The story of the season - Brighton (a)
2010/11 season v Brighton in the FA cup at The Withdean Stadium, Saturday 8th January 2011
I know that this is late, although better late than never I guess?
Then again this was the FA cup game against Brighton we are talking about so perhaps revisiting, and opening old wounds, is not such a good idea...
From Wembley to The Withdean, with all due respect to Brighton, this was some comedown and a far cry from 'the norm' - then again A LOT has, and continues, to change with Pompey these days!
An early start meant me getting a train from Dawlish at around 6.50am; I think that was the time? We were going via London Paddington to save those all important costs. Richie got on my train at Exeter St Thomas then within minutes we were at St Davids, Ken was already waiting. The good Christian child that Richie is, ok maybe not, got the coffees in then we would wait for Betsy, who was scheduled to go with us but could not be contacted.
Of course we also waited for the train, the 07:59 - London Paddington.
The train arrived, we got on, although there was no sign of Betsy, nor had any word come through from him - there would not be all day...
It did not take long before the beers were cracked open, of course I only drank with Richie to give him some company! At Reading the plans changed, so off we got and decided to go via Clapham Junction. It was slightly before 12 that we arrived into Brighton, and not long before plod stopped me! And no this was not because I had drunk too much. They stopped me to ask where I was going - after making them aware of the pub we were off too, literally just up the road, I was asked to produce match tickets, which we did. All this because my jacket had a Pompey crest on it. WHY are all football fans constantly treated like criminals.
I have to say that after we were joined by Tony Foot and his friend in the pub, The Evening Star I think it was, we had a cracking afternoon taking in several pubs in the area. Shame the football ruined things!
At around 2.30ish we decided we should make a move so we jumped into a cab to get to the ground, which was not far but even closer via road. The less said about the football the better really. I wish it could have been as simple as 'we lost'. It was not though as the 3-1 defeat was bad enough, the ill-disciplined and well below lacklustre way that we went about it so infuriated me. Quite how Steve Cotterill could call that 'thugery' that was shown 'passion' blew my mind. There was virtually no passion. Dave Kitson seemed to set the tone with his actions - or non-actions, as seems the norm these days - with his hook that saw him see red.
At least us fans did Portsmouth Football Club proud at The Withdean on the day, as despite the embarrassment we could hold our head high.
Now for the journey back, made via Paddington. As we got back earlier than planned we caught the 19:06 instead of the 20:06 to Exeter St Davids. The plus was we would get back to Exeter at 21:39, the negative that we had no time for food - and I needed it - and also the fact that I would have to go through Dawlish just to get off at Newton Abbott to change and go back, still the negatives were outweighed by the positives as I would get in at least 40 minutes earlier, and this despite a delay. I guess I also saved money as well.
The football was not really mentioned much on the way back, not because we had lost, this - most of the time - is the norm for us as we just generally chat about regular things. This time there were lots of questions to me from Richie asking how things were going with Trina, what our plans were etc. So, I told him what I could.
So, from Wembley to The Withdean and out! Kind of shows how far Pompey have slumped.
This abject performance left you questioning 'why did you bother', but you know in your heart of hearts, as you do most weeks, if you could go back - evening knowing what would happen - you would do it all over again. After all once it is in the blood you cannot change it.
Ah well, we concentrate on the league now...
PLAY UP POMPEY!