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Goldsands Stadium
AFC Bournemouth v Swindon Town
  Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 3pm
League One
By Ronan Howard
(Swindon Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Our away allocation had sold out quickly and with 1400 town fans making the trip, it was set up to be a good day. On the downside Bournemouth is not a place to go in January – such a shame we couldn’t have been playing them in August when the weather would have been better!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Travelling from Basingstoke, so I took a direct train which took around an hour and a half, some nice scenery on the way down too. Bournemouth’s ground is well outside the town itself – some had opted to head for Bournemouth itself to sample a better range of pubs and get the train out to Pokesdown later, however I’d opted to go straight to Pokesdown rather than doubling back. The ground itself is around 10-15 minutes walk from Pokesdown station and is fairly easy to find, although not particularly well sign posted for the uninitiated. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Decided to go for a couple of pre-match pints in the Mello Mello bar, which is a fairly short walk from the ground. Beer reasonable and had a good range of ciders, perfect for us from the west country! Met up with some other town fans who were in good voice, and headed for the ground just gone two.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Frankly for a relatively new stadium Dean Court manages to be both soulless and underwhelming – with only three stands and sitting in the middle of a suburban residential area, it had the look of an athletics stadium rather than a football ground. We were sat on one side of one of the stands which runs the length of the pitch – views decent, seating adequate, not particular complaints. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The weather played more than a hand in the eventual quality of the match, and it was a credit to both teams that they attempted to actually play football. It had been raining all day, and before commencing the second half there was a delay as the referee and assistants had to do a pitch inspection which eventually, by some miracle, passed, although it was clear to all the pitch was waterlogged.

As said the weather meant little decent football was played – the town went behind to a sloppy goal in the second half before a late rally and some calamitous goalkeeping by former England keeper David James gave us the opportunity to level with a few minutes remaining. 1-1 and with the away support urging them on, Swindon tried their best to win the game. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be our day, and had to settle for a point. Prior to the game I would’ve been satisfied with just that, and had to say it was a fair result come ninety minutes.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The car park which unfortunately you have to walk through to get back towards the train station was in a shocking condition after the rain, and a few cars were having difficulty getting out. One suggestion for AFC Bournemouth before they put in their fourth stand would  be to invest in some tarmac! Cold and wet and with the trains being problematic, I spent an hour or so in the Seabourne pub opposite the station. The pub seems to have a fairly poor reputation judging by the comments online but have to say the locals were very friendly, and chatted to several Bournemouth fans about the game and our respective prospects for the season. Good banter and all in good fun.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Decent result under difficult conditions, reasonable, functional ground, had the game not been in the freezing January rain it would have been an excellent day out, but you can’t have it all. Weather notwithstanding, still a decent away day.


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