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ROYALS are into the third round of the EFL Cup, winning on penalties in a dramatic late night at the Mad Stad. Manager Jaap Stam made ten changes for the game from his regular starting eleven, giving a lot of his new signings a rare outing. For the most part they did well, but as in every game this season, Royals had the lion's share of the game, but couldn't turn it into as many goals as they should have. Their failure to do that was largely down to a fine debut performance for the Dons by keeper Lee Nicholls, newly-signed from Wigan Athletic. With great irony, he was coached there in his younger days by now-Royals No1 Ali Al-Habsi. Nicholls made a string of fine saves which, for much of the game, looked as though they might win it.

Dons had taken the lead in the first half, thanks to a penalty by Dean Bowditch. Royals' stand-in keeper Anssi Jaakkola was judged to have fouled Brandon Thomas-Asante, and Bowditch made no mistake from the spot. Former Charlton winger Callum Harriott was the Royals' main danger and he cracked in a superb solo equaliser on 68 minutes. With Nicholls outstanding in the closing stages, Dons held on for extra time where they suddenly looked the more dangerous side for the first time in the game. Royals had used all three subs, two to early injuries for Deniss Rakels and young Liam Kelly, whose promising debut was cut short when he crashed heads with team-mate Jake Cooper, his former Academy colleague.

Cooper stayed on, but in extra time was clearly beginning to struggle, and with young right-back Tennai Watson suffering cramp, the Reading back line came under pressure. In one frantic incident MK hit both the crossbar and the post, but it looked as though their night was over when Harriott poached his second with only six minutes remaining. Reading's delight at that lasted only two more minutes before a melee following a corner - with keeper Nicholls up as well - ended with Kabongo Tshimanga bundling in the equaliser.

So to penalties, and Danny Williams, on earlier as a sub, scored first for Reading. Ed Upson's kick squared it at 1-1, before George Evans potted Royals' next successfully. When Ben Reeves' kick came back off the bar, Royals had the advantage, which Stephen Quinn stretched to 3-1. When Jaakkola saved from Samir Carruthers it looked all over, but goal-hero Harriott, who had beaten Nicholls twice earlier, saw the keeper save. George Williams cut the gap to 3-2 but that still left Royals with one to win it, and Jordan Obita smashed that down the middle to ensure a place in the third round hat for tonight's (Wednesday) draw with the chance of a pay day against a Premier League club. MANAGER'S COMMENTS.

