It may be one of the longest trips of the season but that certainly hasn’t stopped Preston North End fans. Helped by some reasonable pricing – it is £15 for adults – it looks the Lilywhites will have another excellent following down at Reading.
PNE have been handed another thousand tickets on top of their initial allocation of 1,200 for the game in Berkshire, such as been the demand even with a week to go.
Alex Neil’s side head to the Madejski Stadium after the international break on Saturday, March 30, looking to make it 13 games unbeaten in the Championship.
That fine form, which has included six straight wins on the road, has been reflected in an ever-increasing away following as the season has progressed, 2019 having been a great year to follow PNE on the road thus far.
Attendances this season range from the 7,514 who watched the derby win at Blackburn Rovers on March 9 to the 288 who headed to Leeds for the 3-0 defeat in September.
That came less than a month after 981 North End supporters had been at Elland Road for the League Cup win that inflicted a first defeat in English football on Marcelo Bielsa.
After some reduced ticket prices in the cup, it was the cost that put off fans from heading to the Championship game.
Paying £37 in advance – or £42 on the day – was simply too much for some which isn’t hard to understand.
Victory at Rovers tops the pile in terms of away numbers this campaign and also took PNE’s total travelling support beyond 25,000 for the season.
It now stands at 27,095 after 376 headed to the North East to see the 2-1 win at Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
More than 1,000 North End fans have watched 10 of the 19 away games to date, 4,565 having been at Bolton Wanderers and 2,041 at Stoke City.
That number is only going to increase.
North End have sold out their allocation of 2,737 for the Gentry Day game at West Bromwich Albion on April 13.
There is also the trip to Wigan Athletic to come nine days later on Easter Monday.
On average there have been 1,426 supporters at away games so far this season.
Here’s hoping six is just the start for PNE when it comes to away wins, Neil taking his side south on March 30 looking to complete a remarkable rise into the Championship play-off places.
With thanks to Martin Atherton for his help with the numbers