Monday, 20 January 2014

Brighton and Hove Albion


Brighton and Hove Albion v Reading
The FA Cup with Budweiser
The American Express Community Stadium
Saturday 4th January 2014
3pm
 
Journey Time to the ground: 1 hour 40 minutes.  We left home at 11:20am and parked up at 1pm.  We parked in The Bridge car park, the only car park close to the stadium, at a cost of £15.  The ground is not signposted, neither were the park and ride car parks, where we were intending to park!

The ground was a ten minute walk passed Falmer Station. 
 
Ticket Price: £15

Programme Price: £2.50
 
This was my first visit to The AMEX Stadium, a new ground that I was looking forward to visiting.  As the tickets had been bought for me as a Christmas present, I was sat in the Upper Tier of the West Stand.  The West Stand is the main stand and is for home fans.  It has three tiers and houses the players tunnel and dugout.  The view from the Upper Tier of the West Stand was very good, the leg room plentiful and the seats were padded!  It was though, quite a walk up a number of flights of steps to reach the Upper Tier.   
 
To the left of the West Stand is the North Stand which is one tier.  Opposite the West Stand is the East Stand.  The East Stand is two tiered.  To the right of the West Stand, is the South Stand.  The South Stand is single tiered and identical to the North Stand, but is split between home and away fans.
 
Reading started the game poorly and were struggling to create any chances, whereas Brighton had much of the play in the first half.  Brighton had already hit the crossbar three times in the first half hour of the game through Keith Andrews, Solly March and Ashley Barnes before taking the lead just after the half hour mark through an Andrew Crofts shot from 20 yards deflected passed Adam Federici by Alex Pearce.  Brighton were good value for their lead at half time, with Reading rarely threatening.
 
Reading improved in the second half and had much more of the ball without creating many goal-scoring opportunities, with Brighton goalkeeper Peter Brezovan not really having to make a save.  The game petered out, with Brighton more than happy to settle for the one goal victory, and progression into the next round of the cup.
 
Attendance: 20,696 with 2,155 Reading fans.
 
Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was fairly quiet with the ground just over two-thirds full owing to the fact it was a cup game between two teams in the same division.  Both sets of fans did get behind their teams, but the atmosphere seemed pretty subdued, which could have been down to the relentless rain and not playing for league points.
 
Journey Time home: 2 hours.  We split the journey home, stopping in Croydon for some food at Ikea, so didn't actually get home until just before 10pm, having got back to the car just after 5pm.
 
Although I did enjoy the trip to Brighton, it could have been a much better day.  I know that the club do not want people driving to the ground, and this is discouraged by the fact the ground is not signposted, but you would think that the park and ride sites would be heavily signposted, which they weren't.  The weather was atrocious for much of the day.  The ground itself is very nice, but is let down a little by the massive concrete backs of the South and North Stands, which aren't particularly aesthetically pleasing!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

West Ham United

West Ham United v Reading
Barclays Premier League
Boleyn Ground
Sunday 19th May 2013
4pm

Journey Time to the ground: 2 hours.  We left home at 1:45pm and decided to drive through Central London.  We managed to park up on Ernald Avenue off of Barking Road.  Luckily, as the game was on a Sunday, there were no parking restrictions in place.

The ground was a ten minute walk down Barking Road. 
 
Ticket Price: £49

Programme Price: £3.50

This was my third visit to the Boleyn Ground.  Each time I have sat in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand Lower tier in the away end, and this time was no exception.  We were sat three rows back from the front of the stand, and although this was just above the level of the pitch, we did have a good view of the game.  We were sat just to the left of the corner flag, which meant that we were actually passed the touchline, at one end of the ground.  Although there wasn't much leg room between rows, this wasn't a problem.   This stand was shared with home supporters to our right, with a line of netting in between the two sets of supporters.  There were also home supporters in the upper tier above us.  

To the left of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand is the East Stand, which is a two tiered.  It is the oldest stand at the ground, and is a lot smaller than the other three stands.  Opposite the East Stand is the Alpari Stand, an impressive two tiered stand which is the main stand at the Boleyn Ground.  This stand houses the players tunnel and the dugouts.  Opposite the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand is the Bobby Moore Stand, which is another two tiered stand.  There are two video screens, one between the corner of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand and the East Stand, and the other in the opposite corner, between the Alpari Stand and the Bobby Moore Stand.  Overall, the ground is very impressive, if feeling slight imbalanced with the smaller East Stand.
 