RAIN OR SHINE? COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE READING AREA (Met Office)
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IN A JAM? READING TRAVEL INFO INCLUDING TRAFFIC CAMS AND BUS DELAY INFO (Borough Council)
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LIVE CAMERAS AND INCIDENT UPDATES ALL ALONG THE M4 CORRIDOR IN BERKSHIRE (BBC Travel)
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GETTING FROM AA TO BB - COMPLETE ROUTE PLANNER WITH TIMINGS AND TURNINGS (AA)
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DRIVING FAR AND WIDE - OUT OF AREA MOTORWAY AND TRAFFIC NEWS (Highways Agency)
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STOPPING ON THE WAY? FOR MOTORWAY AND A-ROAD SERVICE AREAS (M'way Services Online)
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RAIL JOURNEY PLANNER - ALL THE 'FROM AND TO' INFO AND FARES (National Rail)
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LIVE RAIL DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL BOARDS FOR READING AND LOCAL STATIONS (National Rail)
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BUS SERVICES PUTTING THE DING-DING IN READING AND AREA (Reading Buses)
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IF YOU'D RATHER GO ON FOOT, HERE'S A HANDY GUIDE TO WALKS IN THE READING AREA (iFootpath)
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FLYING FROM HEATHROW - AIRPORT DIRECTORY AND OTHER KEY INFO (Heathrow Airport Guide)
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WHAT’S THE TIME WHEN WE GET THERE? CHECK THE CLOCK FOR ANY MAJOR CITY (Time and Date)
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ROAD TO THE AIRPORT - TIMES AND DETAILS FOR READING RAIL-AIR LINK TO HEATHROW (Railair)
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FLYING FROM GATWICK - PARKING, FLIGHT INFO AND SHOPPING (Gatwick Airport)
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FLYING FROM STANSTED - WORLD'S BEST AIRPORT FOR LOW-COST FLIGHTS (Stansted Airport)
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FLYING FROM LUTON - ALL THE INFO ON THE GROUND AND AIR SIDE (Luton Airport)
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FLYING FROM SOUTHAMPTON - DOWN THE M3 AND UP, UP AND AWAY! (Southampton Airport)
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PLAIN SAILING OR ROUGH SEAS - CROSS-CHANNEL FERRY INFO FROM PORTSMOUTH (Portsmouth Port)
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OFF TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS? LATEST ON TOP CATS FROM POOLE AND PORTSMOUTH (Condor Ferries)
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LIFE ON THE OCEAN WAVE - LIVE INFO FOR THOSE CRUISING FROM SOUTHAMPTON (ABP Southampton)
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IF THE SEA TURNS YOUR TUM LET TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN - FRANCE BY UNDERGROUND (Eurotunnel)
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MANCHESTER UTD DEFENDER SIGNS FOR ROYALS
HOT on the heels of Reading’s 10th signing of the season, Leicester City defender Liam Moore, comes news of the 11th, another defensive signing - Manchester United’s Tyler Blackett. He was at Saturday’s game against Brighton and passed a medical over the weekend. He has signed a three-year deal and is likely to challenge Jordan Obita for the left-back spot. Obita has never quite added the defensive polish to his undoubted ability going forward. At the very least, Royals needed cover for that position. Blackett never came through after looking highly-promising at the start of the 2014-15 season, when Louis van Gaal trusted him with a starting role at centre-back. He was eventually loaned out to Blackpool and Birmingham, and then to Celtic for last season. He never settled north of the border and returned to United, where he is now deemed surplus to requirements. Born in Manchester, he has played for England at all age groups from 16 to 21, and also qualifies for Barbados and Jamaica. He has just turned 22.

The signing of Moore on Saturday was probably the worst-kept secret of the transfer window. The Loughborough-born centre-back, now 23, found himself surplus to requirements as Robert Huth and Wes Morgan locked down the two central defensive positions at the King Power Stadium, and he was loaned out twice to Brentford and also Bradford City and Bristol City. In between, in his five years at Leicester, he made 59 appearances for the Foxes, scoring one goal. Somewhere along the line this summer, either he, or his agent, or Leicester City, played a lot of hardball, but Royals manager Jaap Stam has finally got his man - and Moore himself is delighted. With Joey van den Berg ruled out by suspension, Moore is likely to make his debut against MK Dons in Tuesday’s EFL Cup-tie at the Mad Stad. Full story of Moore's signing from the club website.

Moore, who has been given a four-year deal, is Reading’s 10th signing, following on from the ninth, midfielder Sandro Wieser having joined on a free transfer from Swiss side FC Thun. Although only 23, Wieser has 33 international caps for his native Liechtenstein, playing against some of Europe’s superstar players. He began his career at the Academy of FC Basel, and later played alongside Royals midfielder Danny Williams at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Full story from the club website. Meanwhile, young Royals striker Craig Tanner has returned on loan to Plymouth where he spent the whole of last season, making 50 appearances. He will stay at Home Park at least until January. Also farmed out on loan until January is midfielder Aaron Kuhl, who is joining Royals' associates Boreham Wood.


SOME time new-look Reading FC will land the thumping win their domination of matches deserves. In five matches so far they have yet to have less than 60percent of possession - but have only two wins and a draw to show for it. This was always going to be a tough ask against a Brighton side which was unbeaten in 18 previous Championship matches stretching way back into last season, and had not conceded a goal this term.

