An evening at the Madejski Stadium – Capital One Cup
Having arrived at the desired location around 5:05pm before the game with my son I have already spotted Steve T with his kids in Arsenal gear making their way towards the Holiday Inn where Holic and the others have agreed to meet. I thought one thing, it was a real shame I couldn’t sit this one out with Arsenal fans but hey I never imagined what was about to happen and show us exactly why we really love this game and Arsenal for that matter and most of all why you should NEVER under no circumstances leave the game before the final whistle!
For this game I had to sit with the Reading fans unfortunately I could not get an away ticket so I managed to get some on general sale through Reading FC. Being very local made a lot of sense at the same time and I was convinced we would walk away with a win without much effort. How wrong was I?
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Holic once again and the other Holics for the very first time.
After a quick pint at the Holiday Inn we made our way towards Madejski, at this point I had to leave the Arsenal party and keep my promises and take my little one for some well deserved fast food. We ate in haste I would say we had about twenty minutes by the time we stood in the massive queues and sat down to consume our tasty little chickens.
We got to our seats with about two minutes spare, the game started I was well up for this one and as I have already mentioned above I was wondering how long it would take before we score.
I suppose it goes to show that us fans can take the opposition for granted too. Reading has certainly started on the bright side. Our passing was awful we could not string few decent passes together and to be honest made Reading look very decent. Away fans sang and my heart was with them all way. Reading scored, I felt a numb pain in head but quickly recovered and thought nothing to worry about, they added the second my heart felt it too. Third I thought this was going to be a very big ask and when the fourth went in I seriously thought the game was all but over. They nearly scored a fifth and that thought just overwhelmed me completely. We seemed to have calmed a bit, passing started to be a bit more precise and they started making some movement at last. A through ball to Theo and it’s 4:1, half time please.
Second half started and we made a bit more effort and almost got rewarded for it. For me it was simple if we left them space they would punish us every time they would get the opportunity. We scored the second then I believe 5 minutes from time we scored the third. It was 90 minutes and a second or maybe third minute of extra time. At Madejski the clock stops after 45 so you really don’t know how much time is left. I decided for us to leave (how wrong was I again?) to beat the traffic etc. We were about 600 yards from the stadium when I heard a roar a massive roar from the Arsenal fans and instantly we made our way back to our seats. A police officer confirmed it to me that Arsenal just made it four all, Oliver and I sprinted back to the stadium to make sure we are not late for the start of the first extra time and what happened next you already know I’m sure. What a win, what a game? I reckon you will see this kind of game once in your life. Shocking first half, please let’s not even go there, however we showed spirit, fight and determination when we really had to!
This game taught me two things, first of all NEVER leave game before the final whistle and secondly NEVER sit with the opposition fans again. I wanted to shout and scream when those two late goals went in. I wanted to celebrate with all the fans in the south stand as they went crazy, Oliver caught my attention:
Daddy I want to sit and sing with the Arsenal fans please….
Next time my boy next time indeed!