The game started quietly, and definitely felt like an end of season game with nothing to play for.  Half-way through the first half, Alex McCarthy's attempted clearance hit Andy Carroll on the back of the head, and fell into the path of Kevin Nolan, who rounded McCarthy and slotted the ball into the empty net.  Ten minutes before half time, Ricardo Vaz Te coverted after being set up by Caroll, sending his shot across goal from the left hand edge of the penalty area, leaving Reading two down at the break.  
 
Reading finally woke up in the second half.  Ten minutes after the interval, Garath McCleary pulled a goal back, smashing the ball passed Jussi Jaaskelainen with the aid of a slight deflection.  Two minutes later, Reading were level, Adam Le Fondre tapping in a Nick Blackman cross at the far post.  The game remained fairly even until ten minutes from the end, when Nolan grabbed his second, sending McCarthy the wrong way when he was one-on-one with the keeper.  Nolan completed his hat-trick just before full time, heading Modibo Maiga's cross passed McCarthy.   

Attendance: 34,973 with 512 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was the best I have experienced for a long time.  The West Ham fans, particularly those in the East Stand closest to us, made a lot of noise throughout the game, only going quiet for a bit when Reading pulled the game back to 2-2.  The Reading fans were quiet until the second half and although there weren't that many of us, made some noise.  I hope that the atmopshere isn't lost when West Ham eventually move to the Olympic Stadium. 

Journey Time home: 2 hours.  We got back to the car just before 7pm and we were back home just before 9pm. 

Despite the result, and the stress of driving through Central London, this was a good day.  The stadium was good and the atmosphere tremendous.  Reading were poor, apart from a twenty minute spell at the start of the second half, but hopefully things will improve next season when playing at a lower level.  The West Ham fans were the friendliest I have encountered for a long time, with at least four taking the time to stop and wish us luck for next season, and one even asking for a photo with us!  It's a shame that West Ham will be leaving the Boleyn Ground, as the stadium is great.  I just hope the atmosphere can be retained at the Olympic Stadium.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Fulham

Fulham v Reading
Barclays Premier League
Craven Cottage
Saturday 4th May 2013
3pm

Journey Time to the ground: 2 hours.  We left home at 12:30pm and drove to Strawberry Hill.  We caught the train from Strawberry Hill to Putney.

The ground is a fifteen minute walk from Putney station, over Putney Bridge and through the park. 
 
Ticket Price: £40

Programme Price: £3.50

This was my sixth visit to Craven Cottage, and the fifth since it has been redeveloped.  Each time I have sat in the Putney End, which is behind one of the goals and has the away end, and also a neutral section.  There is no segregation in this stand and each time I have been there has always been a good mix of home, away and neutral supporters.  The stand is single tiered and feels temporary in nature, with the staircases being metal, and the floor feeling like it is made from plywood!  The view from this end is good, although the height between rows isn't the best.  There is also little leg room between rows.  We were sat towards the centre of the stand, around five rows from the front and had a good view of the whole of the pitch. 

To the left of the Putney End is the Riverside Stand, which is also single tiered.  This is the main stand and has the dugouts in front of the stand.  Opposite the Riverside Stand is the Johnny Haynes Stand, another single tiered stand, and the oldest stand at the ground, with a gable on the roof.  Opposite the Putney End is the Hammersmith End, which is identical to the Putney End, but just houses home fans.  In the corner between the Putney End and the Johnny Haynes Stand is The Cottage.  The house has some seating on the upstairs balcony to allow people to watch the game, and is also where the players come out from before the game.
 
The game started with Reading dominating possession for a change!  After 12 minutes, Hal Robson-Kanu was fouled in the box by John Arne Riise to earn a penalty which he dispatched himself, sending Mark Schawarzer the wrong way in the process.  The rest of the half continued with Reading having the majority of the ball, although Fulham did created a few chances that were well saved by Alex McCarthy.  
 
