Portsmouth

Fratton Park

Capacity: 21,100* (all seated)
Address: Frogmore Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8RA
Telephone: 02392 731204
Fax: 02392 734129
Ticket Office: 0345 646 1898
Pitch Size: 115 x 73 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Pompey
Year Ground Opened: 1898
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: University of Portsmouth
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue, White & Red
Away Kit: White and Blue
Third Kit: All Black

Fratton End External View
Fratton End External View
South Stand
South Stand
Fratton End
Fratton End
North Stand
North Stand
Milton End
Milton End
Mock Tudor Facade
Mock Tudor Facade

Fratton Park is a traditional looking ground and one which oozes character. Both side stands are two-tiered and originally had terracing at the front, which has now been replaced with seating. The South Stand dates back to 1925 and was originally designed by Archibald Leitch who also designed a number of grounds and stands around this period. Although showing its age in parts, it has plenty of character with an old fashioned looking media gantry perched on its roof and raised team dugouts at its front. Opposite the North Stand opened in 1935, looks somewhat plain and functional. Both the North and South Stands are two-tiered and have a number of supporting pillars.

At one end is the Fratton End, which is a more modern single tiered stand that was opened in 1997. It is of a good size and is the tallest stand at the ground. The seating in this stand contains an outline resembling a former player, Jimmy Dickinson, who still holds the record for the most club appearances. Opposite is the recently covered Milton End, which is all seated. Part of this stand is given to away fans. On one corner of this stand by the away supporters is a Police Control Box that also has a large video screen perched upon its roof. The ground is completed with a superb looking set of tall floodlights that were first used in 1962.

Outside the stadium on one corner of the South Stand, is the unique (in terms of football grounds) and eye-catching mock tudor facade, which contains the club ticket office and a stadium entrance.

Away fans are normally housed on one side of the Milton End (on the North Stand side) where the normal allocation is 1,400. If demand requires it, then the whole of this end can be allocated, raising the allocation to 2,800 seats. Although this end now benefits from having a cover, the facilities within are pretty basic and the leg room tight, as this stand was a former terrace that has been converted to all seating. There are also some supporting pillars along the front of the stand that may impede your view. On a positive note, away supporters can really make some noise from this stand, further contributing to what is normally a great atmosphere, which is further aided by a drummer and bell ringer in the Fratton End.

Although this end is shared with home supporters, the Pompey home support gets behind their team but generally in a non-intimidatory way towards the away contingent. Fans were literally separated by a netted area only three seats wide, but on my last visit, there were no problems whatsoever. Entrance to the stand is gained by inserting your ticket into a bar code reader. If you have not pre-purchased a ticket for the game, then allow yourself plenty of time as the ticket booth is located at the opposite end of the ground to the away end. On the whole, though try to sit back and enjoy Fratton Park such older grounds now are becoming few and far between with the advent of new stadia being built.

Chris Saunders a visiting Middlesbrough fan adds; 'In terms of facilities the ground is light years away from Premiership standard, but the atmosphere is electric with the legendary 'Play Up Pompey' echoing around the ground.  The Portsmouth fans are a great bunch and made me most welcome. If you are feeling hungry then there is a McDonalds and KFC across the road from Fratton Park'.

Popular with away fans is the Good Companion pub, which is on the main A2030 about a five minute walk away from the ground. It is a large pub serving real ales and had a good mix of home and away support. I also noticed that it was doing a brisk business in food. Martin Hewitt recommends the Harvester, but advises away fans to avoid the Newcome Arms. On Milton Road close to the ground is the Brewers Arms which is popular with away fans. Close by is the Milton Arms, which at one time was for home fans only. However since a new landlord had taken over, it now welcomes visiting supporters. This pub also has the added advantages of showing the early televised kick off match on a huge screen and serving food (even having outdoor BBQs if the weather is good).

Derek Hall adds; 'Found a cracking little pub, about a mile away from the ground, on Fawcett Road. It's called (very appropriately) The Red, White and Blue. There are also a few other pubs - and plenty of takeaways (of all varieties) along this road. Friendly staff, friendly Pompey fans (chiefly, of the elder variety) and simple food fayre on offer. To reach the pub, you just head west from the ground, towards the Fratton Railway Station, along Goldsmith Avenue. Just past the station, you reach a roundabout - and Fawcett Road is immediately on your left'. 

