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Dean Court
AFC Bournemouth v Portsmouth

Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 7.45pm
Pre-season friendly
 Martin Hewitt

(Portsmouth fan)

My trip to Bournemouth was my first visit for nearly twenty years. Remarkable really as it is only 52 miles from my front door. This was a freindly on a Wednesday evening and was never going to be end to end action, and it wasn't! It ended 1-0 to Pompey with a disputed penalty.

I travelled by car, with my wife and son aged seven. As it was also my friends stag night on the Friday night in Bournemouth, we decided to make it a five day break. We stayed at the Wessex Hotel in West Cliff and it was excellent for the price we paid.

On the day of the game my wife dropped me and the boy off at The Queens pub a stroll of approximately 5 minutes from the ground. I only drink Stella which was 3.45 a pnit which I thought was a bit inflated. Friendly bar staff and felt safe all the time we were in there.

One thing that did stand out was the way things were organised when we got to the ground albeit even my son had his ruck sack searched.
Inside was very neat and tidy and considering it only took months to build was impressive. The view was excellent (we were in Row J) and organised.  Unfortunately i can't comment on the atmosphere because i had the pleasure (????) of sitting four rows in front of John West and his Band so thats all I heard throughout the game!
I though the prices inside the stadium were also on the steep side. A bottle of beer was 3.50 for a 275ml bottle, a stone cold hot dog was also 3.50. If i'd seen a price board beforehand I wouldn't have bothered. After the game we met my missus back at the pub and returned to our hotel.

Just a brief summary of the week. Bournemouth is fantastic for a few days away, loads of  cheap hotels, excellent food places and really cheap prices. Two nights we ate at the Harbour Lights overlooking the sea and next to the pier 2 meals for 10 quid. The Bar on the Beach was great for fresh seafood. The beaches were clean and always kept clear of mess, the views were fabulous. Nightlife was great and to my surprise was in the town centre and not near the coastal strip and again it felt safe.
To  end don't just go for the footy, make a weekend of it. It's great!!

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