On Saturday, FC Bracknell arranged for 400 players, friends and family to Reading vs Middlesbrough as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations. All players tickets were paid for by the club.
Fans travelled by car, train and bus to get to Madejski stadium. Surprisingly everyone was there on time, age group managers dished out tickets, hungry children fed, and we were ready to go.
All of the boys and girls were hoping for their local team to pick up a much needed win from a Boro team who were out of form themselves, having not won a game since September.
Disaster after 13 minutes! Joey van den Berg tripped Britt Assombalonga in the box. The resulting penalty saw Grant Leadbitter smash the penalty in the top left corner, one Zidane would have been proud of.
10 minutes later a serious head injury to Tiago Ilori stopped play for around 8 minutes. The younger teams amused themselves by chatting (as they were during play) and even reading! The older age groups chose to find lookalikes from their teams to Reading & Boro players, and not all of them were complimentary…
The first half drew to a close, and birthday boy Callum Knight had his name in lights on the big screen much to his delight. Hungry children were fed (again).
Back to the action in the second half and Reading were the better team, they dominated possession and had a few chances. Boro were playing defensively, dropping very deep and leaving no space in behind for Reading to exploit. Against the run of play, Boro got another goal. A swift counter-attack saw Jonny Howson put a good cross in the box which Britt Assombalonga headed in from close range on 74 minutes
It was harsh on Reading, they subsequently made attacking changes to get back into the game, Middlesbrough countered with defensive changes and held out for a win. Thankfully the head injury to Illori wasn’t serious, news that was well received by the club.
Reading FC presented the club with a shirt, the name and number FC Bracknell 40 on the back which was very well received. The boys and girls now enter a prize draw for a signed programme from match day.
For some of the FC Bracknell players it was their first time at a match, whilst the result wasn’t ideal, everyone enjoyed the experience and had fun during the game. Reading FC certainly left a good impression on the kids and it is a partnership we at FC Bracknell certainly appreciate.
The club were presented with a 40th Anniversary shirt that will be framed and hung, complimentary tickets to Reading Women vs Chelsea this weekend and a stadium tour with a player Q&A. Reading also confirmed that according to their records, FCB is the single biggest single group purchaser of match day tickets!