Home Park, Plymouth
v Doncaster Rovers, Championship League
Saturday, November 7th, 2009 3pm

By David Beresford

I support Doncaster Rovers and made the long journey (stopping off in Cardiff to collect family members) to Plymouth. For me it represented the furthest distance I could travel to see my team play any of the 92 and was, accordingly, an important tick. The game itself was a bit of a 6 pointer if truth be told, both teams finding themselves towards the relegation zone, the Pilgrims actually in it.

The whole weekend had a sort of adverse medical theme. The idea was that me and the Missus would travel to Cardiff for the weekend staying with the daughter and family. Her indoors would then be left behind with the daughter to do girly things and I would cart the son in law and my twin 9 year old granddaughters to watch footy at Earthís end. On Wednesday night I was struck down by the lurgy and the next morning I had to take the missus to the hospital. So really we should probably have stayed in bed  for the weekend but the draw of  Devon was too great so off we set for South Wales on route to Drake country. Collecting the son in law was Ok but the twins had received a better offer. But after noting the proximity of the fixture date to the christmas present giving festivities soon had the girls realising what side their bread was buttered on, so off we set. Entering Devon we were greeted by bright sunshine and lovely rolling scenery. The car went well but I coughed and spluttered all the way.

Home Park certainly has a homely feel. A FREE CAR PARK!. It was true. Arrived early and, when heading home was back on the A38 dual carriageway within 15 minutes of  leaving the stadium. 5 minute walk to a local Wetherspoons. The Pub was very well stewarded and the atmosphere friendly, but a word of warning. They stopped serving food from the menu and only had burgers and chips in a box, although perfectly acceptable.

Fans around the ground were friendly and chatty. The ground is an interesting combination of the old and the new. The home fans in front of the one old stand would have wished they had been in a new section when it poured down during the match. Cue the predictable chant from us lot. We mustered 418 on the day. Not a bad effort given the distance travelled. The match was going wrong for us before it had started. Our star loan signing Centre Half having injured himself in training leaving us reduced to 1 centre Half, and he being the youngest and smallest on offer at that. Predictably the Argyle launched bombs into our box, for Fallon to head, all afternoon. We generally coped well but it was bound to work for them once and once was too much, especially when we were down to 10 men after 50 minutes when they should have been down to 10 men after 10 minutes when their centre half, as the last man, tried to mount Billy Sharpe. Our right back was crocked in the 35 minute and , well you get the idea. They ran out winners 2-1. The atmosphere was, well a bit damp in keeping with the very damp weather.

Facilities in the stands were good and the PA quality was very good. The Policing and Stewarding were friendly and efficient, they were actually present in very large numbers, but their efficiency was to prove very important since some poor chap in the Rovers end was taken seriously ill and apparently had to undergo a tracheotomy at the ground. Latest reports indicate that he is recovering in a local hospital. Much credit is probably due to the medical teams, the Police and the Stewards for responding so quickly. I didnít hear of this unfortunate event until having returned home but it rather puts sport into a proper perspective I think.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the day, notwithstanding the result, and even the twins remarked that they were glad they had gone to the match. Iíd love to find the energy and determination from somewhere to do it again.


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