The story of the season - Scunthorpe (a)
2010/11 season v Scunthorpe in the league at Glanford Park, Saturday 7th May 2011.
Scunthorpe was the fixture that 'everyman and his dog' was talking about going to. Talks of people 'definitely going' could be heard from many as they exited Wembley after we lost in the FA cup final last season!
The reality was that we did not 'really' quite sell out until the day before, and even that is contestable that we did despite the announcement from The Pompey Site on the Friday that we had. A final game of the season at a ground that few would have gone to before, and might not again, struggling to find takers made it a little disappointing to be honest. That said costs mount up these days etc. and those that went made themselves heard...
Nevertheless I had a most enjoyable time and was more than happy I went.
An early start would be needed due to the 12.45pm kick-off time, so I set off a little before 5.45am for the short journey to Dawlish train station to catch my 05:55 - Paignton train so I could meet Pikey, a Manyoo fan who travels with us occasionally, to catch a lift from Newton Abbot with him to ensure I made it to Exeter on time to meet Ken, who was the driver for the day.
6.30am at the industrial estate in Exeter was the targeted time and we made that fine. Richie would be picked up from Tiverton Parkway en-route and sure enough he waited when we arrived around 7ish I would think? From the outset it looked like it had been a heavy night for him and he soon confirmed that he was very much hungover; in fact I would say that he was still half cut when we picked him up!
He, as often happens - hangover or not - slept all the way...
But for a problem on the M1, with a reported accident, we would have arrived earlier than we did although about 12ish was not bad going given the detour we had to make. A pint awaited, care of Tony, so that was a result when we arrived at The Old Farmhouse, literally 5 minutes walk from the ground.
What a fantastic little old ground it was too! A good place to end the season, shame about our 1st half showing! The less said about that the better. Half time was entertaining though as one of Ken's contracts, I think it was via the FSF, who was a Scunny fans managed to get us into the Scunthorpe end. We were being let in through the otherwise blocked off gates, which made me feel important. We could also get a pint nice an easy without queuing at all, not bad considering the bar at our end was shut shortly after half time as they could not fit anymore in!
2nd half was much better, and a much better way to end the season - its just a shame that Dave Nugent's goal could not have come some 15-20 minutes earlier as more would have followed I suspect, but hey ho we ended with a 1-1 draw. Against a side already relegated we would have expected more, but then again they were almost certainly more up for it than our players were, and they were certainly made aware of this fact towards the end of the 1st half and that must have had some impact on making them play better in the 2nd.
The journey home was smooth enough, listening to Radio 5 for most of it taking commentary of West Ham - Blackburn and then 606 with us back at the industrial estate for around 7.45pm. This meant I had a chance of making the 20:06 - Dawlish from Newton Abbot, and Pikey ensured that I did. As it happens there was a slight delay so it was not a rush at all...Being back in doors by 8.30pm was almost unheard of, but a very welcome change. It was a long enough day but at least this ran as planned, so it was a good job well done.
So, another season was done and dusted, and it was quite a mixed bag and seemed a long one at times yet still seemed to fly by if that makes sense?
To be honest I was glad to get to the end of the season as with all games being 'away', regardless as to where they are, this takes its tool, physically, mentally and I guess most of all financially!
That said I will soon be longing for the new season to begin, when the travels - albeit it even fewer away 'away' games being possible in 2011/12 - will begin again...
PLAY UP POMPEY!