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Loftus Road Stadium
Queens Park Rangers v Yeovil Town
Championship League
Saturday, March 15th 2014, 3pm
  Will Date
(Yeovil Town fan)

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

As a Yeovil fan, the QPR away fixture was always the one to look out for. It’s arguable to say that Yeovil were and still are one of the favourites to be relegated from the Championship this season, so these types of games don’t and probably won’t come around too often. It’s fantastic to think that Yeovil were a team competing in the Conference 10 years ago and now they’re playing in matches with QPR who were only in the Premier League last season.  Also, despite coming from near Yeovil, me and my family moved to North West London 2 years ago, and Loftus Road is the closest stadium to my house, so this match was very easy to travel to.

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

We used the tube to travel to the match. We got off at White City station which is on the Central Line of the underground. Even though I found out how to get to the stadium from the station beforehand, the ground was still signposted from the station exit. Also, there were many QPR fans getting off the tube at White City, so it was easy just to follow them.

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

Once at the ground, we stood outside for a little while and then headed straight for the entrances. However I noticed that there was one pub adjacent to the ground, however, it only hosted QPR fans. It didn’t look as though there were many pubs open to away fans in short proximity.

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

The ground is quite small for the size of the club (capacity around 18,000) and the South Africa Road end is where most of both sets of fans congregated. Getting into the away end was slightly awkward as our seats were closer to the South Africa Road end; however we had to walk all the way round to the Ellerslie Road end to enter. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t let us get through the entrance next to the South Africa Road end, but it would’ve made sense for the entrance to be opened to the people for whom it was convenient for. The stewards were hot on the security checks. We found at the entrance lines of security stewards who scanned people and searched bags. Once admitted into the stadium, we were shown some steps to the concourse which was very narrow to say the least. Greeted by many Yeovil fans, it was difficult to get through the crowd of supporters due to the shortage of room in the concourse. Our tickets were then checked for the third time (yes, third time!) as we made our way to our seats.

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

To be fair, taking away the positive optimism amongst the fans, we knew that this would be a very tough fixture, taking into account the league positions of the two teams. Despite QPR’s recent blip in form, this would be a fixture that they would be hoping to win if they were serious about their promotion ambitions. The game was fairly even really, but QPR took their chances when they came, hence the 3-0 score-line. I think Yeovil started the game the better side and made the Hoops and their fans nervous but we lacked that cutting edge. Once QPR got their first goal, thanks to a Ravel Morrison brace, we always knew it would be an uphill battle. We did hit the post early in the second half – and gave ourselves hope of getting back in the game – but a header from substitute Bobby Zamora and another strike from Ravel Morrison got QPR home and dry, the score probably flattered the hosts. The atmosphere was pretty poor if I must say. We Yeovil fans were fantastic and made noise throughout the game, even when we were 3-0 down! You could have heard a pin drop, the Rangers fans weren’t up for singing at all; you only heard them when they scored. One comical man sat in the South Africa Road end, was in full spirit making noises with instruments, and to be honest, Yeovil fans hurled banter-intended abuse in his direction! But once again, he was the only QPR fan making noise and took it on the chin. Even though there were many security checks, the stewards were very friendly and humorous, which is what you want when going to an away game. Food prices were quite costly at £2.20 per bottle of Coke – which is what you expect at football matches these days – and chocolate bars were £1.20! To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to the prices of other foods, but I heard from other fans that they weren’t too cheap.

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

The return of that narrow concourse was daunting. Trying to squeeze nearly 2,000 fans through it, into one exit was always going to be difficult. I suppose this was due to slowing down the flow of away fans on the street. The road towards White City station was closed which was good because it allowed more rooms for fans to walk, as the pavements were quite congested. Due to the famous Westfield Shopping Centre on the doorstep of the ground, we decided to pop in there for a look around, to avoid the rush of fans getting on the tube.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I thought that despite not getting the result that we quite wanted, the day was very good and a fun experience! As I said, it was a fixture I was very much looking forward to when the fixture list came out in June last year. The day did not disappoint, and the view from our seats was very clear. I shouldn’t think these teams will meet next season, as QPR have Premier League ambitions and Yeovil could possibly face relegation to League One. However, if Yeovil and QPR cross paths again, I will certainly make sure that we make it a day out again!

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