Bournemouth

Goldsands Stadium

Capacity: 12,000 (all seated)
Address: Dean Court, Kings Park, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH7 7AF
Telephone: 01202 726300
Fax: 01202 726373
Ticket Office: 01202 726338
Pitch Size: 115 x 71 yards
Club Nickname: The Cherries
Year Ground Opened: 1910
Shirt Sponsors: Energy Consulting
Kit Manufacturer: Carbrini
Home Kit: Red & Black Stripes
Away Kit: All White

External View
External View
Main and Steve Fletcher Stands
Main and Steve Fletcher Stands
Looking Towards The Ted MacDougall Stand
Looking Towards The Ted MacDougall Stand
Main Stand
Main Stand
East Stand
East Stand
Steve Fletcher Stand
Steve Fletcher Stand
Ted MacDougall Stand
Ted MacDougall Stand

The stadium has been greatly improved with the addition of the Ted MacDougall Stand at the South End of the stadium. Although temporary in nature, the stand which is named after a former centre forward, fills what was an open end, making the ground four sided. The stand itself was erected in the Summer of 2013 and looks quite impressive. Having a capacity of 2,400 seats it is of a decent size and is all seated. The only drawback is that it has a couple of supporting pillars at its front.

The rest of the stadium was literally built in 2001 in a matter of months. All three stands are of roughly the same design and height and are quite smart looking, with the Main Stand having a row of executive boxes to its rear. Each is a covered single tiered stand, with good views of the playing action with perspex windshields at each side. One nice touch is that the windshields to either sides of the stands have been brightened up with the addition of some huge player photos. The stand roofs have perspex panels allowing more light to reach the pitch. There is also a small video screen installed beneath the roof of the Main Stand towards the South End.

When the new stadium was built the pitch was rotated 90 degrees from its old position. So if you ever visited the old ground, try figuring out where the old Brighton Beach End was located! Originally known as Dean Court the ground was renamed the Goldsands Stadium in 2012 under a corporate sponsorship deal. The stadium is completed with a set of unusual looking floodlights that are situated in the open corners.

After looking at the feasibility of constructing a new stadium, the Club are now looking again at expanding Dean Court. The number of seats could be increased to 15,000 by building a larger and more permanent Ted MacDougall Stand at the South end of the ground. In addition the corners of the stadium could also be filled with seating, to further boost the capacity to 18,000. However no timescales have been announced as to when this might take place.

Away fans are located on one side of the Energy Consulting East Stand, which is situated at one side of the pitch. The normal allocation for this area is 1,500 seats, but this can be increased to 2,000 if required. The stand is shared with home supporters and offers a good view of the playing action. The facilities are okay a normally there is a good atmosphere. Please bear in mind though that if you have tickets for the lower rows in this stand, then at the beginning and towards the end of each season, the sun can shine quite brightly into this area, so make sure you bring your shades and a cap! I had a fairly relaxing visit to the stadium with no problems experienced. 

Food on offer inside the ground includes a range of Pies; Steak and Ale, Chicken & Mushroom Chicken Balti (all £3), Burger/Cheeseburgers (£3.50), and Hot Dogs (£3.50). Ian Holt a visiting Reading fan adds; 'Compared to other grounds there is little in the way of burger vans outside the ground or in the vicinity of the stadium. Although inside the menu looked quite good only Steak & Ale Pies, Sausage Rolls or Hot Dogs were available when we visited'.

There is the 1910 Supporters Bar at the ground, but this is for home fans only. Similarly the closest pub to the stadium, the Queens Park Hotel on Holdenhurst Road (alongside the A338 Wessex Way) also does not allow in away supporters.

Around a 10-15 minute walk away is the Sir Percy Florence Wetherspoons outlet on Christchurch Street, in nearby Boscombe. Away fans are welcome at this pub, but no colours are allowed. Next door to Wetherspoons is the Mello Mello bar which also admits away supporters (and with colours). Whilst a little further down on the opposite side of the street is the 'Shark Bites' Bar. Otherwise alcohol is available to visiting supporters inside the stadium at £3 a pint of John Smith's, Fosters (330ml bottles £2.50). Bulmers Cider (Bottles £2.50), Red or White Wine (£3.70 for a small bottle).