Pete Wood a visiting Doncaster Rovers fan informs me; 'If travelling by train from London, then your return ticket from London Waterloo allows you to get off at either Fratton (nearest to ground), Portsmouth & Southsea (best for pubs) or Portsmouth Harbour. What we did was have a drink in the two Wetherspoon pubs near Portsmouth & Southsea Station before getting the train back to Fratton for the match. You can catch a train back to Waterloo from Fratton after the game. The trains run  every 20 or 30 minutes or so'.

Go along the M27 (ignoring the M275 turn off for Portsmouth town centre) and continue on to the A27. At the junction with the A2030 turn right towards Southsea/Fratton and just continue straight along the A2030 and eventually you will see the ground in front of you, just slightly to your left. 

There is a large car park behind the TY Europe Stand, but this is for home supporters only. So it is mostly street parking for away fans. The good news is that there are few parking restrictions in place close to the ground. So if you arrive early enough, you can park only a few minutes walk away. When I have visited, I have parked in one of the side streets, found on the right-hand side of the A2030 before you reach the Good Companion pub. Alternatively, Miltoncross School, which is a five minute walk from the ground offers parking at £6 per car. The school is located in Milton Road (post code PO3 6RB). Derek Hall adds; 'There is also a very large car park (for a fiver) on the corner of Velder Avenue and Milton Road (a couple of minutes walk behind the away end)'. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near Fratton Park via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

Post Code for SAT NAV: PO4 8RA

The nearest local railway station is Fratton, which is around half a mile, or a ten minute walk away from the Fratton Park ground. It is served by trains from London Waterloo, Cardiff, Brighton and Portsmouth & Southsea. Portsmouth & Southsea which is the main train station located in Portsmouth is located just over one a half miles away or at least a 25-30 minute walk to the ground.which is a ten minute walk away. Portsmouth train station is at least a 25 minute walk away.

On arrival at Fratton by train you pass the ground on the left. Fratton station has a footbridge as the only way out. At the top of the stairs from the platform turn left onto the footbridge (from which you can see the floodlights of Fratton Park) and exit into Goldsmith Avenue. (Note that if the gate on the footbridge is closed you need to turn right on the footbridge and exit via Platform 1, turn left as you exit the station, walk 30 metres and go back over the footbridge to Goldsmith Avenue.) Turn left along Goldsmith Avenue and walk about half a mile passing straight around a small roundabout (by the Pompey Centre). Then Turn Left into Frogmore Road and the entrance to the Fratton End and South Stands is 100m ahead. For the Milton End stay on Goldsmith Avenue for another 100m and turn left into Apsley Road. The entrances to the Milton End are 100m ahead.

Thanks to Peter Coulthard for providing the directions.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of Fratton Park* 
Adults £23 Over 63's £17
Under 23's £15
Under 18's £10 (unaccompanied)
Under 18's £5 (when accompanied by an adult)

* Please note that these ticket prices are for tickets bought in advance of matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £2 more per adult ticket.

Official Programme £3

Portsmouth FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports website).

Southampton.

Record Attendance

51,385 v Derby County
FA Cup 6th Round, 26th February 1949.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

20,821 v Tottenham Hotspur 
Premier League, 17th October 2009.

Average Attendance
2017-2018: 17,917 (League One)
2016-2017: 16,823 (League Two)
2015-2016: 16,391 (League Two)

If you require hotel accommodation in Portsmouth then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Portsmouth Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

Why not write your own review of Fratton Park Portsmouth and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Portsmouth v Gillingham
League One
Saturday 10th March 2018, 3pm
Matt Boughton (Gillingham fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?
 
Gillingham had not played at Fratton Park for well over a decade, and with the team being in a great spell of form and this being a relatively local game against one of the leagues best supported sides, I took the opportunity to make the trip.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We left Kent at about 10.30am and made the journey via the M25 and A3 to Portsmouth, taking around two hours. We parked on a side road near the ground and found plenty of possible roads to park in, though we did arrive two and a half hours before kick off.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
On our drive in we passed the Good Companion pub, where our friends had erected a large Gillingham flag so we went in there for a pint. Because of this there were only a handful of home fans present. There was a good atmosphere but I was disappointed that there were no local ales to sample, something I like to do at away grounds. We left at around 2pm for the ground and the walk was quick (ten minutes) to Fratton Park.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Fratton Park?
 