The second half started well for Reading.  Just after the hour mark Robson-Kanu had his second, curling a shot passed Schwarzer into the far post.  This seemed to wake Fulham into life, and they pulled a goal back ten minutes later, with Bryan Ruiz slotting passed McCarthy.  Almost immediately Reading restored the two goal advantage with Adam Le Fondre tapping in after rounding Schwarzer.  Again Fulham pulled another goal back with 15 minutes to play, with Ruiz scoring his second goal of the day with his head.  The scoring was completed in the final ten minutes with Jem Karacan firing the ball in from just outside the box, bringing the final score to 4-2 to Reading.   

Attendance: 24,087 with 1,215 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was good in the Putney End due to the Reading fans.  The Fulham fans did not make much noise throughout the game, and seemed to be a bit embarrassed to be losing 4-2 at home to the team that were bottom of the league.  

Journey Time home: 2 hours.  We made the short walk back to Putney station and caught a train to Strawberry Hill, before driving back home. 

This was a good day.  Craven Cottage is another easy ground to get to, and it was a relatively short journey.  I finally saw Reading play well for a full game, and get an away win, the first I have seen for a few years.  It's a shame that we will probably be playing in different divisions next season, as Craven Cottage is a really enjoyable day out, especially the walk through the park to and from Putney Bridge.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Arsenal

Arsenal v Reading
Barclays Premier League
Emirates Stadium
Saturday 30th March 2013
3pm

Journey Time to the ground: 2 hours 30 minutes.  We left home at 10:40am and walked to Winnersh Triangle.  We caught the train from Winnersh Triangle to Clapham Junction then got the overground to Highbury & Islington.

The ground is a ten to fifteen minute walk from the station and is signposted. 
 
Ticket Price: £25.50

Programme Price: £3

Having never been to the Emirates before, I was quite looking forward to my visit.  The stadium is impressive from the outside and you have to walk up some steps to get to the entry gates, similar to Wembley Stadium.  We were seated in the Clock End Lower Tier in the away section to the right of the goal.  This stand is shared between home and away supporters, with small metal fences and a line of stewards separating the two.  The seats were the biggest I have ever seen at a football ground, and were padded.  There is a lot of leg room, but where the seats are as big as the backs of the seats, they catch when you stand, and can cause some problems when people are walking passed to get to their seat.  For such an impressive stadium, I was disappointed at the height between rows.  I felt this was too shallow and having a few tall people sat in front, it was difficult to see the whole of the pitch without standing up.  The Clock End has four tiers, with two small executive tiers between the upper and lower tier. 

To the left of the Clock End is the West Stand, which again has four tiers.  This is the main stand where the teams come out from, and also has the dugouts in front of the stand.  Opposite the West Stand is the East Stand, which is identical to the West Stand minus the dugouts.  Opposite the Clock End is the North Bank, which is identical to the Clock End, but just houses home fans.  There is a definate mini-Wembley feel inside the ground, especially with the oscillating upper tiers.
 
The game started with Arsenal playing in their usual fashion, passing the ball around easily.  Surprisingly Reading also tried to pass the ball around a bit, more so than I have seen for the rest of the season, although not quite as sucessfully as Arsenal.  Arsenal took the lead after 11 minutes, when Gervinho tapped in Santi Cazorla's cross.  For the rest of the half Arsenal continued to keep possession, but created few chances and Reading managed to keep the scoreline down to 1-0. 
 
The second half started poorly for Reading, with Arsenal scoring the goal that ended the game as a contest, Santi Cazorla curling in a delighful shot from just inside the penalty area after 48 minutes.  Just after the hour mark, Reading managed to concede from their own corner, with Olivier Giroud driving low passed Stuart Taylor following a sweeping counter-attack.  Almost immediately Reading got back into the game, with Hal Robson-Kanu heading in Jobi McAnuff's cross at the far post.  Sadly that was as good as it got for Reading, with Arsenal being awarded a penalty in the 77th minute when Adrian Mariappa brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.  Mikel Arteta converted from the spot and the game finished 4-1. 

Attendance: 60,082 with 3,018 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  There was no atmosphere!  The Arsenal fans lived up to their reputation and were very quiet throughout the game, and although the Reading fans tried to get a few chants going, the sound seemed to get lost in the stadium. 

Journey Time home: 3 hours 30 minutes.  After spending some time looking in the club shop, we made our way back to Highbury & Islington and caught the Overground to Clapham Junction.  We stopped at Clapham Junction to get some food from KFC, then caught the train from Clapham Junction to Winnersh Triangle.  We then got a taxi from Winnersh Triangle, and got home at about 8:30pm. 

