Reading Town currently play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division, I visited here pre-season 2009/10, for a Friday night match with Hungerford Town. I'd been here once before, at least a decade ago, at a guess, for an FA Youth Cup tie with Dulwich Hamlet. Back then there was no clubhouse, as there had just been a serious fire.
It's a bit of a depressing ground, not for the place itself, I'm sure it would be good enough for step four football, but for the approach, which is a bit depressing & all the barbed wire!
The approach from the main road is down this one, which goes under the railway line. I could but help thinking about the Great Train Robbery!
Should I be feeling scared? ;-)
Here we reach the ground, the turnstiles being at the other end of this car park.
As we can see here. No bunking in with that barbed wire on top!
This is the other side. Note the plaque on the wall.
It's a fundraising 'roll of honour'.
The ground is very open, as you can see from this corner, with the turnstiles behind us.
But to our left, behind the goal, there is some substantial cover, with a couple of steps of terracing.
As we stand at the back under it, we look across the steps, in the clockwise direction we are going to walk round the ground.
From here we look down the near side, where you can just see a small stand down the far end of it.
Moving along, behind the goal, we get a better view of it.
Moving along we look back down the terrace, with the club house in view in the corner.
Past that stretch of the terrace there are two rows of seating. Presumably these were added to satisfy ground gradings for any potential promotion.
Still behind the goal we look to our left, there is a small area of cover along there, as well as the dugouts.
Another angle down the covered terrace, with the seats all in view.
Past the cover there is hard standing, the path being in front of the changing rooms.
Now at the next corner, the touchline is a fair way from the perimeter, as you can note from the position of the corner flag.
Down the side now...what can I say? Open & ugly, with those tanks.
Having moved round we get a good shot of the changing rooms, with the cover beyond.
Moving down the side we come to the covered area. Set back, it seems rather forlorn & in the wrong place!
Here is a close up shot of it.
From here we look back down the area we have just covered.
Just beyond the cover are the dugouts.
From between the two we look over the halfway line.
On the far side is the main stand.
Moving along it's more concrete hard standing, not sure why those seats are there though. A DIY stand maybe?
Who knows? Maybe the groundsman lives on site?
An open grass area behind the goal, used for training perhaps? A hard standing path runs along it. Nice to see the old hoardings painted in club colours.
The corner flag has seen better days!
A final look down this side before we turn the corner.
Completely open behind the goal....
All the way along.
From behind the goal we look across the pitch, to the covered end.
And zoom in on the dugouts, where it looks as though the corrugated cover is right behind them! Who said the camera never lies... ;-)
To our left we see the stand & clubhouse, further along.
Almost at our last corner now.
Again hard standing all the way along, with grass behind. The only built up bit being the main stand.
Before we get there our last 'corner flag' angled picture.
Here we are at the main stand, it might be one of those bland new ones, but it's tidy with the seats in their colours.
Here we look down them from the near side.
And from the back row, with covered terrace at the far end in shot.
At the other end is the 'directors box'.
Past the seats we are now on our last leg, back to the corner where we started.
Which is where the clubouse is.
Time for refreshment inside.
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