Fratton Park oozes character and has an old fashioned charm. Rather like our own ground, it is situated in a residential area and we were greeted to a brass band as we approached the away end! One thing that Pompey must be complemented was their organisation. On passing the band there were clear signs to the turnstiles, we could buy the excellent match day programme from a seller while in the queue and then as soon as you are in you have toilets there. Rather unusually, there are two, one above the other, as you walk up the stairs to the stand. The Away End (Milton End) generates a great atmosphere although there are two supporting pillars obscure the view slightly. However, each stand is different and has its own individual character with the Fratton End opposite particularly impressive.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was memorable for Gillingham, as we left 3-1 winners. However being 1-0 down at half time was not good and neither was our performance. But Steve Lovell’s side have an enormous heart and were brilliant in the second half, scoring three excellent goals to win. The stewarding was relaxed though there was a large presence for the 1,500 Gills fans, but no trouble ever ensued. But one of the drawbacks of the old stadium was the long queue for the toilets at half time, with stewards not redirecting fans to the ‘bottom’ toilet we passed on our way in. Finally, the Steak and Ale pie deserves an honourable mention. Though a little pricey at £3.50 it had flavour and the pastry was particularly nice. My friend had the Chicken Balti and had similar observations.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy. A quick walk through residential streets back to the car, and then onto the main roads to the M27. Though the one-sided scoreline did prompt a considerable exodus of home fans before the final whistle which may have eased traffic by the time we left.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Fantastic. One of my favourite away days in a long time. Notwithstanding the three points, we returned to Kent with, I’d recommend Fratton Park to all away fans. The stadium has atmosphere and character, it is easily accessible by car or train with good pubs nearby and good food inside the ground. With attendances pushing 20,000 it is certainly a big game at League One and worth a visit.

Portsmouth v Shrewsbury Town
League One
Saturday 27th January 2018, 3pm
Chris (Shrewsbury Town fan)

Steps Up To The Away EndWhy were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

Fratton Park is one ground that I've wanted to visit for ages. It looked such a fabulous old ground and one I looked out for in the fixture list when it was published. With Shrewsbury running well in the league and Portsmouth on the rise, it also promised to be a very competitive game.

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

An easy car journey down the A34/M3/M27 corridor, with the M274 taking us straight into the city. Fratton Park is an easy drive from the motorway's end and well signposted. There is good road access to the ground, however the ground is close to Fratton Railway Station and a retail park, so it's a bit busy on the last half mile. Not too much of a problem though. The Fratton Park Ground comes into view on the approach to Fratton station and looks great, the old floodlights towering into the sky. Certainly a great sight. Following recommendations from this guide we opted to look for street parking. Be aware that the streets in the immediate vicinity of the ground have matchday parking restrictions, these are clearly signposted on the lamp posts. These restrictions are enforced, we saw some cars with tickets and wardens on patrol. Likewise, cars badly parked half on double yellows had a ticket. So just be careful there are no restrictions before you leave your car. We found some parking on one of the terraced streets about five minutes walk from the ground. It did seem to be busy already (arrived at the ground approx one hour before kick-off), so I'd imagine it's worth arriving early if you intend to street park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went straight to the seafront and visited Mozarella Joe's beach cafe. It's not the cheapest but a good place to grab lunch. Then went to Clarence Pier and played on the arcades! It's a nice area to visit if you arrive early, parking on the seafront isn't the cheapest though. Despite traffic, it was only a ten minute drive to the ground. There were already a few home fans in the area, they seemed a friendly bunch.

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

I was very impressed with Fratton Park. Grounds Iike this are few and far between nowadays, and should be cherished. After having a look round we went to the away end; in itself very old school walk to the ground, down a back alley from the terraced streets. The away end could probably do with a bit of spit and polish but I was impressed with how well it has aged. Brilliant away end, low roof and some pretty large advertising rafters make it feel very enclosed, and it's easy to get some noise going. Loved it! It's quite exposed by modern standards, the rear of the stand does not have a wall, just wire mesh. So with it being a wet, breezy January day it felt a little exposed. Running alongside the pitch are two fantastic old stands that have stood the test of time well. It's incredible to think the Main Stand is nearly a century old. However, it looks like they are well looked after, particularly the Main Stand. The supporters on these sides are very close to the pitch, adding to the atmosphere. The home end is the most modern, and despite being so much newer is well in keeping with the rest of the ground. The ground felt very splendid and I couldn't help but think of all the games that this ground has seen over the years.

