Date:Thursday November 25 2010
2010/11 season v Barnsley in the league at Oakwell, Saturday 20th November 2010 - wellyit has more for us with an account of the day, read on...
When we got ourselves relegated last season, I was consoled by the prospect of visiting some of the less pretentious clubs. I usually only do six or seven games per season and it so happens that the trip to Barnsley fell in with other commitments. It was also another ground to 'tick-off'.
I would prefer to do these trips completely by public transport, but the costs from Somerset are prohibitive. To facilitate a few pre-match pints and see some of the town, I left home at 6:45, drove around to pick-up my mate Sid and then on up to Birmingham Airport. From there it was a coach to Sheffield Meadowhall and then train onto Barnsley. We were there by 12:30 and set off to find some a nice local pub with some local ale. This proved to be quite difficult. We walked in and out of a couple of places that just had the usual national beers available. The first real ale we saw was one from Somerset. We had to resort to a Wetherspoons in the end. Eventually we did find one decent pub with the early footy on and a pint of Barnsley ale. It was one next to station.
Oakwell is an old ground in a typical northern residential area. We arrived about ten minutes before kick-off. Pompey were given about a third of one end with the rest of the stand empty, as was half of another stand. The teams appeared from a portable tunnel at our end and through a cordon of cheerleaders. The main team news was that Ward was at left back.
We started quite brightly and it was not difficult to out-sing our hosts. But it was not long before the mistakes on both sides became the theme of the game. We were caught out in midfield and our defence seemed out of shape as the ball was worked to Barnsley player on the edge of the box who had time to pick his spot. We weren't creating much up front and the only time Kitson was touching the ball was when someone aimed at his head from a long way off. Lawrence kept drifting infield. It wasn't pretty.
I resisted the temptation of another John Smith's at half-time and looked forward to Pompey attacking our end in the second-half. It didn't get much better though. The referee made a couple of howlers and this managed to stir the home support. Our support started to resort to slagging-off the opposition, which only goes to show them that they were on top. I liked the 'Your just a small town in Sheffield' chant though.
Kanu eventually replaced Kitson, but we still tried our best to ignore his feet by aiming at his head. Our passing was poor and rushed. Utaka was drifting into the middle until Ciftci replaced him. There was a half-chance at the end for Nuge, but the wet ball cannoned back into him off their keeper and out for a goal kick. That was that then. Halford gave his shirt to one of our supporters and most applauded us as they trudged off.
Just the trip home then.
We had a bit of a wait at Meadowhall. Just time for a John Smith's in a busy shopping mall. We arrived home at 11. I was disappointed with Barnsley town centre, but am envious of the public transport up there. I shall not be in any rush to return and I doubt if any of our players will.
Written by wellyit.
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Date:Thursday November 25 2010
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