Home Park, Plymouth
v Southampton, League One
Monday, May 2nd, 2011 3pm

By Paul Bartlett

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
I was really looking forward to visiting Plymouth, I have always wanted to visit Home Park, especially in this case as one more win from Saints last two games would seal promotion!

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

I woke up to a text from my good friend saying he was unwell and unable to take us to the game, so what to do? Well I got the map out and decided to drive, no way I was I going to miss this game. So with my brother with the map and me driving we set off. I have to say the easiest away journey I have ever done. Living in the New Forest, we headed down the A35, A30, and then the M5 and A38. Plus the ground was handily signposted going in to Plymouth! easy! Although the bank holiday traffic was horrendous! Luckily it was all heading the opposite way to us, and best of all there is a large FREE car park at the ground although if you want a space get there early we arrived at 1.15pm and there were few spaces were left!

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

Me and brother took food with us, as food inside grounds is normally expensive. Home fans were okay, apart from a few dirty looks.

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

The ground is very pleasant, similar in some ways to St Mary's. Three of the sides are the same size and one of the stand is old but has the character feel. The away concourses were particularly crowded, due to over 2000 Saints fans in attendance.

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

The game went to plan for Saints. Lambert trademark header just before half time, then Dickson scrambled home just after the break, then Lambert penalty sent the Saints fans wild! The atmosphere was electric for the entire game. There were a few scuffles, inside the home ends of the ground, either Plymouth fighting among themselves or Saints fans in home end (the away allocation was sold out). Plymouth did get a late goal to make it 3-1. This ruined my and brothers bet of 3-0! needless to say I now dislike Bolasie!

The win all bit sealed promotion back to the Championship! 3 points ahead of Huddersfield and 18 more on goal difference! Policing was very heavy handed at the end, police dogs on pitch, all lined up in front us. 

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

We were held outside the ground for about 15 minutes, the Police were escorting some fans to the station, but others slipped down a side path, which is what we did, although we did have a run in with some Plymouth fans verbals. I did see a lot of scuffles when sat back in the car. I can only assume that is not normally like this at Plymouth, they were probably just frustrated at what's happening at their club (threat of liquidation). Had a bit of a wait at the car park to leave which is to be expected, and a little bit of traffic on way out but once on way home no traffic at all! It took us just over 2 hours to get home.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Best day so far as a Saints fan, and not a bad first away day for my brother, Plymouth is definitely worth a visit, nice ground and the fans I would imagine would be more friendly just circumstances on this day. Would go back but might be a while before Saints play there again!


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