Follow the A338 towards Bournemouth. The ground is situated on the left of the A338 in the outskirts of town. You should be able to spot the tops of the ground floodlights on the left. Otherwise leave the A338 via the slip road which is signposted  Kings Park/Football traffic. You will then reach a small roundabout at which you take the second exit into Kings Park Drive. The entrance to the stadium and car park are down this road on the left. The car park at the ground is of a good size, however please note that this costs 50p per hour, otherwise you may find yourself with a penalty ticket for your trouble. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: BH7 7AF

The nearest train station is Pokesdown which is roughly a mile from the ground and is around a 15 minute walk away. However, most trains arrive at Bournemouth Central, which is around a half an hour walk to the ground. Either try to get a train to Pokesdown or grab a cab (£7-£8). If you do arrive at Pokesdown Station (which is served by trains from London Waterloo), then exit the station (there is only one exit) and turn right down the main Christchurch Road (A35). Proceed for about 400 metres and then turn right into Gloucester Road. Dean Court is located down the bottom of this road. Thanks to Andy Young for providing the directions from Pokesdown Station.

If you arrive at Bournemouth Central, then leave the station by the South exit, thereby facing an Asda Supermarket. Turn left and walk down to the main Holdenhurst Road. Turn left (going away from the town centre) and then keep straight on along Holdenhurst Road for around 25 minutes, reaching the Queens Park pub (recommended by this Guide). Continue straight on past the pub until you reach a roundabout at which you turn right into Kings Park Drive. The ground is down the bottom of this road on the left. Alternatively you can catch a Yellow Number 33 bus to the ground, normally a half hourly service. Come out of Station again by the South exit, facing Asda and turn left until you get to a Texaco Garage. There is a bus stop with shelter on the same side of the road. Ask the driver to be let off near Kings Park Drive. Please note that if you decide to use the same service coming back, take a yellow number 2 bus as this is a circular service'. Latest bus timetables can be accessed by visiting the Yellow Buses website. Thanks to Richard Barnes for supplying the directions from Bournemouth Central.

Remember if travelling by train then you can save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Home Fans:
Main Stand (Centre): Adults £35, Concessions £25, Junior Cherries £12
Main Stand (Wings): Adults £29, Concessions £22, Junior Cherries £7
Main Stand (Family Area): Adults £25, Concessions £14, Junior Cherries £6
Steve Fletcher (North) Stand: Adults £25, Concessions £14, Junior Cherries £7
Energy Consulting East Stand (Centre): Adults £30, Concessions £22, Junior Cherries £12
Energy Consulting East Stand (Wings): Adults £26, Concessions £14, Junior Cherries £7
Ted MacDougall Stand: Adults £25, Concessions £14, Junior Cherries £7 

Away Fans:
Energy Consulting East Stand: Adults £26, Concessions £14

* Concessions apply to over 65's, under 16's, and full time students (providing that NUS proof of student status can be shown) and the disabled. 

Official Programme: £3.
View from the tree Fanzine: £1.

Brighton, Southampton, Aldershot and from further a field Leeds

11,772 v Real Madrid
Friendly, July 21st, 2013.

Before the ground was re-developed:
28,799 v Manchester United
FA Cup 6th Round, March 2nd 1957.

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 9,952 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 6,852 (League One)
2011-2012: 5,881 (League One)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the 
Level Playing Field website.

AFC Bournemouth fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the football ground.

Access their Bournemouth Hotels and Guest Houses page.

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AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest
Championship League
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, 7.45pm
Gary Exton (Nottingham Forest fan)

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

It is a ground I have never been to. Plus a Tuesday night game to a ground 215 miles away, then what was there not to look forward to?
 
2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was a very easy drive down to the South Coast. There were no traffic problems and it took almost fours hours to get there. The stadium itself is located just off the main road as you enter Bournemouth. We chose not to park at the ground car park as it looked like it might be a pain to get out of at the end of the game. Instead we found some street parking about five minute walk away  and that was about an hour before kick off.
 
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
 
We drove in to Bournemouth as we were a little early and stopped at the car park on the sea front and visited the Harry Ramsdens for some overpriced fish and chips.  I had my Forest shirt on an had no problems there were a few Forest fans around and we had even had one Bournemouth come up to us for a quick chat which was nice.
 
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
 
The ground is small and compact but set in a really nice setting, it couldn’t be any more pleasant.  Away fans are housing in half of the East Stand running along the side of the pitch. Great view and very close to the action and fans can really drum up some noise from this stand.
 
