Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Portsmouth - Fratton Park


Portsmouth FC
Fratton Park
Frogmore Road
Portsmouth
Hampshire
PO4 8RA

023 9273 1204
Official Website
Twitter






Ground Number: 178
Tuesday 27th September 2011
Portsmouth 2-3 Peterborough United
nPower Championship









TEN FACTS ABOUT PORTSMOUTH FC

1:  The club was established in 1898 although they reformed in 1912 after financial problems. They played mainly in the Southern League in their early days winning it in 1902 and 1920. They also played simultaneously in the Western League between 1901 and 1909, winning it in their first two seasons.

2:  Portsmouth joined the Football League in 1920 and have been there ever since. They've played in all four tiers of the league, their best finish coming in 1949 and 1950 when they were champions of the 1st Division. Their worst finish came in 2015 when they finished 16th in League 2, following years of financial issues.

3:  The club won the FA Cup in 1939 (beating Wolves 4-1) and 2008 (beating Cardiff City 1-0) and were runners-up on three further occasions. They were victims of a giant-killing in2014 as non-league Aldershot Town beat them in a first-round replay.

4  Portsmouth's best run in the League Cup has been the Quarter Final, last reached in 2009/10 when they lost 4-2 to Aston Villa.

5  Portsmouth only foray into Europe came in 2008 following their FA Cup win. In the Europa League, they beat Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes over two legs before finishing 4th in a group containing Sporting Braga, AC Milan, VFL Wolfsburg and Heerenveen.

6:  Other cup wins include the EFL Trophy in 2019, the Hampshire Senior Cup (four times) and the Premier League Asia Trophy in 2007.

7:  Portsmouth's first-ever manager was Frank Brettell who managed the club from August 1898 to May 1901. He remains their most successful in terms of win rate with a record of 63.64 games won. Their least successful was Tony Adams with an 18% win rate during an ill-fated spell in the 2008/09 season.

8  The club has played at Fratton Park since their formation. The modern day all seated capacity is around 20,000 though they had a record attendance of 51,385 in February 1949 for an FA Cup Quarter Final game against Derby County.

9  Portsmouth has a fierce rivalry with near-neighbours Southampton. The Saints currently play in the Premier League and have the better record against Pompey with 35 wins to 21. Their record win came in April 2005 as they won 4-1 in a Premier League game.

10 Famous Pompey fans include Tommy Boyd, Ian Darke and Fred Dineage. Also, John 'Portsmouth Football Club' Westwood who officially added the club's name to his own.  

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.



VISIT 4: PORTSMOUTH 2-0 WYCOMBE (L1 26/12/19)

As part of my intention to update some of my older blogs, I planned in a visit to Portsmouth v Wycombe as soon as the fixtures came out. The Boxing Day date suited me and I made sure to request a ticket as one of my Christmas presents to keep my football costs down. It would be my 4th visit to Fratton Park - I'd seen Wycombe there twice in 2013 - the original game abandoned at a halftime scoreline of 1-1 following a torrential rainstorm which required me to walk through deep water to get back to my car. This time I'd be going on the Independent Supporters Club coach, handy as it would pick up from near my house. I had a good Christmas Day with the family, getting some nice stuff and having a fair few drinks which resulted in me falling asleep at around 8.30. As a result, I woke at 1 am and watched a couple of hours of TV before going back to sleep. Eventually, I got up around 6.30 am, catching up on my YouTube subscriptions whilst starting to update this blog. After some breakfast and getting my stuff together, I left at 9.20, arriving at the coach stop five minutes early. It was just as well as it turned up less than a minute later. There were plenty of non-league games falling victim to the weather and I was glad to not be playing that particular lottery today. After a couple more pickup points, we were on our way. Our pre-planned pub stop was the Wheelwrights Arms in Havant which appeared to have some real cider on which was great news for me. The food was on the pricier side - for example, £6 to add an extra burger patty to a meal that already cost £13. I opted for fish and chips at the more reasonable price of £10, not much more than some chippies and no doubt a lot nicer.


The rain persisted for our entire journey, though finding out that the coach was a reasonable £19 cheered me up. I also pulled out 2-1 to Wycombe on the coach sweepstake. Most of the journey was spent reading 'The Long, Long Road to Wembley that I'd got for Christmas. It made the journey pass nice and quickly. We were at the pub shortly after 11.30 and for my first pint, I had a pint of Moles Black Rat from a small brewery in Melksham. I'd had some of theirs before when I'd visited the town's football team, and it went down very nicely. The Fish and Chips came and they were great, aside from a pub in Nuneaton back in 2013, the best I've had. This was washed down with a pint of Rosie's Pig Cloudy cider. I then had a cup of mulled cider and another pint of Black Rat before we left at 1.50. It was around 25 minutes to the ground. The coach parked a fair way from the ground which was as traditional as I remember. The atmosphere and game were a little flat at first and took a while to get going. Wycombe had to rely on chances on the break and never really created anything. That said, Portsmouth weren't exactly brilliant either, but they were the better side. Ben Close and Curtis Ronan got the goals in a seven-minute spell in the middle of the second half, both from close range. The game then reached its conclusion with not a lot happening. It was about 15 minutes walk back to the coach through rain and a muted journey home. One good thing about groundhopping is that I won't have to return here for a while but it was a good day out spoiled by the football. The journey home dragged but I was back in Wycombe at 7 and back home by 7.30.


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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