First item on the agenda is to praise every single fan that stayed away from Fratton Park Tuesday night for the Checkashite bollocks that Mr Jackett unfortunately is taking fairly seriously.
After an appalling loss the weekend before, I was itching to see a Pompey side put things right as soon as they could, but like many I resisted the dark temptation as needs must, so well done everyone! You’ve earned MOTM vs Crawley.
My man of that match I hate to say might have to be Chiv who I hate to praise. Oktoberfest almost got the better of me Saturday evening and after I promised a week before that I’d drive to Gillingham, I broke that promise due to self inflicted illness. I vow never to drink again*.
So thanks to him for stepping up when I needed it. I can go back to slating his awful driving and embarrassing playlists for the next away day blog when we share a hotel in Doncaster.
As away days go, brace yourself, it was pretty bloody flat.
The journey to be fair was actual made of good discussion regarding Jackett, the squad and fixtures to be honest, and with only two of us, me feeling worse for wear, we failed to abuse each other to the normal levels that we would.
We took note from the Gillingham’s website about which roads to park down due to restrictions near the ground which we later found out were only restricted Monday to Saturday. The game obviously was played on Sunday due to shameless Sky…
That said it wasn’t a far walk. It felt very strange to walk past a pub pre-match and not enter it, however my stomach turned just at the sight of one. We walked on and thank f*** the weather was fine as the scaffolding that the Gills call an away end failed to have a roof.
It was like Newport County’s away but on a much larger scale. Those who follow our antics in podcast and tweets etc, know how little we rate Rodney Parade and Gillingham narrowly avoid being up there with them as one of the worse away ends we’ve been to because their floor hasn’t rotted.
The rest of the ground was really decent, and I couldn’t agree with the “garden shed” comparison sung by the Pompey fans. It reminded me in parts of a blue Brisbane Road (Leyton Orient’s ground) without the flats in each corner.
Upon entry into the ground once more we have to acknowledge the general friendliness of the stewards and even the local plod who helped erect our flag in the best position we could. The poor bloke had OSD and once we’d finished whacking it up it looked more pissed than I was the previous night.
We changed seats in the upper tier once and in the end decided we’d prefer to be right at the back rather than in the middle of the upper tier. The stand was split into upper and lower section which were both from what we could see filled with the travelling Blue Army, photos on social media later revealed that wasn’t the case.
I’ll hold my hands up here and you can call me a pussy if you like but I have an awful fear of heights and maybe the last row of a bouncy temporary stand wasn’t the greatest idea.
Once I had the courage to turn around and admire the view we noticed what is likely to be the shittest balcony the U.K has to offer. I’m sure you’ll agree from the photo below that the space hasn’t been used as efficiently as it could have been.
I’m sure that wood railing was well worth the money for that fantastic addition they’ve made to their house. If they advertise ‘terrace house with balcony’ we all know they’re f****** lying.
The. Best. Loos. So. Far.
I can’t really explain them however they’ve got an in door and an out door, which I was amazed to see the pissed football fans obey.
Once you’re in it’s like an IKEA layout. You’ve got to walk past it all to get out. First the pissers, then the shitters, then the basins and then the door. Ingenious. They were extremely clean too, despite having cream tiling the whole way round. The bogs certainly were an improvement from the stand.
The food wasn’t that great though. One burger with a stale bun and the wettest tomato I’ve ever had. I may have accidentally juiced onto the poor oblivious girl in the row in front. It wasn’t my fault, it was the tomato. Again I have to big up the man accompanying me as he bought me the burger.
It may have been the fact there was no roof, it may have been that it was a Sunday but the atmosphere you may have heard on Sky was spot on. There wasn’t one. People just didn’t sing.
Yes there is always the small group that are singing constantly but not in the masses like it usually is. We can’t even blame the game for lack of atmosphere as no one sung from minute one.
The most entertaining part of the match may have been when the goalkeeper failed to get the corner flag back into the ground after it had been knocked out. Alas, every man fears not getting it in the hole.
The home fans were very supportive of the sub/coach/ball boy that did manage to get it in two minutes later after the flag was left lying down in the corner. Something the ref should never have let happen. They were fairly loud at times, especially in their attempts to tell their owner to “get out of our club”.
You have to sympathize with them, and you have to be grateful for our new owners who were also in attendance.
I won’t bore you with my assessment of the match as you all probably watched it via some amazing way be it legal or illegal but Kennedy, Main and Hawkins were brilliant.
Gillingham were shit and the Pompey fan that threw the pyro into the disable fans section – you’re a disgrace.
Don’t read too much into the win against the poorest team we’ve played so far. It’ll be interesting to see how we fare in our next match against the Fake Dons and hopefully get our first back to back league wins of the season.
Keep the faith.
Photos: Colin Farmery / Pompey Memes