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
For the first 65mins of the game were a non-event for Forest fans as Bournemouth passed us to death, got one nil up and really should have out the game out of sight for us. But somehow we found from somewhere a goal to get us back in it and before you knew it we were winning 2-1 and that’s how it stayed. It felt good to win 'ugly' for a change not normally the type of game we get anything from. The stewarding was very relaxed which and pleasant which is how it should be. In my experience half the problems are sometimes caused by a steward wanting to throw his weight around. The atmosphere inside the ground was good, with plenty of banter between the two sets of fans.
 
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Parking on the street was a huge benefit on getting away. It took only 5-10 mins to get back on the main dual carriageway, then we were off and we didn’t stop again until we arrived home at 1.30 am
 
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a really good away trip. There is something about going a long way for an away game at night that gives you a real buzz. We didn’t play great but somehow won and that’s what it is going to take to get out of this league.

AFC Bournemouth v Middlesbrough
Championship League
Saturday, March 15th, 2014, 3pm
Alex Royal (Middlesbrough fan)

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

Another away-day, another ground to tick off on my quest to do the 92.

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

I went with the official club coaches which left from the Riverside at 05.15am. We stopped twice on the way, once at at Leicester Forest Services on the M1 and and then at Rownhams Services on the M24. This was about 40 minutes drive from the ground where we arrived at 12.30pm. We were greeted by parking attendants who directed us to our coach park, just next to the away end.

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

As we arrived at the ground quite early, I decided to go and along and meet some of the Bournemouth players, who were arriving at the stadium. All of whom I met were quite happy to have a 'selfie' taken with me. We also to gave the 'Boro players a warm reception off the team coach, when it arrived just before 1pm. I also got chatting to quite a few of the home fans who turned out to be very friendly, I was wearing my Middlesbrough shirt so there was some good banter. My main highlight of the day was getting a warm welcome off Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn, who congratulated me on making the long trip south!

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

Dean Court is a neat little ground, and is now 'complete' with the introduction of the Ted MacDougall Stand. Away fans are housed in the East Stand, towards the Ted MacDougall Stand, where up to 1500 fans can be allocated. One of the nice features of the ground is that all the stands are the same size, one stand doesn't stand out like other away grounds I have been to.  The only real downside of where we were sat was that the sun was right in our eyes! I would recommend bringing a hat as I had to use my programme as a sun visor!

Steve Fletcher Stand

Steve Fletcher Stand

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

The game itself was pretty abysmal, Middlesbrough were abysmal, and Bournemouth deserved to win 2 or 3 nil, they wanted it more, and had 2 good chances, both of which brought the best out of our veteran goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos! I honesty don't think Boro had one shot on target all game, that's how bad we were, a point was lucky in my opinion. The atmosphere around the ground is good, and is boosted by the presence of a drummer in the Steve Fletcher Stand, there is little segregation between home and away fans, so there was plenty of banter. 

On the bright side, Middlesbrough played in a one-off third kit, after referee Fred Graham deemed both our kits to be too similar to Bournemouth's home colours of red and black. At the end of the game most of our players threw theirs into the crowd, and I was lucky enough to get Albert Adomah's!

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

It took out 45 minutes to get out of the ground after the game, it was a bit of a mad scramble to get out of the car park. We eventually got back on the motorway at about 1730, we continued along the motorway until a brief stop for a driver change at Leicester Forest services at 2045, back onto the coach at 9pm, arriving back in Teesside at quarter to midnight!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic away day, real shame about the result, Middlesbrough were absolutely dreadful, and we were lucky to come away with a point to be quite honest. Will be returning next year! 9/10.


AFC Bournemouth v Watford
Championship League
Saturday, January 18th, 2014, 3pm
Thomas Murphy (Watford fan)

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

I was looking forward to going to this match because I saw the ground photos on this website first and it looked like a nice stadium. It was also a new ground for me as well, along with most other Watford fans who were going down to the game, so I was buzzing to go. Last time Watford played Bournemouth we won 6-1, although Bournemouth had played well in that match and didn't deserve to lose that badly, therefore I could see it being a really close game.

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

I went down by supporters coach. The two hour journey was straightforward enough, as there was little traffic. We arrived at the stadium around 1.45pm, which was good. The ground seemed well sign posted and easy to find. 

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

Before the game I walked around the stadium and the local area, the home fans seemed friendly enough and seemed to be in good spirits, especially after their Liverpool tickets went on sale that morning. After that I decided to go into the ground about half an hour early, and I got myself something to eat and drink before the game started. 

