Saturday, 31 January 2015

AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth v Reading
Sky Bet Championship
Goldsands Stadium
Tuesday 21st October 2014

Journey Time to the ground: 1 hour 45 minutes.  We left Newbury at 5pm and arrived at the ground at 6:45pm.  We managed to park up in Buchanan Avenue which was about a five minute walk away from the ground.  The on-street parking was free.
Ticket Price: £14 for a student ticket, with an adult ticket costing £26

Programme Price: £3
This was my first visit to the Goldsands Stadium following redevelopment, although I had been to Dean Court a couple of times previously before the ground became an all-seater stadium.  We were sat in the away section which is half of the Energy Consulting East Stand.  The East Stand is a single tiered stand at the side of the pitch split between home and away fans, with away fans situated close to the South Stand.  The view from the East Stand was good, with enough leg room between seats and a view of the entire pitch without having to stand.

To the left of the East Stand is the temporary Ted McDougall South Stand which is also one tier.  Opposite the East Stand is the Main Stand which is the same size as the East Stand but houses executive boxes and the dug-outs.  To the right of the East Stand is the Steve Fletcher North Stand, which is also one tier.  Overall the ground felt very small and compact with all stands roughly the same height.
The first half was fairly even as both sides struggled to create chances, although both did hit the woodwork.  Matt Ritchie hit the post for Bournemouth with a curling effort from 20 yards with Jamie Mackie hitting the bar for Reading.
Reading were blown away in the second half as Bournemouth came out as a team transformed, scoring three goals in a fifteen minute spell.  The first came just five minutes after half time with Callum Wilson heading home a cross from Marc Pugh.  The lead was doubled five minutes later when Wilson turned provider for Brett Pitman to convert before Pitman volleyed home a second from Richie's corner after 64 minutes.  Reading were shell-shocked for the remained of the game, struggling to create any chances of note.  The scoreline was only kept respectable by Adam Federici who made a number of spectacular saves throughout the game.

Attendance: 8,899 with 1,073 Reading fans.

Atmosphere:  The atmosphere was fairly quiet as the home fans made little noise, apart from around the three goals.  The atmosphere in the away end was better, with constant singing despite the poor performance and result.

Journey Time home: 2 hours.  We managed to get out of the ground and back to the car by 9:45pm and were home at 11:45pm with a quick detour to Fleet services to get a Burger King on the way!

I enjoyed my trip to Bournemouth despite the result!  The ground is light years away from the old Dean Court, although it is rather on the small side, particularly when the aspiration of the team is clearly to play in the Premier League.