Brentford with the vast majority choosing to stand in the enclosed terrace. This helped us created a very good atmosphere. The open terrace opposite the away end occasionally sang up. There was some cracking banter to be had with the stands to the left and right of the away end. One guy had decided to start abusing the Rovers fans-so we all piped up with "Does your boyfriend know you're here?". He then retaliated by snogging his mate! The stewards were usually quite friendly and allowed us all to have fun on the terrace, however they did get a little strict shortly after Rovers had conceded a controversial penalty, although they soon became relaxed once the game had resettled. I can't comment on the food as I never sampled it due to eating before I entered the ground however they had a good selection food ranging from Balti pies and sausage rolls that were all reasonably priced. The toilets were average, reasonably clean although cramped. However I have seen worse toilets!
This was a very hotly contested and controversial game, so emotions were running high. Due to this we decided to get back to the train station rather quickly to avoid any potential trouble. However I don't think any trouble would of occurred due to a strong police presence. Once we boarded the train there were some rowdy Brentford fans who were messing around with the intercom and being a nuisance to most people on the train, however they soon stopped when an older Brentford fan with his son put them in his place. Once we had arrived at Virginia Water we didn't know which platform we had to get on to get to Reading. Fortunately that same man was a train driver and helped us along our away back to Reading.
Another enjoyable day out at Brentford seen Rovers controversially beaten. Unfortunately I wont be going back to Brentford this year as we were relegated, but I would definitely go back as it is my favourite away ground to go to!
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