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

I thought the ground looked like a good League One/okay Championship ground. It was quite small, but I though that was good because it made the atmosphere all the better. The away end was very small and us Watford fans were only allocated with about 1,300 seats. You can get a good view of the pitch from where ever you sit in the ground, and as the away end is on the touch line you could have an even better view. On the left of the away stand is the temporary stand, which really completes the stadium, and makes it look all the more neat and compact.

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

The game its self was stacked with controversy. Two penalties were given against us (the second one in my eyes a blatant dive) and for the first penalty, we also had a player sent off! Watford were first to score, through a headed goal by Angella, right on the stroke of half time, however Lewis Grabban scored for the home side from the spot to make it  
1-1. Goalkeeper Almunia then stopped Lewis Grabban's second penalty and made a fantastic double save after that. The match ended 1-1, which I probably would of took before the match started. 

The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic in my opinion, there was good banter with the home fans, and it was our best atmosphere in a long time. The stand is also quite small, which adds to the occasion as it means the fans are closer together. There were loads of stewards in attendance after the referee gave the second penalty. 

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

Getting away from the ground was alright, we had to wait for everyone to get back on the coach. it took a bit of time trying to get around all the traffic, and then out of Bournemouth. it didn't take long to get away from the ground at all.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

I thought it was a fantastic day out, and probably my favourite away day of this season. cracking atmosphere from our fans and a good match. Nice ground and I cant wait to go back there next season.

AFC Bournemouth v Blackburn Rovers
Championship League
Saturday, September 28th, 2013, 3pm
David Windridge (Blackburn Rovers fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground:  

Any awayday at the seaside is always something to look forward to. It makes a change from the usual town-to-town journey. Bournemouth had the added attraction of being a “first visit” ground. I was keen to see how the stadium had been redeveloped.

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

My journey was fine, pretty much motorway/dual carriageway all the way into the town itself. I found the ground okay, although I had to turn around and drive back away from the ground to park. Sign-posting detailing the parking close to the ground was non-existent. I parked at the Sovereign Shopping Centre, about a 15 minute walk away. Although I have to say, priced at £2.50 for over three hours, this was a bargain. 

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

I was with my two daughters therefore before the game they wanted to see the beach and then go into town, so no pub. Didn’t encounter any home fans around and about, most football fans in the town centre were either wearing Spurs or Chelsea tops looking for somewhere to watch the lunchtime TV game. The fans we encountered around the ground were neither friendly or unfriendly, just fans walking around!

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

From the outside the ground looked tidy and compact but it must be the first time I have never seen any burger vans etc in close proximity to a stadium, maybe we didn’t look hard enough. We were reliant on a good “footy burger” for eats but were disappointed. Upon seeing the inside of the ground my impression was that of compact but tidy, enough to keep the home fans satisfied with the size of the fan base. The ground looked the same on all four sides, but the view was fine. The seats were somewhat compact for a modern new-build stadium though. The pictures and statistics from various Bournemouth games which were posted on the inside end of each stand, covering the walls, was an impressive touch 

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

The game was fantastic from Rovers point of view. We were 3-0 after 40 minutes which always settles the nerves and makes any very long journey worthwhile. The second half was slightly more subdued, given that the home team had to do all of the running to chase the game. A red card for a Bournemouth player early in the second half really didn’t help their cause, and although the game ended 3-1 to Rovers, it really could have been a lot worse for the home team. The atmosphere was great in the away end. The 997 Rovers fans in an attendance of 9,441 made a huge noise at times and coupled with the score it lead to a party atmosphere at times. The home support was very muted, perhaps understandably so give how quickly Rovers took the initiative. The stewards were fine with me, friendly enough and this always helps at any away ground. Catering was appalling inside the ground. The only hot food was a lame hotdog, which simply isn’t good enough these days. There is an expectation that a range of warm food should be available for all fans, especially ones who had travelled for over 6 hours, so very show for Bournemouth regarding this. The toilets were equally poor, functional would be the kindest thing I could say.

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

We were fine getting away from the game, the car park was empty when I got back to my car. The local roads were not as busy as around a lot of grounds so access to exit town was fine.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:  

A long day out but a fantastic team performance made the many miles home pass quickly. If the food offered was edible then my day at Bournemouth would have been complete.

AFC Bournemouth v Charlton Athletic
League One
Saturday, August 3rd, 2013, 3pm
James Butler (Charlton Athletic fan)

When this fixture came up as our first game of the season it was, for me, a must go to match. Newly promoted team, albeit one we knew quite well of late from our time in League One, in a beautiful part of the country.

