Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Portsmouth - Fratton Park


Portsmouth FC
Fratton Park
Frogmore Road
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO4 8RA

023 9273 1204
Official Website
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Ground Number: 178
Tuesday 27th September 2011
Portsmouth 2-3 Peterborough United
nPower Championship






MY VISIT

Portsmouth was another ground that I had to do to tick off one of the 92 so when the Sun did their £19.50 ticket offer I jumped at the chance of visiting a ground that was in easy driving distance. Plus I got to meet up with my Facebook friend Jon, who had the other ticket. Sadly, between buying the tickets and the game taking place, Wycombe had a game rearranged due to Preston's international call-ups, so I ended up missing my first home league game in 13 years as I didn't want to let a mate down. This made my Wycombe season ticket even poorer value, and it was touch and go as to whether I'd actually get one in the first place.



On the day, I managed to get out of work just before 1, which meant I could get a good early start. I drove down, stopping off to take pictures at AFC Portchester and then to Fareham town centre, where I had arranged to meet Jon. We set off for Fratton Park just before 4.30. A trouble-free journey meant that we were parked up by 5pm and after taking a few pictures of outside the ground we went off to a local pub for dinner and a couple of pints. After meeting Manda, who I also met at the West Ham v Aldershot game, we went into the ground with half an hour till kick off.



The game itself was pretty good. Peterborough took a 4th-minute lead through Lee Frecklington after a bad error from Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown. It was all square 4 minutes later as Gabriel Zakuani put through his own net. At the time, the goal was initially credited to Erik "The Viking" Huseklepp. Frecklington scored again to see the visitors lead 2-1 at the break. Benjani's late goal looked to have grabbed Portsmouth a vital point, but with the very last kick of the game, Huseklepp did score, only in his own net to gift Peterborough a victory. I later discovered that Wycombe had been involved in a 4-3 thriller in their defeat to Preston, but it was great to meet a good pal in Jon at last, even though I couldn't bring luck on to his team. After dropping him home I made a hasty retreat up the M3 and was back home well before midnight, after a good night out.



THE GROUND

FRATTON PARK is a classic old ground which has seen the transition to all-seater to cope with their rise to the Premiership around 10 years ago. It's a bit rough around the edges, but that gives it its charm. It was one of the smaller in the Premier League with a capacity of 21,000. Away fans are given one side of the Milton End, this has a capacity of 1400. This is one of the older parts of the ground along with the South & North Stands which are at the side. The opposite end, the Fratton End is a lot more modern.

Food and the club shop at the ground are as you'd expect - standard fare and overpriced, There are a vast amount of pubs and takeaways within walking distance which make it a great day out. The best of which is the Lawrence Arms with lots of real ale and cider which is around 15-minutes walk away. I've made plenty of future visits with Wycombe and always found the home fans to be nice and friendly.

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