However, this could easily have been the day the Seagullasa had their wings clipped, especially when Royals took the lead inside two minutes through John Swift. A freak own goal by Joey van den Berg - hotly-disputed by Reading for a foul - squared it only six minutes later, but after that it was mainly a procession to the Brighton goal. Chris Hughton's men edged in front again 40 seconds into the second half through the brilliant Anthony Knockaert, but Paul McShane soon equalised (Reading FC picture, right), and until the closing minutes - and a ridiculous eight minutes of added time - Royals were well on top. The stats gave them 62percent possession, over the game, but in the end they were forced to hang on with 10 men after van den Berg was sent off for a second yellow.

If Reading were looking for a morale-boosting start they could hardly have done better than scoring inside two minutes. Swift’s free kick from wide left dipped and swerved into the far corner. Yet, as Royals found at Newcastle on Wednesday, their luck is not exactly in at the moment. From a Brighton corner the ball was bundled into the net via head of van den Berg. Reading protested vigorously that a tug by ex-Royal Glenn Murray had knocked van den Berg off balance, but referee Mike Jones would have none of it. He also flatly refused to penalise a blatant Brighton handball soon afterwards, and van den Berg was booked for his angry protest. Coming up to the half-hour it took a frantic goal-line clearance by Lewis Dunk to keep out Kermorgant’s fierce left-foot shot.

Back in the Brian McDermott days Reading had an irritating habit of conceding goals right at the start of the second half. Seldom, however, were those within 40 seconds of the re-start. This time Royals were still digesting their half-time cuppa when Sam Baldock hooked in a hit-and-hope cross from the left which the totally unmarked Knockaert met first time left-footed low into the corner. Royals were disappointed but not discouraged, and almost immediately they could have been level, Kermorgant’s powerful header from a Garath McCleary cross whacking against the crossbar and away. But on 59 minutes Reading were deservedly all-square, McShane, having stayed upfield after a free kick was cleared, swept in a clever cutback from McCleary.

Brighton were living on the edge, and David Stockdale had to make a worldy save to keep out Kermorgant’s acrobatic overhead kick. Then yet more controversy with Reading on the wrong end. Swift cut in from the wing and was clipped down by Gaetan Bong. It looked a certain penalty, but to Reading’s dismay, the referee decided it was inches outside. In driving rain, Royals decided on a more cautious game management in the closing minutes to preserve a point. The more defensive Stephen Quinn replaced Swift in midfield, but there was still a twist in the tail, when van den Berg was sent off for pulling back sub Tomer Hemed. That brought another change, Royals sacrificing the flair of Roy Beerens for spare centre-back Jake Cooper. They eventually held on through a daft eight minutes of extra time as the officials - who could hardly have been accused of being homers - gifted Brighton the chance to nick it. MANAGER JAAP STAM'S COMMENTS.

