The story of the season - Watford (h)
2010/11 season v Watford in the league at Fratton, Friday 15th - Monday 18th October 2010.
It was back to business after the week off, due to the international break, and as this was a home game it meant the traditional weekend trip to Cosham and the weekend stay.
This weekend was slightly different though as I was taking Trina to her first taste of a live football match, be that Pompey or anyone else. She must love me as she agreed to spend the weekend with my family and go to Fortress Fratton, although with a pint, a Monster Mick and a free game on offer what more could she asked for eh...
My journey this time began on Friday morning, the 09.59 to London Paddington was my first connection from Ivybridge - in typical First Great Western style it was late although fortunately not too late to mean missing a connection at Newton Abbot. I now had to change on this train to get through to Dawlish as the direct service only seems to run during the summer. From Newton it was the 10.35 to Exmouth, yep you guessed it late again although only a few minutes so I arrived around on schedule to Dawlish. Having decided that I did not think Trina was meeting me, as she was not waiting like she often is, I carried on and nipped into the co-op to get some drinks for our journey - that was when I got word from her that she was at the station. I had missed her as she was running late so we agreed she would meet me there where I would wait.
She had pre-arranged to go out with some work mates for a few drinks that lunchtime, 3 vodka's later she returned, although her absence meant I could do a bit of work for a couple of hours, which I did. We then had to go out for a while as it was my brother's girlfriend's daughter's birthday and she was having a birthday party in the town at The Monkey House. It was only a brief stay, there is only so much of screaming kids you can handle anyway, as we had to get back to eat before our journey to Cosham began that evening.
Having got all that out of the way off we set for the first leg of the journey and the 18.41 from Dawlish - Exeter St Davids, as always a train was also a little late again, only a few minutes mind and we had time to kill between trains anyway. The 19.27 Exeter St Davids - London Waterloo was on time and ran smoothly, arriving on time into Basingstoke where we waited for the 22.21 for the final leg of the journey to Cosham, which was again on time yet was a few minutes late leaving due to a problem ahead of us. Finally we arrived into Cosham around 11.25pm, making our way to my Aunties house - she and my Uncle were already in bed and she had left a note to say that Matt was out - so we took our stuff up and departed to the bedroom...
Saturday arrived, game day was here although a nice lay in was welcomed - 8.30am might not sound like much of a lay in although I class this as such.
I got up but Trina stayed in bed for a little longer. My aunty was preparing to go shopping and Matt was, well being Matt, lounging on the sofa! After a quick cuppa it was time to get showered with Trina coming down around 10ish, having showered etc. With Trina coming it meant some shifting around of seats - Phil (Lemmi) was unable to make it due to work commitments so Michelle (Pennymoon) was going to sit in my seat with Tony and Gill so Trina and I could sit in their seats, it turned out that Michelle could not make it either so with a ticket going spare Matt eventually decided that he would come along and use my ticket. Michelle dropped hers round to my Aunties around 11.30ish, we set off around 12.30 to catch the 12.58 train although the previous one was running late so we managed to jump on that, which was the train Ken, Richie and Lord Trivet were on. Upon arrival we all wondered down to The Rutland were Tony and Gill were waiting, of course it was 'who wants a pint' first thing and I sorted these out for Matt, Trina and I. Paul (paultsmouth) soon arrived so we had a bit of a chat before Tony, Gill, Matt, Trina and I set off just before 2pm - very, very early for me as I usually stay in the pub until around 2.45!
Having bragged about the Monster Mick burger I hoped it would live up to expectation, and I think that it did - although Trina struggled a little with the 'large cheeseburger' so would 'probably' go for the smaller one next time, assuming there would be a next time, which I hoped that there would be as it would mean a lot to me, as she does to me, if she got some enjoyment from it and wanted to make the occasional journey? I would find this out during the course of the game, so it was fingers crossed...
So, onto the game itself - into the ground for around 2.40pm was uncharted territory to me, although this meant I got to see the 'would be' or 'could be' new signing, Greg Halford, warming up with the rest of the lads. Matt took his seat with Tony and Gill, my usual seat, and Trina and I went down to what are Phil and Michelle's. Not a bad view I must say, and without the minor hindrance that mine has of a pillar, although it was sometimes difficult to see the left hand touchline, in the corner between North Lower and Milton End.
When Hayden Mullins, for a second successive Fratton game, blasted home the opener - and what a belter it was! - you sensed it was going to be a good day but as the half went on you then felt, well I did, that missed chances - and we had some, especially on the break - could cost and eventually in the 2nd half it did when Watford struck and equaliser and then went ahead as the game, to be fair following their dominance, was turned on its head when they came from one down to be 2-1 up. Trina, who admittedly, was not entirely enjoying the football early on - to be fair if football has not been your game it can be difficult, as with anything, to instantly pick it up - grew into it to say that the did enjoy it in the end, although taking in the atmosphere and watching the Fratton End was something she particularly enjoyed. So, I sensed I had a chance of winning her over.
In a mad period that had seen us lose a lead to be behind we then turned it round and saw Jamie Ashdown make an incredible treble save to be leading 3-2 after goals from Dave Kitson and Mikey Brown, seeing out the 5 minutes of injury-time - quite where that came from I was not sure - to clinch a win, a third straight home win and meaning our unbeaten run stretched to 4...
Having applauded the players off the pitch we then met Matt and finally joined up with Paul, Saunders and Andy to make our way to the bus to get back to Cosham, where we were going round to my other cousin - Louise - for a curry, what more could Trina have asked for eh? A pint, Monster Mick, football match, and then a curry and there was even time for a cheeky pint at 'spoons in Cosham. A fine day, all in all, and set us up nicely for the rest of the weekend, which would see us have an easy day Sunday having a cracking roast and taking in a walk to Port Solent, and of course a pint.
Monday saw us travel home, the 10.39 Portsmouth - Cardiff Central was our first train and this was all going smoothly until Scumhampton way when things suddenly kicked-off! Some guy had been happily sat on a table seat, by the window, minding his own business when a woman appeared to randomly ask him, well seemed more like tell him, to move so she could sit where he was by the window! It was totally bizarre and they had a full blown argument with him accusing her of 'assaulting' him and using 'abusive language' as well as being 'anti-social' - this running feud continued on and off up until around Warminster. I was stunned as I had not heard anything like it before, and whilst Trina and I found it slightly funny, as most would, it annoyed me quite a lot. The funniest thing in the end was the fact that she ended up sitting on the outside, when she had kicked up such a stink to sit on the inside! On our second train from Westbury - Exeter St Davids there were screaming kids but we eventually made it back to Trina, a good weekend had by all and 3pts in the bank for Pompey!
Next up, on the Tuesday, we were back in action again with the battle - which could be quite literally that, on and off the pitch - with Millwall. This was going to the second game this season that I would be missing, and successive away game as the financial bite took hold more, although Richie would again be filling in to do the account...
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