Brighton & Hove Albion v Reading
Championship League Tuesday, April
10th 2012, 7.45pm Luke Rogan (Reading fan)
I booked my
tickets for this match way in advance. I aim to
visit at least two new grounds per season. The
two I had picked this season were Doncaster and
Brighton. Unfortunately Doncaster was called off
as I was on the M1 passing through
Leicestershire, so Brighton was to remain the
only new stadium completed this year.
I had the day off so I took a car full of us
down the M23 and parked near the City and
enjoyed the beach in the sun. However, enroute
to the ground – the problems began. In rush hour
traffic, we found the “park and ride” (bought
tickets from the club shop in the city centre –
who didn’t know where the park and rides were,
and only knew the names of the sites because
they “over heard” someone mentioning them
earlier in the day). The “park and ride” was
simply a closed off road directly off the main
round about where the A23 goes into Brighton.
The spaces were limited and despite being hours
early I just managed to get one of the last
spaces. We then queued (after queuing in the car
for a lengthy time for a space) for the shuttle
bus to the stadium. After nearly breaking down
on the way we finally got there.
From first glances, the stadium looks great
albeit slightly Americanised. As we had food and
drink already on the beach (recommended if the
weather permits) we didn’t stop off anywhere
near the ground (as it’s in the middle of
I had heard about the local guest ale’s and the
relevant club’s players or hero’s projected in
the concourse. However, sadly this is just an
empty gimmick. There was a small, hardly
noticeable projecting of a photo taken from the
home leg against them in the far top left corner
and the guest ale was London Pride.
I headed to my seat early to soak some
atmosphere and instantly regretted it. Although
the stadium was impressive, the music playing
had a “family day out” feel to it rather than a
football match. The PA system was loud and
The game itself was a long old struggle for us.
We had two shots on target, one of which was the
goal we scored (on the 14th minute), the rest of
the game was holding off waves of Brighton
pressure. The home fans weren’t too loud but
when they won the penalty it gave them something
to cheer and the ground really does have
potential for some cracking atmospheric matches.
Fortunately for us, they missed and the ground
grew quiet again.
After the game, we joined the seemingly
everlasting queue to get on the bus then the
inevitable struggle to get away from the park
and ride which sadly dented the day slightly. A
ground in so much space surely needs better
transport resources. The amount of Brighton fans
leaving early despite copious amount of late
pressure is an indication as to how bad things
are. However, despite the transport problems, it
was a good day and its certainly one to visit.