Why you were looking forward to going to the
ground (or not as the case may be):
Fratton Park was to be my 40th away ground.
It was also the first time I'd watch
football on the South Coast.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
We drove down and found the best option was
to park at nearby Hilsea train station and
get the train to Fratton. The car park is
free all weekend and the trains are every 10
minutes. We didn't pay a fare there or on
the way back but it would normally be £2.30
for adults and £1.10 for children. The train
takes approx 5 minutes and follows a
reasonably scenic route. However, if you
want to discover all of Portsmouth (I.e
Spinnaker Tower) I would suggest parking in
the City Centre as the football ground is a
couple of miles from the sea front.
3. What you did before the game
pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
We went to The Red White And Blue pub before
the game which was away fan friendly and had
two cask ales on for real ale fans. The pub
is situated on Fawcett Road and is a
10minute walk from the train station or
20minute walk to the football ground. They
also serves a selection of bar snacks such
as hot rolls. The home fans were friendly
and were quick to assist with directions.
Being a naval town they were quite
boisterous throughout the day.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground,
first impressions of away end then other
sides of the ground?
Fratton Park is an old school ground in
every sense. To get to the away end there is
a very small alley you have to walk along,
if coming from the city centre, this could
cause chaos on a busy day. The away end also
backs onto residential gardens and the
stadium almost appears to have sprung up in
the middle of a housing estate. Aside from
this, the South Stand is fairly
modern, but the rest of the stands are a lot
older and some bits are basically terraces
with seats bolted in. There is lots of leg
room and you can create a great atmosphere
in the away end. With most of the ground
corners being open (apart from one corner
beside the away section), the stadium does
have an open feel to it and it is a great
sun trap on a hot day as it was for us. The
three older stands could really do with a
lick of paint and the sound equipment
updating as there was no music at half time.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, toilets etc..
This was the first time the sides had in
seven years so there is little rivalry
between the fans and resulted in a low
attendance. The game itself was fairly
uneventful and I experienced the very
definition of being 'robbed' at a football
match as Portsmouth scored with literally
the last kick of the game after, what I felt
was, a dominating performance from us.
I was most looking forward to hearing the
'Pompey Chimes' and this did surface in the
second half. Although I couldn't see where
'John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood' was
sat, I could hear his bell! The travelling
seasiders did their part in creating lots of
noise but the game was a little lacklustre
and so this mellowed the atmosphere. There
were no incidents to speak of with the
stewards, which is how it should be at a
match. I had a steak and Kidney pie and
bottle of water combo at £5 and there was
other meal deals of this kind. I would
advise to eat away from the ground as there
are many eateries around Fratton Park.
Finally, the toilets were of a good standard
and there was no queues when gaining access.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground
after the game:
We caught the train back to Hilsea but do
not be put off my the large queues as many
different trains go through Fratton and
therefore not all will be going on the same
train as you. There was little traffic when
exiting the city.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day
I had a good day out in Portsmouth mixing
with their friendly fans. Even a few
Blackpool sailors turned up who had just
docked in the bay. This is a ground to tick
off the list for anyone but be warned it is
a huge journey from the North!