|Fulham 2 v 1 Leeds United|
Saturday, 21st December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Thursday, 19th Dec 2019 13:17 by Tim Whelan
Our vital game at Fulham is on Saturday afternoon, with a 3pm kick-off. And 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, 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. There is also ‘Kings Arms’ on the other side of the road from the Temperance, and 'The Crabtree on Rainville Road (10 minutes from the ground) also welcomes away supporters.
Just the other side of the river in Putney there are two Wetherspoons outlets called ‘The Rocket’ and ‘The Railway’, the latter being right outside Putney station (which normally has 5 trains an hour from Waterloo, though this might be restricted time due to the strike on South West Trains). The ‘Rocket’ is at the bottom of a semi-circular tower on the riverfront, and nearby is the ‘Boathouse’.
There is also a selection of alcohol available inside the stadium. 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. The latest development is that the Riverside stand has been demolished (though it was only built in 1972, which in my mind is quite recent!) and a new stand is being built to take it’s place.
For this season visiting clubs are limited to 1,900 seats, as the river side of the ground is out of action and the capacity is temporarily down to 19,000. Obviously they went on sale through the ‘Away Attendance Tracker’ and equally obviously they sold out in very quick time. They cost £35 for adults, with various categories of concessions ranging from £30 down to £7.50.
Some of the seats are ‘restricted view’ (which is disappointing for a new stand) and are £2 cheaper. There are still a handful of seats left in the home stands, despite the reduced capacity and Fulham’s own promotion challenge, but to get one you would need to have a ‘purchase history’ from previous Fulham home games.
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.
Fulham hope to have the lower tier of the new Riverside Stand open next season, and then fully open for 2021/22, which wills 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.
So we might be back to a half-decent allocation if we still have to come to Fulham in the next couple of seasons, though of course this might not be necessary.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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