This was another easy day.  The Emirates is very easy to get to, and considering how big the capacity of the stadium is, there was little congestion at the station after the game.  It was another poor performance though from Reading, and things will be much better next season when there is a chance of seeing the team win some games!  Although the Emirates is very impressive both inside and out, I was disappointed by the view of the pitch from my seat.  Considering it is a new stadium and everything else is great, this is the one thing that lets the stadium down.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur v Reading
Barclays Premier League
White Hart Lane
Tuesday 1st January 2013
3pm

Journey Time to the ground: 2 hours 30 minutes.  We left home at 10:50am and managed to get a lift to Winnersh Triangle station.  We caught the train to Vauxhall and jumped on the tube towards Seven Sisters.  As we had almost two hours to kill, we decided to get off at Highbury & Islington to have a quick look at the Emirates before getting back on the tube to Seven Sisters.  We got some food at a Colombian cafe before making our way to the ground.

The ground is about a twenty to twenty five minute walk away from the tube station, straight down the High Road  The ground is signed posted as soon as you come out on Tottenham High Road. 
 
Ticket Price: £32

Programme Price: £3.50

This is the second time I have been to White Hart Lane, but I was less impressed than on my first visit.  The ground is a good size with the stands all of an equal height, and is totally enclosed.  We were in the South Stand Lower Tier, right in the corner where the away allocation is.  We were row 25 and the view was very good with no obstruction.  I felt close to the action even being 25 rows back.  There is a small railing segregating the home and away fans, and a line of stewards, but the railing is so small that anybody could easily jump over it.  The South Stand has two tiers.

To the left of the South Stand is the West Stand, which is the main stand.  It has two tiers with a row of executive boxes running across the middle of the stand.  I had never noticed before, but this stand is slightly curved to allow a higher capacity than if the stand was straight.  To the right of the South Stand is the East Stand.  This is again a two tiered stand, but is slightly older, with a couple of supporting pillars.  Opposite the South Stand is the North Stand, which is identical to the South Stand, again with two tiers.  There is a television screen built into the roof of the North Stand.

The game got off to the perfect start with Reading taking the lead after four minutes.  Pavel Pogrebnyak went down quite easily to win a free kick on the edge of the area.  The free kick was taken by Ian Harte, who curled his shot up and over the wall, but a fraction too high, hitting the bar.  Pogrebnyak reacted fastest to nod the ball passed Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.  I think that everyone in the away end was well aware that we had scored too early, and Tottenham equalised five minutes later, with Michael Dawson heading in a Gylfi Sigurdsson corner at the near post.  The rest of the half saw Reading repel wave after wave of Spurs attacks, with the scoreline somehow remaining 1-1. 
 
It didn't take long in the second half for Spurs to gain the lead.  On 51 minutes, Aaron Lennon's floated cross was met at the back post by Emmanuel Adebayor who powered his header passed Adam Federici.  Spurs continued to attack, but Reading had a couple of good chances to equalise with Pogrebnyak and Jimmy Kebe going close before Dawson cleared an Alex Pearce header off the line.  Almost straight after, Spurs extended their lead, with a deflected Clint Dempsey shot looping over Federici with just over ten minutes to go.  The game ended 3-1, but how Spurs didn't score more, I don't know.

Attendance: 36,180 with 1,679 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was very quiet.  I don't think Reading's early goal helped, as this seemed to subdue the Spurs fans.  It probably didn't help that it was New Year's Day either!  The away end sang pretty much the whole way through, but there was little in the way of chants coming from anywhere else in the ground. 

Journey Time home: 2 hours 45 minutes.  We decided to stop off in Oxford Street to have a look in the shops and get some food.  We caught the tube from Seven Sisters to Oxford Circus and spent a few hours in Central London.  It took around 45 minutes to get to Central London from the ground.  After spending a few hours on Oxford Street and around Piccadilly Circus, we caught the tube from Leicester Square to Waterloo at around 8pm then got the train to Winnersh Triangle.  We got a lift from Winnersh Traingle and got home at about 10pm.

