First league away day of the 2017/18 season found Pompey Memes heading to Oxford.
Firstly, this blog needs to be funnier apparently as my Cardiff blog was shit – thanks Chiv.
The journey to Oxford was broken up into two parts. Starting at Fratton where I had breakfast.
Usually a breakfast panini would fill me up and satisfy me for my onward journey. Unfortunately it felt like I was chewing a marigold glove inside of a stale baguette. Not what I had in mind when I handed over 6 effing quid for it and a bottle of water.
I met up with my mate Tom who arrived 28 minutes later than arranged and about 30 seconds prior to our train arriving.
Luckily I had anticipated him being late and bought him his train ticket in advance. Honestly I feel like his carer sometimes except there’s nothing rewarding about helping Tom.
Once Tom managed to stop texting his extremely needy and drill sergeant girlfriend we actually engaged in conversation before cracking open our beers at 0945 am.
An hour later after boarding we exited the surprisingly on time SW trains service at Guildford, where we met up with our chauffeur Chiv. It’s a good thing that he’s already got a job because he’ll never make it as a cabby.
Hogging the M25 middle lane he was notified by his up to date traffic reports that there was an accident up ahead. Within seconds he was given the choice of an alternative route, which he took.
The route took us off the M25 and after about 15 minutes told us to divert into what looked like a murderers haven. Within 30 yards off narrowly scraping down the national speed limit single lane we were met by three or four brake lights, with a number of cars trying to get through the other way. We quickly did a Carl Baker and cut back.
After putting up with Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and numerous more of Chiv’s favourites artists from when he was a teenage girl, we arrived at the Kassam in time to park for free in their car park situated behind the stand that isn’t there.
Inside the Bowlplex* were already hundreds of Pompey fans. Watching some unknown team called Liverpool against Watford. Anyone that thinks football returned this weekend is an idiot. It returned last weekend as somebody rightly mentioned on Twitter.
Weaving the way to the front of the queue, we managed to order two beers each for ourselves pretty quickly. We were then joined by another one of our mates and his Dad to add the already chummy ambience created.
Any U’s fan that attempted to get their teams chants going were soon drowned out by the travelling Blue Army.
After the over zealous frisking at the Crawley friendly I was expecting to be frisked once more from stewards as we entered the ground given the history between Pompey and Oxford, but alas I walked straight in without getting my bag checked.
Burgers, burgers and more burgers. We ate burgers before taking our seats in the stand along the touchline.
Positionally we were situated in a brilliant area. The lads in front, behind and to our left were all in very boyish mode and any chant anyone wanted to get going all three groups joined in. Creating for a brilliant atmosphere, for the first half at least.
Only thing worth mentioning from the first half is the Pitman goal which was ruled out – in my opinion wrongly. That gave an invitation for the U’s fans to finally make some noise. Ultras my arse.
What ever happened to this dizzy stick at half time vs Rochdale? THE EISNER’S ARE DESTROYING THIS CLUB!!!** However at Oxford they did put on the U’s v Blues walking football during the interval. Remarkably we performed better than our actual team as we only lost 2-0.
It is definitely not walking football as those old boys were breaking into runs more times that they walked.
Enjoying the half time shenanigans to the left of us were a middle aged couple who looked like they were dressed for a casual day at Ascot rather than football. Each to their own and they did join in with the atmosphere once they’d consumed their giant cherry bakewell each.
After enjoying Cardiff’s spectacular urinals, Oxford treated us too with decent League 1 standard bogs. I’m going to start rating the shitters at every ground. Cardiff 9/10 Oxford 7/10.
I enjoyed the sticker graffiti from previous teams such as Birmingham, Port Cale and Leicester. Now it had a couple of new additions from Pompey.
The second-half was shit to be honest. It’s easier to name Burgess, May and Whatmough as the bright sparks of a poor second-half team.
Despite another error from McGee I still think he’s a quality shot stopper and a quality future prospect.
I also don’t think either of our penalty shouts were justified, however Bae’s one may have been given by the other referee that came on mid way through the second half.
It’s given us a reality check as we were so used to winning last year, however Oxford were much better than us, although we had numerous injury problems with only a quarter of our first choice defenders playing.
I think people need to start realising too that Chaplin is very over rated and inconsistent, and as brilliant as Pitman is, he’s very deep.
We need a new left-back since Holmes-Dennis is out for the year, and also a new centre-midfielder. I’ll ask this – with Pitman playing so deep and Chaplin often not good enough, do we need another striker? We’d win the league if we had Ikapeazu…
I wasn’t however too disappointed with the result as I managed to piss Chiv off on the way home which cheered me up massive.
Keep the faith.
*It’s just a bowling alley
**Ffs I’m joking