First Choice Holidays


CLICK YOUR CHOSEN WEBSITE FOR THEIR CONTENT

Trinity Mirror-owned former Reading evening newspaper, the Post, has now been consigned to publishing history - T.M. decided the way forward is only via its getreading website.
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The oldest - now only - newspaper in the Reading, started life in the early 1800s as the Berkshire Chronicle - recently sold to the Newsquest group.
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First published in 1885 as the Henley Free Press, the locally-owned Henley Standard has been a front-runner in the electronic era with some consistently lively multi-media output.
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The Newbury Weekly News was first published in 1867 but was among the first locally to embrace the internet with extensive coverage under its Newbury Today brand.
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The Wokingham Times was that area's longest-established newspaper, but is no more. Website, getwokingham, styled like Reading stable-mate getreading is now the only outlet.
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The stable-mate of the Reading Chronicle and the Slough Observer has been serving south-east Berkshire for 50+ years and its website keeps up well with the news from its patch.
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First published in 1869 and once had an enviable circulation larger than the town's population - still thriving and proudly independent, with fifth generation of Baylis family, Jason, at helm.
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Founded in 1812, and apart from a brief spell, the Express remained a family independent. It is again, acquired in 2008 by family-owned Baylis Media Ltd of the Maidenhead Advertiser.
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Founded in 1878, the Basingstoke Gazette went through it's first 99 years family-owned. Today, owned by Newsquest - part of the multi-media American-based giant Gannett.
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BBC Radio Berkshire has the benefit of Government funding for its county-wide broadcast and multi-media coverage - website perhaps not the powerhouse it should be.
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After many name and image changes, the south's commercial TV operation has found stability. It has a good website - plus TV from Fred Dinenage and Reading's Sangeeta Bhabra.
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Reading's "community" radio station, previously part of Sir John Madejski's empire, has a lively site, with news, and features about its output. Now part of the zany Jack FM brand.
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Reading Borough Council has spruced up its PR and corporate multi-media in recent years and issues frequent media news releases on the key community subjects.
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The University of Reading, in its 111th year, is in the top one percent of uni's worldwide, and its frequent news releases reflect its highly-acclaimed research work.
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A hyperlocal news operation with focus on positive people-led stories that, publishers say "will encourage, inform and inspire." Now also publishing The Wokingham Paper after demise of the Times.
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There are several "Readings" in the USA - best-known is 88,000-population Reading city northwest of Philadelphia - it's local paper is the Eagle, backed up by its dot.com version.
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From another "Reading, USA", 16 miles north of Boston is The Advocate newspaper which feeds an excellent news service into its equally-excellent website, named Wicked Local.
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News aggregator which trawls the www for any story with the word "Reading", so can occasionally throw up book-reading topics - but it's a good source of interesting items.
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B-Europe.co.uk - London To Europe By Train


THE permanent memorial to Reading's only Victoria Cross holder, Trooper Fred Potts, unveiled in the Forbury last year, is proving a popular addition to the town’s architecture. Fred, who died in 1943 and until recent years, was virtually unknown in the town due - mainly to his own modesty. However, the people who did know of Fred’s heroics during the Great War believed the time was long overdue to recognise his bravery with a suitable memorial in a town centre location. The Trooper Potts Memorial Trust was set up to raise the necessary funds and, backed by BBC Radio Berkshire, former Reading Mayor Cllr Fred Pugh, former MP Martin Salter, Reading College, Haslams Estate Agents and Reading-born TV personality Chris Tarrant, they achieved their aim - the bronze statue, created by Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy, was unveiled. As well as commemorating Fred Potts, it also recognises the sacrifices of the many men of the Berkshire Yeomanry who gave their lives, both in the battle for Scimitar Hill at Gallipoli, Turkey, and throughout World War One. Fred’s medal relates to an incident in August 1915, in which he saved the life of fellow-Reading soldier Arthur Andrews after both were injured by machine-gun fire as the Yeomanry charged on Scimitar Hill. For three days, during which they had virtually no food or drink, Fred ignored his own wounds to drag Arthur to safety, using a shovel as a makeshift stretcher. The amazing FULL STORY.

CLICK CHOSEN CLUB LOGO TO LINK TO THEIR LATEST INFO

Keep up to date with all things Royal - info about the club, the team, tickets, souvenirs and more, including interviews and subscription video.
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Unofficial Reading FC website with plenty of well-written comment, positive and negative - but always constructive. Named after the old "Home End" at Elm Park.
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More than 200 former Reading players and managers are in the Association - the website has interesting info about great names of Royals' and Biscuitmen's past.
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Reading's adopted top-flight Rugby Union team, survived two recent relegation scares - but better times are likely to be ahead after new investment.
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Reading's most consistently-successful sports club runs 11 men’s and seven ladies’ teams. Elite squads at the top of the domestic game and many international stars.
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Reading Cricket Club operates in tandem with the adjacent Reading Hockey Club, providing a two-pronged elite sports operation at the extensive Sonning Lane site.
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The club performs solidly in the National South West Division One (East) alongside Newbury. Founded in 1898 as Berkshire Wanderers, they still field a Wanderers XV.
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Originally for youngsters from non-rugby-playing schools, Abbey went senior in 1956, acquired a 22-acre site at Emmer Green and are now successful - including a top Ladies’ XV.
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Founded 1926, now nicknamed The Rams, Redingensians was originally for former pupils of Reading School. Teams in all age groups - 2014/15 champs SW Nat League 3.
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Has promoted cycling in Berkshire since 1974. With over 200 members, it is dedicated to giving cyclists the opportunity to race, ride and enjoy two-wheel life.
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The club has a long and proud history with past Olympic stars such as Ann Packer, Bev Callender and Britain's most successful-ever female sprinter, Kathy Smallwood.
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Provides after school clubs, school holiday courses, birthday parties and much, much more for boys and girls from the age of 5-14, in and around Reading.
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A friendly community rowing club located on one of the best stretches of the upper Thames, with access to 6km of river from Caversham Bridge to Mapledurham.
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Founded as recently as 1997, Rockets had spectacular lift-off and now run age-group, ladies and seniors teams. Currently consistently at the top end of the NBL Division 1 standings.
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The legendary (and still going strong at 81) Reg Fearman brought Speedway to Reading in 1968. Smallmead closed in 2008 but Racers faithful still have a website.