This turned into quite an easy and enjoyable day.  White Hart Lane is relatively easy to get to, and travelling back through Central London was fun.  Although I was less impressed by the ground than I was on my previous visit, I still think that White Hart Lane is my favourite London away ground, although as I am yet to visit the Emirates, this could change.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

QPR

QPR v Reading
Barclays Premier League
Loftus Road
Sunday 4th November 2012
1:30pm

Journey Time to the ground: 3 hours 15 minutes.  We left home at around 10:30am and walked to Winnersh Triangle station.  Unfortunately we missed the 11:01am train due to the people in front of us struggling to use the ticket machine.  This meant a half hour wait for the next train.  Due to engineering works, we had to get off the train at Twickenham and get a bus to Richmond station.  At Richmond station we were again delayed as the tube was delayed.  We caught the District Line to Hammersmith, then crossed over the road to catch the Circle Line to Shepherd's Bush Market. 

The ground is about a five minute walk away from the tube station, turning right as you come out.  The ground is signed posted when walking down Uxbridge Road. 
 
We ended up missing the first fifteen minutes of the game, but luckily it was still 0-0 by the time we got in, so we hadn't missed much!

Ticket Price: £35

Programme Price: £3.

I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Loftus Road, as it has always been a relatively easy away game to get to, and also because my boyfriend supports QPR.  We had tickets in the West Paddock as these are the cheapest tickets in the ground.  The West Paddock is on one side of the ground.  We were in row D, which was actually only two rows back, as the first two rows are used for the disabled, of which there were none.  We were in line with the goal-line and only really about 10 foot away from the corner flag.  The seat is advertised as uncovered as the roof doesn't quite extend over the front few rows, but luckily, despite it raining all night, and for a lot of the journey there, we remained dry throughout the game.  The view from the West Paddock was good and unrestricted, and we could see everything that was going on.  The Paddock is about seven or eight rows deep.  Behind this is a row of executive boxes.  Above this is the South Africa Road stand.  This is the main stand and contains more executive seating.

To the left of the West Paddock on the other side of the dugouts, is the East Paddock, which is again below the executive boxes and the South Africa Road Stand.  The the left of this stand is the Loftus Road End.  It is a small two-tiered stand and both tiers appear to be around the same size.  Opposite the Paddock is the Ellerslie Road Stand which is a single tiered stand running the whole length of the pitch.  To the right of the Paddock is the School End.  This is an identical two-tiered stand to the Loftus Road End at the other end of the pitch.  The away fans were in the School End upper tier.  This was our first visit to Loftus Road since QPR had been promoted, and both my boyfriend and myself noticed had the ground seems to have been smarted up a little.

Having missed the first 15 minutes of the game, it wasn't too long after we took our seats that Reading took the lead.  A corner was met by Sean Morrison, whose header was tipped onto the bar by Julio Ceasar.  The first player to react was Kaspars Gorkss who volleyed into the far corner of the net from six yards.  As I was sat in the home end, I managed to keep myself quiet, but thought that I might actually get to see Reading win a game!  The rest of the first half was quite scrappy, Reading sat back and QPR looked like a group of individuals, rather than a team.  We were in line to see the save of the game though, when Alex McCarthy tipped Esteban Granero's free-kick onto the bar.  In the second half, QPR played more like a team and had the majority of the play.  They equalised with 25 minutes to go when Djibril Cisse slotted passed McCarthy from six yards out.  The last fifteen minutes of the game was frenetic and end to end, with both sides pressing for a winner.  Ultimately neither side could find the breakthrough and a draw was probably the right result.

Attendance: 16,797 with 965 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was quite quiet.  The Reading fans in the School End upper tier made some noise throughout the game, but the QPR fans only really made any noise when they got themselves back into the game.  The actual West Paddock was very quiet, with most people talking about the game amongst themselves.

Journey Time home: 2 hours 45 minutes.  We stopped to get some food at a Syrian restaurant on Uxbridge Road, so didn't start travelling home til about 5pm.  We got the tube from Shepherd's Bush Market to Hammersmith, then jumped on a bus to Twickenham.  From Twickenham we caught the train to Winnersh Triangle and then finished by walking home.  We got back at around 7:45pm.

All in all, it was quite a difficult day.  The engineering works made the travel more difficult than it should have been, and it was a very cold day.  The game, although quite enjoyable, was played between two poor teams and I honestly believe that both sides will struggle to stay up this season.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Chelsea

Chelsea v Reading
Barclays Premier League
Stamford Bridge
Wednesday 22nd August 2012
7:45pm

Journey Time to the ground: 15 minutes.  As I was on a work placement in Wimbledon for the week, I was lucky to be able to jump on the District Line at Wimbledon station and get the tube to Fulham Broadway.  We left at about 6:30pm and were off the tube at 6:45pm.

