Boro Team News - Digard Ruled Out?
However, defender David Wheater returns from suspension - and Andrew Taylor (knee) and Mido (hamstring) are available once again.
Gary O'Neil (hamstring) remains on the sidelines but could return next weekend.
MIDDLESBROUGH (from): Turnbull, Jones, McMahon, Taylor, Grounds, Pogatetz, Huth, Wheater, Bates, Hines, Williams, Aliadiere, Arca, Walker, Downing, Johnson, Tuncay, Alves, Mido, Emnes.
|Travel news for Boro fans heading to Craven Cottage.|
FULHAM - CRAVEN COTTAGE
Away fans are housed to one side of the new Putney End Stand, on the river side of the ground. The stand will be shared with home supporters, with away fans being allocated around 3,000 seats, which is just under half of the overall capacity of this stand. One huge benefit that the new Putney End stand has over the old terrace, is that it has a roof. There are a couple of supporting pillars that could impede your view, but this only applies to certain seats in Row DD and above. The leg room is ample and as the rows of stand seem to have been constructed from metal and plywood, rather than concrete, fans can't resist making some noise, by stamping up and down on it.
Food and drink are served from a number of outlets and stalls situated behind the stands. These areas although mostly covered are not enclosed, which is great in the Summer but can be rather cold in Winter. However if you go to the outlets around to the left of the stand then you can enjoy some nice views of the Thames, whilst having your beer. Cans of Tetleys, Guinness and plastic bottles of Carlsberg (500ml) are available at £3.50. The Club offer an interesting range of pies by Vilis. Including amongst others Lamb & Mint (£3), Vegetable (£3), Cottage Pie (£3.50) and Sausage Rolls (£2.50). You could also get a roll with a Cumberland sausage filling (£3.50). Generally there seems to be enough food and drink outlets available so that the queues were never too long (those located on the Thames side, hardly even had a queue at half time (even though on my last visit the away section was sold out). Around the concourses are flat screen televisions showing the game going on inside and
From the walk from the tube station through a park, to having a pint overlooking the River Thames, this can be quite an enjoyable experience and I have never had any problems there. The walk down Stevenage Road to the away entrance, gives you chance to admire the quaint red brick facade of the Johnny Haynes Stand, whilst inside you can enjoy modern facilities, and apart from the game, you can still catch glimpses of rowers making their away along the Thames.
I have to say the recent re-developments have made a great ground even better and there is now a superb blend of the new and the old, giving the ground great individuality and character. My only grumble has been sometimes the rather large police presence outside the ground (including mounted police and dog handlers), before and after the games that I have attended. One would have thought they were expecting a riot. On one of my visits the Birmingham Fans were chanting to the Fulham fans, "you only sing when you're rowing!"
One other item of interest is that Fulham is the only Club that I know of that has a designated area of the ground reserved for 'neutral supporters'. This is located on one side of the Putney End, adjacent to the away fans section. I guess that the original idea was to attract tourists to London to a game. However, for each game there seems to be a good mix, of home, away and neutral fans in this area. Both away fans and neutral supporters use the same entrance and both can access the same facilities at the back of the stand.
WHERE TO DRINK
David Frear adds; 'The Crabtree on Rainville Road (10 minutes from the ground) welcomes all away supporters and as a Fulham season ticket holder I can tell you that as long as you don't watch your football at Loftus Road you can be assured of a warm welcome'. To find this pub go along Stevenage Road away from the Cottage and the away end. On reaching the home end of the ground, turn left along an alley which runs behind the stand. When you reach the River Thames turn right and walk along the riverside path. You will reach the Crabtree on your right. Andrew Johnson recommends; 'the Zulu Bar (formerly the Kings Head), on Fulham High Street, is one of the nearest to the ground and is always popular with away fans'. Otherwise near to the tube station is the 'Eight Bells' and just further along Fulham High Street is 'The Larrik' and O'Neills.
Some of the other pubs near to the ground, have been designated home supporters only, so alternatively some away fans use the pubs South of the River (across Putney Bridge). The Dukes Head is recommended, which has nice views overlooking the River Thames towards the ground and does good food. It is a Youngs pub with a cosmopolitan atmosphere as it is located next to a number of rowing clubs. Also in Putney is the Bricklayers Arms which was named the CAMRA London Pub of the Year in 2007. It is located in Waterman Street. Simply go across the bridge over the River Thames towards Putney, turn right along the bank of the Thames and then left into Waterman Street. Allow a good twenty minutes to walk from the pubs this side of the river to the ground.
From the North M1
Thanks to Robert Donaldson, for providing the following directions; 'At the end of the M1, turn right (west) onto the A406 (North Circular) and follow it towards Harrow for nearly 4.5 miles. Turn left (east) onto the A40 heading into London (passing close to Loftus Road and after a little over 4 miles turn right (west) onto the A402 for just about 350 yards. Here you turn left (south) along the A219 for a little over half a mile. This brings you into Hammersmith where you turn right onto the A315 and then after just 130 yards or so turn left (south) back onto the A219. Follow this road for a little over a mile, and the ground down the side streets off to your right.
From The North M40 & West M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 15 and take the M4, which then becomes the A4, towards Central London. After around two miles branch off left into Hammersmith Broadway (before the flyover). Go around the ring road around central Hammersmith, keeping to the right. Then take the A219 Fulham Palace Road. Keep straight on this road, passing Charing Cross Hospital on your left. After about another half a mile turn right into Crabtree Lane for the ground.
From the South M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 10 and take the A3 towards Central London. After around eight miles, leave the A3 at the turn off for the A219. Take the A219 towards Putney. Continue straight on this road, down Putney High Street and across Putney Bridge. You will see the ground on your left.
Parking is possible in the streets on the other side of the Fulham Palace Road (A219) to Craven Cottage. However they are controlled by council parking meters, so make sure you bring plenty of change, (£1.60 per hour) and early arrival is advised. Parking though is free in these areas in the evenings and on Sundays. Jim Huegett adds; 'please note that parking on the streets near to the ground (i.e. south of the Fulham Palace Road) is restricted to one hour on matchdays. This isn't obvious from the parking meters and signage and the wardens are out in force on match day'.
The nearest station is Putney Bridge, which is on the District Line. The ground is about a fifteen minute walk. Turn left out of the station and then just follow the other supporters. You get a nice pleasant walk through Bishops Park along the riverbank to the ground (note that the park is closed after evening games).