AND OTHER SENIOR SPORTS CLUBS AND VENUES NEARBY…

The Magpies have an extremely proud, and unique football boast - their York Road ground is the world's oldest football ground used continuously by the same club.
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Basingstoke share Maidenhead's status in Conference South - and they have some lively local derbies. Mascot Stokie is even taller than a certain Kingsley Royal!
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Few sporting venues match the history or rich heritage of Ascot. Queen Anne, staying at Windsor Castle in 1711 who first saw the potential for a racecourse.
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Newbury Racecourse is more than 100 years old, combining heritage with a modern sports/events venue. Constructed in 1904/05 - at a cost of £57,240!
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Although the local area has racing links to dating back to Henry VIII, the first race meeting here was not until 1866. The only figure-of-eight flat course in the country.
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Ice Hockey has been thriving in Bracknell for many years, with Bees playing home games at the John Nike Leisure Centre. Ambitious new team management in place for season 28.
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Basingstoke Bison play in the English Premier Ice Hockey League. Founded in 1988 as the Beavers, the club has sustained the sport in the town successfully since.
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The Hawks are one of the leading clubs in the Thames Valley, among the top 50 in the country - 2014/15 champions of National League 2 South after winning first 14 games.
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Bracknell RFC has an illustrious pedigree, founded in 1955 by Welsh and Cornish men new to the New Town area. Now in London and SE National League 3.
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The Blues, a focal point for the West Berkshire rugby community, are always competitive in South West Division One (East) - finishing sixth 2014/15.
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News from The Reading Guide
29/12/2012 BREAKING NEWS: LINKS TO THE TOP LOCAL SOURCES - AND READING USA
WITH traditional newspapers under increasing pressure from "new media", both of the local newspapers, the Post and the Chronicle have made dramatic changes in recent years. The end of 2014 brought the "last Post" - after nearly 50 years, the old Evening Post adjusted to a twice-weekly, Wednesday and Friday offering, and now is only a website. more...
12/01/2010 YOUR CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH TV PROGRAMMES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED - THE FULL SET

Reader Poll
2016 is likely to be the year plans are fully approved for a huge development around the Madejski Stadium. Is that a good idea?
Poll started 18/03/2016. Vote to see the results.
      YES - It's a really imaginative scheme which will add to matchday experience.
      NO - Let's just stick to football and forget all the peripheral stuff!

What's On - 24th AUG 2016
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CRUISE THE BASINGSTOKE CANAL

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STORY TIM AT THE MILL - THIS WEEK, THE MOG IN THE DARK

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BILL BAILEY - LIMBOLAND WARM-UP

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SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN AT MAIDENHED HERITAGE CENTRE

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MESSY MONSTERS

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SUPERHEROES AND PRINCESSES -L AT THE ORACLE

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UK WOLF CONSERVATION TRUST VISIT WEDNESDAYS

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HAMPSHIRE OPEN ART STUDIOS EXHIBITION - AT SANDHAM MEMORIAL CHAPEL