The ground is about a five minute walk away from the tube station, turning right as you come out.  The away end entrance is about a 10 minute walk from the station. 

Ticket Price: £47

Programme Price: £3.

This was my first visit to Stamford Bridge and I was very excited to be visiting one of the most well known grounds in the country.  We had stopped outside the magnificent West Stand to take a couple of pictures, along with all the Chelsea tourists!  I managed to get a picture of myself with Sir John Madejski as he was going into the ground.  We walked from here, to the away side of the Shed End, passed Marco Piere White's restaurant and the hotel.  We had tickets in the Shed End lower and made our way passed lines and lines of stewards to get to the turnstiles.  My boyfriend said that it was like being in Gladiators having to battle passed row after row of stewards, showing them the same ticket and proving where you were going!  After going through the turnstiles we were sent through a door to the left, which felt like we were being sent into a cupboard.  We had tickets in row 16, which I assumed would be near the front, how wrong was I!  We were in the back row of the lower tier, beneath the overhanging upper tier.  This meant that if we stood up, we could only see the penalty box closest to us, and no more of the pitch, but we could just about see the whole length of the pitch when sat down.  We were in line with the right hand edge of the penalty box as we looked at it.  The Shed End is split between home and away fans.

To the left of the Shed End is the West Stand.  This is a three tiered stand and is quite impressive, unfortunately I could only see the lower tier.  Opposite the Shed End is the Matthew Harding stand, which is two-tiered and exactly the same as the Shed End but houses home fans only.  To the right of the Shed End is the East Stand.  This is another three tiered stand similar to the West Stand that hosues the dug outs, again I could only see the lower tier.  The ground is all seater with a capacity of just under 42,000.

The game started with Chelsea dominating, and after 18 minutes new signing Eden Hazard tricked Chris Gunter into tripping him in the box and a penalty was given.  Although Hazard was caught, he did got down quite easily.  Up stepped Frank Lampard to smash the ball passed Adam Federici in goal and I had visions of us being hammered 6-0 and was wondering how long the night was going to become.  But fortunately for us Reading fans, going behind seem to spur us on.  A nice one-two between Gareth McCleary and Danny Guthrie resulted in McCleary whipping a lovely cross into the box that was met by Pavel Pogrebniak who planted a powerful header beyond the outstretched Petr Cech.  The away end erupted, but things were about to get better.  Five minutes later, Jobi McAnuff was up-ended by John Terry about 25 yards out from goal.  Guthrie took the free-kick, which was pretty tame to be honest, but somehow Cech only managed to divert the ball into his own net and we were 2-1 up.  Reading dominated the rest of the first half, with Chelsea looking a little shell-shocked.  After half time, Chelsea inevitably had more of the play, and equalised on 69 minutes, when a shot from Gary Cahill was palmed into his own net by Federici, the second mistake he had made in two games.  Ten minues later, Chelsea took the lead, Fernando Torres tapping in an Ashley Cole cross, although he did appear to be offside.  Still Reading didn't give up, and in stoppage time Federici went up for a corner to try and salvage a point, unfortunately Chelsea broke clear, and with no goalkeeper in place, Hazard centred for Branislav Ivanovic to tap in and the game finished 4-2.

Attendance: 41,733 with 2,857 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was amazing, especially when we were winning and were top of the league for about half an hour.  The fans didn't stop singing all game, and the low roof we were under allowed us to make a lot of noise  The Chelsea fans were quite quiet and only really made any noise when they were winning.

Journey Time home: 1 hour.  We walked towards Kensington to let the numbers at Fulham Broadway station die down and got some food at KFC.  We didn't get on a tube until almost 11pm, a good hour after the game had finished.  We got the tube back to Wimbledon, then a bus from Wimbledon to New Malden, where we were staying with relatives.  We got back just before midnight.

Again an amazing experience.  The ground is well worth a visit, even at the price, but I might try and get upper tier seats next time to get a better view.  We were very unlucky to come away with nothing, I think even a draw would have been a little harsh on us, but I never thought I would see the day that Reading outplayed the European Champions on their own turf!