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Vicarage Road
Charlton Athletic
Saturday January 19th, 2008, 3pm
Championship League
Mark Barber
(Charlton Athletic fan)

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

I was looking forward to the game. It was a key game in the race for promotion and I was feeling quite confident that we could get a result.

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

I travelled, as I do for every away game by the official supporters coach. The journey was easy and we encountered very little traffic.

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

We arrived at Vicarage Road one hour before kick off. With time to kill before the game, me and a friend of mine decided to get something to eat. As Watford is situated near to the High Street there were lots of options for food. We rejected the option of the chip shop and the nearby café and we decided to go to the Chicken and Ribs shop. Home fans were mixing with away fans on the walk up to the ground but there was just friendly banter and did not appear to be any trouble.

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

Three sides of the ground were good, however there is one poor stand. It is to the left of the away end and has a number of supporting pillars and some temporary seating. I have heard they are planning to develop it. The away end is shared with home fans and is pretty much exactly the same as the Rookery End which is directly opposite. Obviously the Rookery End isn’t shared with home fans. The final stand is the Rous Stand. It is a two tiered stand with a row of executive boxes running along it. Probably the most impressive stand in the ground. I must say it is hard to get an impression of the ground if you are looking at it from the outside.

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

The first half was on the whole a poor affair with limited chances, however the second half was a much more open affair. Watford took the lead on 62 minutes, but Charlton equalised through a long range Darren Ambrose goal on 77 minutes. After that it was Watford holding out as Charlton squandered a number of chances to win the game. As for atmosphere there was a large away following from Charlton and the away end atmosphere was increased by a drum which Watford allowed in. As for the home fans they made no noise all game. I can assure you this is no exaggeration. The toilets were OK, as were the pies although they were pricey. Concourses got quite cramped at half time.

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

Very straight forward journey home. We received a police escort away from the ground and onto the motorway.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

On the whole a reasonable day out. Good performance from Charlton and a key point in the race for promotion, but the Watford supporters were a bit of a let down.

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