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My day out at Fratton in up over from down under



Coming over from Australia is always exciting, particularly as it takes in a visit to Fratton Park and the opportunity to see the beloved Blues in action. The game I chose in advance was based on potential costs and a winnable match. This match was to be Doncaster Rovers. The Montgomery lounge was selected even though the ground tour was no longer part of the day's experience.

On arrival the Montgomery Lounge was deserted and no draught beer was on offer. Rolls and sandwiches were near by. This was not what I expected and I mentioned it to Pompey staff. I was told that due to low numbers I was to be upgraded to the Chimes Lounge at no extra cost, along with my friends. We were very happy with what was on offer and so our day improved. The weather was also shining on us, so all was set for a memorable afternoon.

We took our positions in the 'executive' area where the leg room was still less than cattle class in the air and at 3.00 we were away. Was that Herman Hreidarsson sitting in the next row? Well I never, we didn't have to wait long for the first goal as Luke Varney rolled it in from a huge Henderson clearance. It also turned out to be the day's fastest goal in the country (2 mins 18 secs). Doncaster were back on terms, however midway through the half and when the half-time whistle blew the game was in the balance and appeared to be an arm wrestle.

The second half proved to be a different story for Pompey as the lads turned on the style with 2 more goals. This was the very result I prayed for and the manner it was achieved in added to the celebrations. Returning to the lounge, we knocked back a few more ales and I ran in to a few ex players. First was Chris Kamara, then I had chats with Vince Hilaire (who works for the club), Linvoy Primus and the injured Benjani.

The talk with Vince was particularly enlightening as I mentioned the 2 centered balls from him that Alan Biley put away in injury time against Oxford United back near Christmas 1984. He said I had a good memory but in truth my story about this game featured in the book PORTSMOUTH TILL I DIE. After leaving the lounge it was time to buy the Sports Mail and enjoy a few more ales in Wetherspoons. Ironically I met other friends from Godalming and Farncombe that I have become to know over the years.

And so the day came to an end, we had secured 15 points, moved up the ladder and were starting to look like the side we should be. The memories of my day with linger as I head back to Sydney on 13th November.

Play Up Pompey.

Written by pompeygray (Dave Matthews).

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeygray Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 5 2011

Time: 9:54AM

Your Comments

Glad you had a good day out Pompeygray but your memories of the Oxford game are a little cloudy I think. If memory serves (no guarantee on that of course), I think the crosses were provided by Neil Webb and Mick Kennedy. Vince was a great player for us but, ironically, the one area of his game that could have done with some improvement was his crossing.
Exgaffer
The goals are somewhere on youtube for those wanting to settle argument but I thought Santa provided one of the presents for Biley!! Good to hear from you Dave.
eastneydave
Remember the game well but who put the crosses in .. Jeez no idea I was to delirious to care .. I'll check out your story in the book Dave.. I'm in there too ... Look for the kid in the Pompey Kit four or five pages from the back .. So Near So Far.. Anyway .. great to hear from you and glad you created a few more memories from your visit this time too..
Chix
 

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