1. Why you were
looking forward to going to the ground (or not as
the case may be):
I had not been to Dean Court, as it was known back
then since the Stadium was rebuilt in 2001
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
One of Torquay's nearest league teams, but still a
difficult 2.5 hour journey dodging the Summer
tourist traffic. Our route took us on the A30 past
Exeter airport, Honiton, Dorcester. Very little
dual carrigeway and too many caravans. The Sat Nav
took us straight to the ground.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
The ground is near Boscombe beach so we made our
way down there in search of a chippy. Even though
it was an August evening the place was very quiet.
Two cafes we found were both closing (6pm!) and so
we made our way back to the ground after a walk
along the sea front. Boscombe town centre appears
very run down in comparison to neighbouring
Bounremouth, but not nearly as much as
Cleethorpes. The area around the ground was very
friendly. There seemed to be quite a surprise that
Torquay had brough around 300 fans for a Johnson's
Watching Paint Dry Cup Match.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
The first thing you notice about the ground is the
sheer amount of space surrounding it on three
sides. It is set in a park, which is obviously
highly used by the local community. The other
thing you notice is the high percentage of
middle class supporters in relation to other lower
league clubs. This is clearly a wealthy area,
similar to the supporters at Cheltenham or
The turnstiles did not open until 7.15pm, 30
minutes before kick-off. Bournemouth had done an
excellent job of playing down the match on their
website with comments such as "Only 2 stands will
be open due to the low crowds traditionally
experienced at JPT games" and "Manager will make 5
changes to team". Prices were cut to £10 for
adults and £5 for concessions. Around half of what
they usually charge.
Dean Court, as I will call it for old times sake
was completely rebuilt in 2001. This is certainly
not the ground for a football ground enthusiast.
Bland is an understatement.
The designers got a lot right, good legroom,
excellent views, large toilets, large exit gates.
What they missed out on was an sort of
character....and I mean any sort at all. This
ground could be anywhere and more disappointing
than anything is the state of disrepair it is in
already - in less than 10 years after being built.
The roofs of the stands and the sides of the
stands have perspex sheeting, which is fading to a
tobacco brown colour, the seats, once bright and
colourful, have started to fade, the walls outside
parts of the ground are green with algae. 10 years
on, it needs a good spruce up to be honest.
We were put in the East Stand. To our left was the
temporary open end, which despite closing the
ground on all 4 sides, still gives it a very open
feel. Once again, as is so common nowadays, we
were so far away from the home fans you would have
thought we were Leeds United!
Torquay's away support is quite loud, but was met
with little from the North Stand, where most of
the louder Bournemouth fans stood. Opposite the
Main Stand looked like a subbuteo stadium with no
one moving for what seemed like the entire match.
Had the away fans been moved towards the North
Stand the atmosphere would have been so much
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The stewards were clearly bored and overstaffed,
but, to be fair, friendly. We had disabled
supporter with us, so asked for parking and it
took no fewer than 3 of them to decide where to
put us, moving us three times before eventually
putting us as far from the away turnstiles as it
was possible to get! The car park was only one
third full! There was also this awkward disbelief
from the stewards, that you only seem to get at
football, that because our disabled guest did not
have a wheelchair or a stick....how could he
possibly be disabled! More training needed I
Once inside the ground this same fan sat in the
front row "You can't sit there...that's for
disabled supporters"...and so the saga continued.
The stewards were overall a laid back bunch. The
singing fans stood the whole match with no issues.
The flags were allowed up, but in the far
corner...which sort of defeated their purpose.
Pasties, pies, burgers were £3. Very commercial
food with branded staff and signage and as always
a complete rip off.
Torquay won 3 - nil on penalties. The match was
not bad, but I think the whole crowd was relieved
when there was no extra time. The way in which
Bournemouth took their penalties did make me
wonder if they truely wanted to win the
tie....which, if they missed deliberately would
have been so unfair to their 3,000
supporters....but that linked to the club
statements before the game did make me wonder...
6. Comment on
getting away from the ground after the game:
The crowd was 3,140, half of Bournemouths average.
It still took us a good twenty minutes to get a
mile from the ground.
7. Summary of
overall thoughts of the day out:
A good evening out, yet another Torquay clean
sheet and a chance for a pop at Exeter or Plymouth
in the next round....now that would not be
watching paint dry!