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Goldsands Stadium
AFC Bournemouth v Notts County
Saturday, January 14th 2012, 3pm
League One
 
James Spring
(Notts County fan)


AAs a Notts County fan living in Weymouth, I tend to only get to games in the South, and Bournemouth is only an hour away from me. I was looking forward to the trip to Dean Court as I'd been there three times previously and it had been an enjoyable experience on each of these visits. Add to that, the fact that both sides have play off ambitions and it was set up to be an interesting game.
 
We caught the 11:24am train from Upway Station and arrived at Bournemouth station at around 12:20pm. Having looked at the route from the station to the ground on Google Maps, the plan was to grab a bite to eat in a KFC on the way to Dean Court. But it turned out that what is shown as KFC on Google Maps is now a Ladbrokes! We did get a bit lost at one point, as this was the first time we had caught the train to Bournemouth. But a friendly local pointed us in the right direction and we arrived at Dean Court just before 1pm.
 
Having arrived at the ground two hours before kick off, we decided to wait to welcome our team coach into the ground. I bought a matchday programme for 3 and waited with some other visiting supporters. Once the players had been welcomed we walked around to the away end. The home supporters seemed friendly enough with one stopping to shake our hands, welcoming us to Bournemouth and wishing us good luck for the rest of the season. The turnstiles opened at around 2:10pm, and after buying a cup of tea we went and found some good seats.
 
This was my fourth visit to Dean Court and I had been impressed with it every time. It's a nice little ground, and although it only has three stands, there is usually a good atmosphere about the place. Away supporters are housed in one area of the East Stand. All three stands are covered with wind shields at both sides, which seems to keep the atmosphere locked in a bit. We sat right in the back row and the view was perfect. 
 
The match was an entertaining one to say the least. It all started so well when Notts took the lead thanks to a Hamza Bencherif strike early on, but within around 20 minutes the hosts had equalised. Both sides had chances to go ahead but half time arrived with the score level at 1-1. The second half was very open and Notts always looked more likely to score the winner, but having missed three great chances, the inevitable happened. Six County defenders in the area and not one made a tackle, leaving the Bournemouth man with time to find an unmarked team mate running into the area to crash home the winner with just 5 minutes to go. Heartbreak for the travelling supporters, full time - 2-1 to the Cherries. On a positive note - the atmosphere was pretty good from both sets of fans, the stewards were friendly and had no problem with people standing up in the back three rows. 
 
Getting out of Dean Court usually takes some time by car, as everyone is trying to leave the ground via one road that leads straight onto the main road. So we were thankful to be heading back to the train station, although the 40 minute walk seemed a lot longer. 
 
Overall a good day out with a bitterly disappointing/frustrating result. Would recommend the trip to anyone and will definitely return again.


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