Normally we would go by coach, but a combination of my new car and getting my companion Del Boy out of the proverbial with his wife meant we went by car. Still a simple journey, no problem, except August is of course holiday season and a brief look at the route from North West Kent to the Dorset Coast will tell you all you need to know about how the traffic could be at that time of year. May be 3 ½ hours to do a 135 mile journey is not that bad, but it’s not good either. Thanks to good old Google I had extensively research the surrounding area and discovered a nearby leisure centre where the parking is free and almost empty. I can’t remember the name of the centre, but for anyone who is interested; come of the A388 at the Bournemouth hospital exit, go down to the huge set of lights by the hospital, turn right into posh housing estate and follow signs to leisure centre. From there it is just over a mile walk through a very pleasant park, bringing you right to the ground by the away turnstiles. 

Outside the away stand Bournemouth have created a wall of fame depicting teams and scenes from the past. A great idea, fascinating to see how many famous faces have played/managed in this part of the world. By this time, an hour before the kick-off we needed food and drink, here the park land location of the ground comes unstuck. The only option was the ground itself with the normal fayre on offer. The beer at £3 pint was reasonable, although I doubt it was actually a pint, but I am sorry I don’t do football ground food. The bad traffic had meant that we had to abandon our plans to have a nice lunch in the New Forest beforehand. 

The ground is neat and tidy with three almost identical stands, which whilst not huge, offer a perfect view of the game. At £22 per ticket offers great value for money, other clubs, including Charlton, take note, Palace hang your heads in shame. New for the this season is the Ted MacDougall stand behind the goal to our immediate left, this has a very temp look about it, but it does the job.

The atmosphere as the game began was great. The home fans made there noise and as usual the away fans made even more. As is the norm the home fans settle to watch the football, the beer fueled away fans sing. It seems the same up and down the country. The game itself was okay. Neither side was great, but neither was bad, some statue defending by the Charlton defence gave Bournemouth the lead mid-way through the first half. Strangely the game then just continued in the same vein. 

Second half started with a wonder volley from Yann “the beast” Kermogant, Leicester’s favourite son. This cranked the atmosphere right up in the away section, but did nothing again for the game in general. Twenty minutes from the end a good strike form Bournemouth saw them retake the lead, which they never look like losing. The home fans now sensing an opening day win found their voices. The Charlton fans now a little deflated and a degree more sober slowly drifted away as we were reduced to 10 men. The stewarding was friendly and efficient. We were  larger than any away contingent they had seen the whole of last season. They were relaxed about standing, perhaps a little too relaxed with regard to some infringements into the gang ways. The police videoing the away fans was a little weird, but then again the smoke bomb thrown by the Charlton fans as the teams came out was completely unnecessary and may have provoked the videoing. They lost interest at half time anyway.

After the match we were back in the car inside twenty minutes and home indoors by 7.30pm, journey time 2hours 5 mins. That’s more like it!

Great day out despite the result, but you can’t and won’t win them all. Bournemouth is  a lovely town in a beautiful part of the country, weather help on our visit. The crowd was 10,000, which is a good turnout in these parts, if a crowd of this size is expected for your visit I suggest you find the leisure centre, not the club car park which looked an absolute nightmare. Supporters coaches are parked right by away exit, they made a quick get way. Train seemed overly complicated for such a small town, go to Bournemouth, take a local train, you get enough of that rubbish in London. I would certainly return and recommend Bournemouth to any fan in the Championship, although I realise that the geographical location does not make it an easy visit for clubs further afield than Charlton. Make the effort it’s worth it.

AFC Bournemouth v Swindon Town
League One
Saturday, January 12th, 2013, 3pm
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.


Bournemouth v Crawley Town
League One
Saturday, December 29th 2012, 3pm
Matthew Cowdrey (Crawley Town fan)

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

Since Crawley’s rise to the heady heights of League One the average journey to an away game is now 185 miles. This made Bournemouth a veritable local derby. That combined with the helpful timing of the game between Boxing Day and New Year and the fact that I have family in the area meant that it was an easy game to pencil in.

The family visit took place in the morning and I realised that the family members I was visiting only lived three quarters of a mile from the ground. With hindsight I should have walked…!

Crawley had been in a good run of form recently with two good away wins (Including Portsmouth on Boxing Day) so expectation was high.

