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Loftus Road Stadium
Queens Park Rangers v Swindon Town
Capital League Cup 1st Round
Tuesday, August 27th 2013, 7.45pm
Ronan Howard
(Swindon Town fan)

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

The first away game I ever attended many years ago was in the league away at Loftus Road (a dismal defeat as I recall) so was looking forward to the opportunity of revisiting the ground and hopefully banishing those memories and booking a place in the third round of the league cup.


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

As usual took the train – up to Clapham Junction, then the overground to Shepherd’s Bush, only a few minutes walk from the ground. All without a hitch, one of the easier grounds to get to. Shepherd’s Bush is also well served by the tube system for those who needed it.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
Checked out the local O’Neills pub on Shepherds Bush Green and had a good chat with one of the doormen about previous encounters – the area has a great selection of pubs and eateries and there seemed to be a good atmosphere all round. No trouble from the locals as we walked en masse to the ground

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
It had been a long time since I’d been to Loftus Road, and given their increased fortunes of late, I thought some improvements may have been made to the ground. However, they do seem limited in what can be done with the site. Perfectly functional, and enclosed on all sides, the best thing about the stadium is how close you are to the action and the atmosphere that can be generated. Concourse not exactly spacious but more so than some grounds I’ve been to and perfectly adequate.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
There was a large away following and the stewards were out in force, moving people to their designated seats and away from the front couple of rows. However all were perfectly courteous and we were largely left alone once everyone was directed to where they were supposed to be.
 
The game itself – far better than I ever would’ve expected. The atmosphere from the home fans was fairly subdued, and I got the impression that the home team had bigger fish to fry than this competition. That said it certainly wasn’t an easy encounter and we were under pressure throughout. However the visitors held that off admirably and got an unexpected goal through Nile Ranger a few minutes before half time. We were in with a chance.  
 
The second half as expected we were under pressure again, and I was convinced once QPR got an eventual equaliser they would go on to win the game. Wave after wave of attack from the home side proved fruitless however, and at the end of a full seven minutes of added time, a loose pass allowed Swindon’s Alex Pritchard in on goal, and a clinical finish put the game beyond doubt. Queue delirium from the visiting faithful.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Many elected to stay in the ground for a few minutes singing, applauding the players off the pitch and generally revelling in the experience of a cup scalp, and by the time I’d left the streets were still packed with Swindon supporters. A fifteen minute walk back to Westfield and I was on the train home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Great day, a fairly unique stadium (certainly at this level) and a fantastic result which was to see us drawn against Chelsea in the next round. Would definitely return to Loftus Road should we cross paths again.


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