you were looking forward to going to the ground (or
not as the case may be):
We have had a good set of results against
Reading in previous seasons. From our 2-0
Premiership win in 2006, to our relegation survival
3-0 win in the 2009-2010 season. Upon hearing of a
large away following for the game, I decided to go
with some friends. I had been the previous season,
and enjoyed the occasion. We were also hunting our
first win of the season which and with Reading
losing their last four, I felt that we could achieve
this at the Madejski.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car
Last season I went by train. My hometown to St
Pancras, then onto Waterloo, and finally to Reading
station. There is a shuttle service to the stadium
from the train station at (if I remember correctly)
£3 (or less!). All in all a straight forward
journey, done in about two hours or so.
But this time I opted for the supporters coach. We
left Vicarage Road, headed through Watford, then
quickly onto the M25. After about 35-40 minutes on
the M25, we were in Reading. Despite the usual
matchday traffic, we were parked up within about an
hour or so of leaving Vicarage Road.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home
The coach dropped us off outside the away end and we
made our way directly into the ground, almost
completely avoiding any contact with the Reading
fans. (Though, if the previous season's experience
was anything to go by, where we mingled with Reading
fans since leaving the station, they're a friendly
bunch!). We picked up a bite to eat in the
reasonably priced refreshments area, then made the
climb to the top of the away end to experience the
build up to the game.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
The stadium is one of the many modern day 'oval'
styled stadiums, one which I have become accustomed
to, so I didn't think much of it. The away end is
primarily situated behind but to the left of the
goal, with a good view from most seats in the area.
I've only experienced a view from the back of the
away end, but I enjoyed the view throughout the
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards,
pies, facilities etc..
After taking the lead through Mark Yeates' superbly
taken free kick, the away fans really came into
life, which provided a good away atmosphere compared
to the relatively quiet home fans (albeit the drum
on the other side of the ground, and a small section
of singing fans to our right). With John Eustace
adding a second in the second half, and the
continuation of the good away support from the 1,600
or so travelling Hornets, the game ended with a
thunderous cheer for our first win of the season.
Many fans stayed at the end to applaude the team,
and even watch some players warming down. The
stewards were fine with this. However, this was the
first time I was happy with them, as Reading
stewards on more than one occasion made a huge fuss
about us sitting down during the game. The
facilities were good at the newish stadium, plenty
of room in the concourse, and yes, the food was
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the
Last year was relatively straight forward, with us
getting the shuttle service back to Reading train
station, which, despite the usual queuing for the
bus and traffic leaving the area, was as straight
forward as any shuttle service can be.
This season, again, was straight forward. We hopped
back onto the supporters coach, and slowly but
surely made our way through the 20,000 strong
matchday traffic. We were back in Watford in about
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Reading will remain to be one of my favourite away
days, due to its ease in travel, fairly cheap ticket
prices, and generally kind and un-intimidating style
of the home fans.