Pompey Memes were back on the road as they headed to Cardiff City for the first round of the Carabao Cup.
I finished work at 12pm Tuesday afternoon and after swapping my eco friendly shite courtesy car with a relatives German powerhouse I first headed for scum!
Similarly one friend who works within eleven fingers land finished work at midday, so together we could travel up to Wales with 2008 FA Cup car accessories stuck to the back window.
The journey was truly awful, only because of the weather. The roads were pretty empty although I could hardly tell as the window wipers were barely keeping the window screen visible. Even when the rain stopped I still thought the visibility was shocking.
After paying the £7 fee to enter Wales we headed on through Newport with locked doors before ringing our mate who stayed overnight in Cardiff.
The Welsh have missed a trick with their toll, if they charged drivers to leave the country I think people would pay anything from £10 – £50 just so they could get out. It’s a liberty you’ve got to pay to actually enter Cymru*.
Our mate had provided in the phone call his current location and with postcode in Sat Nav we arrived at him only half an hour later. That was after a Tesco lorry driving had eventually vacated one of the narrow sides street we needed once he had his fill of reversing into some residents cars. Bloody Welsh!
Our plan was going to be to park near the stadium and head to town afterwards for some food but after being refused entry to the home car park and guided to the away allotment we spotted a pub on the corner only a minute away from the ground.
It’s worth noting you can actually see the Millennium Stadium just outside of he Cardiff City ground.
Once in the pub we ordered our food. Burgers, pies and half a chicken, £10 each wasn’t bad at all. The pub in question wouldn’t let anyone buy drinks unless they had purchased food – which is a great idea.
Despite being seconds away from the ground it was pretty quiet and when we went to get another drink with our food receipt in hand serve time at the bar was very quick.
After being told at the dinner table only dickheads and aspiring journalist (Ed – which are you?) write blogs we left the pub, entered the cold Cardiff air and strolled back to the car when I could swap my hoodie for my fat puffa coat.
Honestly I feel the cold so much, I reckon the long johns might need to come out for Wigham away.
After a quick frisk from the steward, we wandered through the turnstile. I pushed the turnstile too soon before I actually entered so I ended up getting whacked in the ribs with the metal bars. Love life.
A quick stop for a slash and then the other two queued up for one more beer each. You can tell Cardiff are further up the football league pyramid, their toilets wouldn’t have looked out of place at Buckingham Palace.
Individual urines and plenty of them! It’s funny how bar etiquette and toilet etiquette aren’t parallel. Someone will get annoyed at you if you get a drink before them if they were queuing at the bar, but if you sneak into a urinal after they’ve waited not a word is said.
With one beer hidden in my pocket we headed up to find some decent seats, once we found an area we liked. Part of me is glad we don’t have to visit that many big grounds each season as we felt, like Coventry in the cup last year, so far away.
With the visibility still bad which I assumed from the weather, we were quite far away from the action. I seemed to be the only one who struggled seeing which I couldn’t work out why. I was fortunate enough to have the patience of my mates who answered me every time I asked “Which player done that?” or “Who was that?” – which was a lot.
The Bluebirds stadium was another generic ground that felt very soulless. A poor showing too from their fans. They did however seem to greet Pompey and our new America owners with their own special flag** obviously made just for the occasion.
Not many changes from Jackett as he said he wouldn’t, but Haunstrup, Naismith and May in. Probably others, but I can’t remember.
May come the end of the 120 minutes was a contender for MotM and actually if he keeps playing like that I’d rather have him as our league centre midfield over Baker. Although my MotM would have been Christian Burgess.
Unfortunately, after wishing to see Haunstrup play more this season I don’t think we will. He was the weakest link on the pitch and although he was playing against a much stronger opposition, even his positional play was poor.
I hope if he goes out on loan it’s to a League Two team rather than non league. He needs a challenge and I can’t wait to see him be given another go.
Bennett was alright, although like Pompey in the final third he just wasn’t clinical enough. Cardiff were a few yards quicker than us and despite our brave performance they probably did deserve to nick it.
McGee’s shot stopping is undoubtedly quality whereas his handling at times has you worried. Something he doesn’t have so far is good distribution, something which a Posh fan told me the day after we signed him.
It was good to see his counterpart Brian Murphy hasn’t change since he’s left Pompey. He’s just as rubbish and with the added abuse and pressure the away fans were giving him he was by far Cardiff’s worst player. It was nice to be able to abuse Brian Murphy one last time.
It’s a shame because I wouldn’t have minded another cup fixture again soon*** but that’s just the way football is. It was nice to hear Plymuff got dicked and Oxford were also taken to ET, squashing my fears that we would be knackered against them come Saturday.
Even though we took the lead from where I was the lack of limbs would have only been down to the empty seats around us, but 851 on a Tuesday evening in Wales is pretty good going.
Considering the way we played against a team a league above, I reckon we’re in for another good season.
Stuart O’Keefe didn’t impress me as much as I had hoped he would however it sounds like Warnock won’t let him go until he’s got a replacement .
After cheering off the lads we got to the car and set of quite quickly and easily. Fairly upbeat about the way we played despite the last minute goal.
Even though it wasn’t raining as much on the way back I still felt visibility was poor. After dropping my mates off home, I finally got in at about 2am to discover I had only put one contact lense in…
*Welsh for Wales
**Malayasia flag, please don’t make me explain it