The story of the season - Cardiff (h)
2010/11 season v Cardiff in the league at Fratton, Friday 27th - Monday 30th August 2010.
The high of the league cup game, and the dramatic penalty shootout win witnessed, was still there for me as I left for Cosham in preparation for the meeting with Cardiff the following afternoon on the Friday night.
The 18.01 from Ivybridge was again caught, which saw me into Exeter St Davids for 18.56 - having prepared myself to try to connect to go online via my mobile t'internet dongle, after a quick call to my old Mum, Mr Turner - Richie - who was working came along so we spoke for a while. This delayed my publishing of the 'from the vault: opponents in focus - Cardiff' article, although it still went on a little later. With another cyst dealt with, which ruled him out of the Palace game, he then told me that he would also be ruled out of Cardiff due to work, which meant Ken and Triv would have to drive.
Having parted company around 7.20pm the journey continued with the 19.27 London Victoria leaving on time, the usual time was spent on the netbook as I wrote an article about Kanu, which I would publish in the morning, and prepared ready several 'on this day in history' articles for the days ahead. Tiredness really set in around 9.30pm, just after Salisbury - I cannot believe, even at this early point of the season, how much I am feeling the travelling already - with extra thrown in for visits to Dawlish to see Trina - I must be getting old...
After the change at Basingstoke, boarding the 22.23, it was the final leg of the journey to Cosham. My cousin Matt has already told me to call him when I got to the station and he would walk down to meet me and walk home with me as he would be in 'The Trades' club or 'The Swan' - I suspected I would get the 'just come in and have a quick drink' treatment, although to my surprise when I called he simply asked, when I told him I was going on home, if I minded if he stay out? Of course I did not.
In I went, greeted Alfie - the dog, the brother to my own dog Holly - then sent him in the garden to do his business. After a drink, a quick check on email and putting the netbook on to charge and it was off to the land of nod...
Saturday morning arrived, and it was a belter!
For the first time this season, and indeed since the FA cup final, I would see Chixy and he would pick me up at my usual meeting place along Southampton Road - 12.50 was the agreed time, and he was on time. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and caught up briefly on footballing, and personal life, goings on as we moved onwards we went to pick up Rob (sea-juicer). Then it was to The Rutland for a pre-match drink, it would be rude not to... John (pompeyyong) - who would soon be leaving for Thailand, Phil (Lemmi) and Chris (Sneakay) were all there, with Dave (eastneydave) and Simon later joining the masses along with many regular and familiar faces.
It must have been around 2.40ish when we decided to move on, had I known what was to come I think I would stayed in the pub - then again having witnessed the dross at Preston the week before I guess I should have had an inkling really!
The less said about the game the better really - yep Cardiff looked like the dominated us, although I would say this was more to do with the fact that we were so poor and allowed them too really. With all due respect, as good as some are, they were not the 'special side' they were billed to be, as said we were very poor though, as poor as I can remember seeing us as Fratton for a long time - and I have seen some tripe, home and away, over the years...
My hopes were that with the deadline fast approaching with so many knowing that, despite our limited numbers, no one was 'safe' their minds were very much elsewhere not knowing where they would actually be the following week? Although once the window closed - unless we looked to loan out to a football league club, quite why I would not know bar the 'limited' financial reward - they were here until the New Year at least!
As always, when I go with Chixy off course, I met him and Rob at KFC - having already bumped into Jo Collins where we all had a moan about the game and what we had seen - to be dropped home, being dropped off as always on Southampton Road again and walked down to the house. The days results needed to be put in, one of my Vital Football jobs, so I did this and then had my curry, and nice it was.
Depressed at what I had seen I thought I would drown my sorrows so went out for a few drinks with Matt, although even that did little to comfort me so I decided to head back home around 9.30pm - Matt stayed out. I spent a bit of time looking around t'internet and added the match report written by Josh, he was the 'guest match reporter' with Paul (paultsmouth) still on his holidays, before turning in pretty early. I could not even talk to Trina as there was no answer at home and the mobile was going straight to voicemail - the battery had died while she was round her Aunties.
Sunday proved a 'day of rest', although some time was spent with my other cousin Louise and her kids Mason and Imogen, Monday proved pretty much the same as well - with some work also done though before I caught my train home on the Bank Holiday Monday, the 18.39 from Cosham that would get me home for 23.10, via almost an hour wait at Westbury where I spent quite a lot of time on the phone to Trina catching up.
The international break was coming up now, to be honest I was grateful for this in many ways, and not just for a break from travelling - although there was not really going to be a break as I would be taking Trina away for the weekend on my weekend off - and just hoped that it would give those at Portsmouth Football Club some time to think long and hard about various things and we came back with a better attitude for the game against Ipswich, the first we would play in September - a month that would be important to us...
PLAY UP POMPEY!