|Leeds United v Stoke City|
Sunday, 5th August 2018 Kick-off 16:30
Sunday, 1st Apr 2018 12:38 by Tim Whelan
Our visit to Fulham is on Tuesday night, with a 7.45 kick-off, and once again we’re live on Sky Sports. We’re not famous any more!
As you probably know, Craven Cottage is by the Thames in South-West London. By road you need to take junction 15 off the M25 onto the M4, which becomes the A4. Keep following the A4 signs for 11.5 miles till you get to the Hammersmith Flyover Junction, then take the exit marked A306, A315, A219. From the following roundabout follow signs to Putney Bridge, which will bring you into Fulham Palace Road.
You are now just over a mile from the ground and from here you might as well think about parking in the first spot you see, parking on the streets near to the ground is restricted to one hour 'pay & display' on matchdays, even in the evening, and this is strictly enforced by an army of traffic wardens. It’s probably less hassle to park at a tube station further out and complete your journey by underground.
The nearest tube station to Craven Cottage is Putney Bridge (on the Wimbledon Branch of the District Line) which is only a ten minute walk away, Turn left out of the station and then immediately turn right into a street called Ranelagh Gardens, then just keep going in this direction, keeping the Thames on your left as you cross the main road and go through Bishops Park.
En route you will pass the 'Eight Bells' which is popular with away fans, and alternative is ‘The Temperance’ which you’ll a few minutes walk further along Fulham High street, going away from the river. 'The Crabtree on Rainville Road (10 minutes from the ground) welcomes away supporters, but diehard CAMRA enthusiasts will probably head for 'The Bricklayer's Arms', in Waterman Street, just the other side of the river in Putney.
There is also a selection of alcohol available inside the stadium, which even includes cans of Tetleys! The High Street is also the best bet for takeaways, which you might need to use, as the food inside the ground is expensive, though quite tasty and with generous portions.
When I first came to ‘the Cottage’ in the 1980s there was terracing at both ends, with the one for visitors naturally being open to the elements, but in the years since the club have had to comply with the Taylor report by replacing them with new stands. And the away fans are still in the same place today, with our initial allocation being 3,600 seats in the Putney End plus an extra 875 after the first batch sold out, out of a total stadium capacity of 25,678. There are still some of these additional tickets for sale on the official Leeds website.
They cost £35 for adults, with concessions at £30 and £15, as this match has been designated ‘Category A’, despite it being a midweek fixture and on Sky. Some of the seats are ‘restricted view’ (which is disappointing for a new stand) and are £2 cheaper. Next to us is a section which is designated as ‘neutral’, so fans of both clubs can mix, and surprisingly it seems that still applies for this game, so it could be worth a try if you haven’t got a ticket in the Leeds end. The Fulham website is restricting sales for all the home stands to fans with a ‘purchase history’.
To our right is the building known as the ‘Cottage’, which thankfully has survived amongst all this modernity as a reminder of an earlier age. But technically this is just a pavilion, as the original cottage was demolished many years ago.
As the future is concerned, the Club have now received planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand (the one to our left, which dates back to 1972). This would increase the capacity of Craven Cottage to 29,600. It will have a large lower tier and a smaller lower tier, as well as exciting things like restaurants, meeting facilities, bars and nine flats. It is expected that work on the stand will start at the end of the 2018/19s season.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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