Football in Berkshire
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A perfect match day: Reading City and Woodley United

Tom Canning on what a makes a perfect match day - and it's not really anything to do with the game

A perfect match day: Reading City and Woodley United
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I thought I’d start this new Football in Bracknell series with a) a ground not exactly known for being scenic and b) not in Bracknell.

The purpose of this series is to look at what makes a great match day. Not whether your team wins or loses, but the buzz around the ground and the places to go before and after the whistle.

For me these days that revolves around living in Reading and heading down on occasion to either Reading City or Woodley United at Scours Lane, otherwise known as the Rivermoor.

It’s a trip made all the more appealing by the opening of a new brewery tap room very near by, but we’ll come to that.

It’s about a 30 minute walk for me from my house to Scours Lane. Across the A4 and through Prospect Park, through Tilehurst streets and across the Oxford Road.

The first stop is the Brewery. Double Barrelled opened its tap room in December 2018 and serves beer brewed on the premises along with some terrific guest beers.

Inside the Double Barrelled Brewery tap room.
Inside the Double Barrelled Brewery tap room.

The tap room is within the Stadium Way industrial estate on Portman Road which runs parallel to the Oxford Road, it’s a big unit with plenty of chairs, tables and home comforts.

It opens 2pm on a Saturday and is an easy place to while away the hour before kick off. If we could somehow get the team news and any pitch inspections wired over a tannoy that’d be ideal.

Depending on how keen you are, the ground is about a 10 minute walk away, through the railway bridge.

Anyone who’s been to Scours Lane will be aware of the surroundings. It’s slowly being improved but it’ll never be a tight, intimate non league ground. The pitch is in a lot better shape than it has been for awhile. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

Oh and occasionally you get this..

The bar is cosy enough at half time, tea coffee and chips in a cone isn’t to be sniffed at.

You’ll notice so far a complete lack of football chat, and that’s sort of the point of the series.

At full time, you can do a couple of things, head down the Oxford Road sampling a few of the pubs along there. Depending on how you got to the ground you can jump on a train at Reading West or hop on the number 17 bus in to town.

Me? It’s back to the Brewery and then at close (around 7pm) it’s a 20 minute walk to Reading’s finest pub, the Nag’s Head on Russell Street.

They will usually have a late kick off on the tele along with quite possibly any type of beer or cider you can think of. It’s a Reading FC match day pub as well so it can get a bit busy when the coach brings supporters back.

After that it’s usually a portion of cheesy chips from around the corner and a brisk walk back home. Perfect match day completed.

What was the score by the way?

Locations:

Scours Lane/The Rivermoor: Scours Lane, Reading, Berkshire RG30 6AY

Double Barrelled Brewery: Unit 20 Stadium Way, Reading RG30 6BX

The Nag’s Head: 5 Russell Street, Reading RG1 7XD

If you’d like to contribute a ‘perfect match day’ please do drop us a note on our contributor page. It doesn’t have to be Berkshire, it can be anywhere in the country but importantly, it’s not really about football.

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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror. Manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.

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