My day out at Fratton in up over from down under
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).
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