Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Portsmouth v West Ham United
Championship League
Saturday January 14th
2012, 3pm
By Jamie Burton

Why are you looking forward to visiting the ground?

I have visited Fratton Park before following West Ham and had enjoyed it then. As both my Wife and Father-In-Law are both Portsmouth fans and Season Ticket Holders I was extremely keen to see a hopeful West Ham demolition job on the “Blue Army” of Hampshire.
How easy was the journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey itself is easy enough, straight down the A3, onto the M27 West bound, then off at the next junction the A2030 (Eastern Road), continue down this road until the end and there is Fratton Park in front of you. Parking is pretty much street parking, there is a large pay car park behind the Fratton End, but if you arrive early enough you’ll find a spot close by.
What did you do before the game?

As you come down the Eastern Road, the first pub you come across is The Good Companion on you left.  I got dropped off here and found it pretty much full of Hammers fans, with a few Portsmouth fans in there as well.  This is a traditionally large pub with a great atmosphere.  The bar staff did seem to be a bit few in number, but did a grand job in coping with the never ending beer requests.
What were your thoughts on the grounds away end?

I had a ticket in the away end and West Ham had sold out their whole allocation of 3,200 which was the whole stand behind the goal.  Now I like Fratton Park, it is dated but it’s a proper old school football stadium, with its’ four separate stands that are all close to the pitch and high in the sky floodlights.  If you like your football venues from yesteryear, this one is worth a visit.  Since the club have put a roof on top of this stand, a hell of a racket can now be made, in comparison to years when it was open to the elements.  I did find the famous Pompey atmosphere did seem to be missing, as it appeared that all the songs were originating only from the Fratton End opposite.
Comments on the game, stewards, pies, toilets?

The game itself had the makings of a very entertaining affair on paper.  But unfortunately did not live up to it.  A penalty despatched by Mark Noble in the first half decided matters.  I found both the Stewards and Police very helpful and not over-the-top in policing us.  The facilities in this stand are well documented in reviews like this, meaning that there is Gents and Ladies at each end of the stand and if you need to go, be prepared to queue all of the half time interval.  Read the same for getting refreshments, I did not even attempt to get into this queue.  Getting out the ground after the game took ages, maybe this was due to the large away contingent, but all three home stands had long since dispersed, by the time I got out and I was not in the middle of the stand.
Summary of the day

I enjoyed my visit to Fratton Park and would definitely go again.  I saw no trouble before or after the game, the Portsmouth fans I know are all a great bunch.  But as with all grounds if you are an away fan and you chose to walk down the roads outside the ground shouting and singing your club’s songs and you come unstuck, you only have yourself to blame.. 


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