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

The drive to and From Bournemouth was extremely easy. Despite warnings of localised flooding near Chichester, there were no delays to speak of. Heavy rain on the way home made the drive hard work, but at no stage was it difficult or painfully long. Door to door was easily under two hours.

Finding the ground was simple enough and car parking was ample despite the warnings the day before. Having said that, we arrived early (12:20) with a view to having lunch before the game. Car parking cost a pound and our early arrival secured us a space within 20 feet of the exit and pointing in the right direction.

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

On a normal home game as an away fan you have the choice of lunch at the pavilion in the park or the Legends Café and Bistro at the ground. The 1910 Supporters Bar at the ground is for home fans only. Sadly as the game fell during the holiday period the Pavilion was not open. We made our way to the Legends Café and Bistro at 12:20 and attempted to order some food. At this point we were told we couldn’t order food because they stopped serving at 1pm on a match day. When I pointed out that it was only 12:20 I was told that “well we’re stopping early today. You can get a burger in the ground later if you want”. It wasn’t exactly the warm welcome I was expecting to a Café and Bistro on match day. Stopping food at 1pm on a normal Saturday seems a bit odd. The bar itself was somewhat lifeless and a little clinical. The bar ran out of draft bitter by 1pm and keg bitter by 1:15. The bar was poorly understaffed and when the Crawley support arrived (all 380 of us) they seemed woefully underprepared.

The few home fans in the Legends Bar weren’t particularly friendly or talkative and most seemed to resent the presence of away fans in their bar. Whilst not hostile I wouldn’t class the atmosphere as welcoming.

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

Three sides of the ground look very impressive, but without a South Stand of any sort it looks a bit odd. The away fans are put on the South end of the East Stand next to the open end of the ground which gave you the added pleasure of feeling detached from the main atmosphere whilst at the same time being blasted in the face by a strong South Westerly wind coming straight in off the channel. This is definitely a ground to wrap up for as an away fan. Seating was comfortable enough and being well over six foot myself this made a welcome change to most seated grounds.

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

Despite the promise of burgers in the ground, no food was available. There is a bar though which is great if you’re 40 but not so good for my 8 year old son. The stewards were clearly embarrassed by the lack of food and one of the female stewards even let us back out of the ground and walked us round to the outside of the North Stand in the middle of the home fans so we could buy a couple of hot dogs. She then walked us back round to the away end and let us in through a side door. All of the stewards were welcoming, polite and friendly.

Prior to the game the referee Lee Probert who was the referee when Crawley played Man Utd at Old Trafford  came over to speak to the Crawley fans during his warm-up. A nice, unexpected and unusual gesture.

A few of the slightly more inebriated Crawley fans (clearly too much Christmas cheer) gave some of the stewards a fair bit of stick until the other Crawley fans told them to shut up, but not once were they greeted with anything but a smile from the Stewards.

The game itself was something of a damp squib. Crawley captain Gary Alexander won possibly his first header of the season to score after 16 minutes, sadly however in the wrong net. A sleepy defence at a free kick towards of the end of the first half sealed our fate and the lacklustre performance continued throughout the second half to tee up the inevitable third goal.

The biggest round of applause all day from the Crawley fans was for former Crawley talisman Matt Tubbs as he came on as a late substitute for Bournemouth. Crawley were well beaten by a revitalised team that surely must be favourites for promotion to the Championship now. The speed of play (and thought) left Crawley in their wake and Crawley simply didn’t have the ability to deal with them.

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

Although only 20 feet from the exit of the car park and not hanging around once the final whistle went, it still took nearly 30 minutes to get as far as the main road. The ground is down a single road and there would appear to be many who saved the £1 car parking fee to park in side roads as the exit did seem to take a while.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Whilst easily accessible on the way in, the exit wasn’t smooth and the lack of any food matched with surly service and a breezy, three-quarter stadium didn’t exactly get us in the mood for a happy day out. The performance of Crawley was the final nail in the coffin, but Bournemouth in their current form are a delight to watch. I’m sure that once the new South Stand is completed and somebody works out how to order food that the experience will improve significantly. 

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

As 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. 

AFC Bournemouth v Torquay United
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Tuesday, August 31st 2010, 7.45pm
Mark Horler (Torquay United fan)

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 ground/car parking?
 
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 ground?
 
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 Crawley. 
 
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 better.  
 
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 think!
 
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!

AFC Bournemouth v Portsmouth
Pre-season friendly
Wednesday, July 28th 2010, 7.45pm
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!! 

Updated 24th February 2015

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