Cherry Records Fan's Stadium - AFC Wimbledon
Saturday, September 3rd 2011,
V Port Vale, League Two 3pm
By Paul Dickinson
With only seven grounds of the current 92 still to do and Leeds not playing due to the International break, a trip to London with my daughter allowed me to get another one ticked off
Having planned this trip a while ago, we were able to get cheap train tickets from Leeds and arrived in Kings Cross at 12.30pm. After a couple of drinks at my favourite real ale pub in London (The Harp, nr Charing Cross Station), I left my daughter to go shopping for the afternoon and a lovely 10 minute walk in the sunshine took me to Waterloo station, where I caught the 1.55pm train to Norbiton.
Following the directions in the ground guide (although just follow the blue & yellow shirts), I arrived at the ground at 2.35pm, having plenty of time to buy a programme, bottle of water etc, We had already eaten in central London, so I didn't try the food around the ground, but the cafe and fish & chip shop on the main road outside, were both doing a roaring trade
Having visited 75 non league grounds already, I was interested to see how Kingsmeadow would look, as it does of course now host both league and non league football. My 1st impressions were positive, I had bought a terrace ticket online for the Kingston Road stand and managed to get a perfect view of the pitch, on the back row, just to the left of the goal.
It was a very enjoyable game to watch as a neutral - Port Vale completely dominated the 1st half and should have been 3 up before the home side scored. The 2nd half was more even, capped off by a winning goal in the 5th minute of injury time!
It was a straightforward walk back to the train station afterwards and I was enjoying another real ale by 6pm -this time in the Betjeman Arms in St Pancras Station
Overall, another fantastic groundhopping day out. The programme was a better quality than many I buy at Championship games, the AFC Wimbledon fans I spoke to during the game were very friendly and I can always say that "I was there" to see the 1st home win for AFC Wimbledon as a league club.
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