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Matchroom Stadium
Leyton Orient v Brentford
Thursday, September 13th 2012, 7.45pm
ague One
By Toby Maxtone-Smith
(Brentford fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Leyton Orient is Brentford’s nearest awayday and this was my first of the season. I had been to Brisbane Road before but a number of years ago as a 12 year-old in the home end, and was eager to get some second impressions of East London’s second club.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The game was on a Thursday night and, as I work near Holborn, the journey was a 15-minute breeze down the Central Line to Leyton station. The ground is about a five-minute walk from the underground station.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy… home fans friendly?

I arrived in the Leyton area at around 6.30pm – enough time for a swift kebab from a local eatery on the High Street. I had already had a drink near Holborn and so, fed and watered, I headed into the ground with about an hour to go until kick-off.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

The away fans are given the southern end of the East Stand. The East Stand is the only old stand in the ground and I remember from my previous visit that the stand has ‘Leyton Orient’ and the club crest emblazoned on the middle of the stand, rather like at Fulham. It was a shame to be in this stand mainly because it is very nice to look at.  Otherwise the ground is a tidy-looking one. The two ends are relatively small and similar single-tiered, seated stands, although one is slightly raised above ground level. The opposite stand is where the dugouts are located and has to be one of the ugliest in the country. It looks like seating has just been nailed on to the back of an office block. One point of interest is that the corners are filled in with blocks of flats, where local residents can watch the game for free. Whenever a woman comes out of one of the flats nearest the away section, she tends to be met with the predictable array of embarrassing chants.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

Having already eaten I did not purchase anything from the concourses but headed straight into the ground. The away attendance was around the 700 mark, and would have been much larger had the game not been live on Sky. The stewards were relaxed about many fans choosing to stand during the game. The stand is not the best and has four supporting pillars that can be of annoyance. The other problem with this stand are the wooden seats – not a huge issue as I stood for the whole game – but it seems like only the faintest touch is enough to dislodge them.

From a Brentford point of view, the game was infuriating. We dominated throughout but just could not score. Predictably, around 15 minutes from time, Orient took an undeserved lead, which, we learned later, was offside. The atmosphere created by the away fans was extremely good with many of the chants being directed towards Martin Rowlands. For those who do not know, Martin Rowlands is to Brentford as Ashley Cole is to Arsenal. The home fans were really quiet. This could be to do with the lack of a ‘home end’. Most people who sing at football are between the ages of 15 and 35, but from what I saw outside the ground, Orient seem to have very few supporters in this age category.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was no trouble, although a small queue does form at Leyton station after matches. I jumped back on the Central Line, changed at Holborn for the Piccadilly, then at Earl’s Court, from where I caught the District Line back to Fulham Broadway.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of day out:

Despite the frustrating match it was good away-day overall. Being somebody who goes to Scunthorpe and Carlisle, I would never miss an away London derby.

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