View From the Away End

View From The Away End

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

It was going to be a tough day, with drizzle and heavy winds for almost the entire match. Shrewsbury took a 1-0 lead in the first half, but the atmosphere got heated when Portsmouth had a very good shout for handball in the penalty area turned down. The atmosphere in the ground was fantastic, even a crowd of a few hundred away fans could make some noise. The noise from the home support was very good. An element behind the goal sung and made noise for the entire match, and during periods of home pressure most of the home support joined in, making a real cauldron of noise. The stands are tall and very close to the pitch, which really made it feel like being on top of the players. A very tough place to visit and really has an 'away' feel to it. But whilst the home support is loud and passionate it's by no means nasty towards away fans. Stewarding was relaxed but well organised. Despite stewards urging fans to sit in their allocated seats, most seemed to find their own level, and a lot of fans opted to stand up for the duration, perhaps appropriate on a former terrace. Yet whilst the stewards kept an eye on it they opted not to warbirds intervene. Didn't eat at the ground but catering looked tidy, the toilet/bathroom facilities were very clean. Shrewsbury withstood a lot of pressure from the home side to win 1-0, a good result in a very difficult ground to visit.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Very easy, with the car only a few minutes from the ground. After getting through the traffic in Fratton it was then a short hop through the city and back to the motorway. One nice touch was some of the home fans congratulating us after the game and wishing us well. After a defeat that must have been hard to stomach, it was a nice gesture. A classy bunch of fans on the whole!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic. I'm not anti-progress but I love going back to old grounds like this. Much as I like our lovely, modern new stadium, I'd love to step back and experience one last game at our old Gay Meadow home. Although it's a much bigger ground, the away stand had that general feel. I hope Fratton Park is cherished for years to come, it's certainly appreciated by home and away fans. If you've not been before, make sure it's on your list.

Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers
Football League One
Tuesday 26th September 2017, 7.45pm
Yaz Shah (Bristol Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?
 
I have never been to Fratton Park. Plus it was likely to be a close contest as Pompey just below Rovers in the league table. There would also be a large support for both teams so worth it.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was a long journey time for 100 miles, two and a quarter hours down the A40 M25 M3 M27 A27 and A2030. Note as you come off M27, take first exit right onto the A2030. I also noticed that the nearby retail car parks have restricted parking on match days. I arrived early at 5pm so I parked on Edgware Road, which is only a ten minute walk away from Fratton Park. Make sure you take notice of any parking restriction signs as any illegal street parking and your car will get towed very quickly!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Went to a Tesco Extra store but the cafe closed due to lack of staff! I also noticed that the Brewster pub as I passed looked as if has now been closed for some time. I spent about an hour talking to a programme seller outside the away end who was selling programmes. Callum who it turned out to be is an avid Pompey supporter and a nice guy. There was not much dialogue between the home and away fans that I could see.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Fratton Park?
 
The Bristol Rovers fans were squeezed into one corner, all 800 of us, but we created a great atmosphere. Fratton Park is a large ground that was virtually devoid of home fans until just before kickoff and then very quickly filled up (completely)? It is nice ground, my only complaint is there is not much leg room in the away section. Most Rovers fans stood throughout the game.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The atmosphere was great. Rovers played really well in the first half but could not put the ball in the net. The referee was okay for the first 40 minutes then gave a free kick to them that was in my opinion, not a free kick. This resulted in a corner and they scored from a subsequent cross. The linesman initially disallowed the goal for offside but referee conceded goal after further discussion with the linesman. It was a terrible second half for Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth got more confident and scored two more goals to make it 3-0. This scoreline was very flattering to the home side but overall they deserved to win. The stewards were okay, the tea and coffee were cheap and no queues at the refreshment kiosk. There were 17,716 in attendance which was great for a midweek match. Our fans outsang the home supporters for large periods of the match.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy. I left a few minutes before the end and went up the A3 instead of the other motorways. The covered the 80 miles home to North West London in 90 minutes.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was am easy day out. Although there was not much to do beforehand, I would go to Fratton Park again. Good luck to Pompey in their return to League One.

Portsmouth v Walsall
Football League One
Saturday 19th August 2017, 3pm
Daniel Gilbert (Walsall fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?
 
I was looking forward to this as I had never been to Fratton Park before and it's an old style ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
My friend drove us down from Walsall. It was an easy enough journey and we used an app to pay to park on a local drive which wasn't far at all from Fratton Park.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went to The Good Companion pub which is a 5 minute walk from the ground. It attracts both home and away fans but everybody there was friendly enough including the staff. We also popped back after the game for food before heading home. There was a good selection of beers including real ale.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Fratton Park?
 
The Fratton Park ground was definitely as old as I had imagined, so probably needs a bit of work doing to it now but it's old fashioned so I wouldn't want them to spoil it.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Good game, atmosphere wasn't as good as I expected for a 'sell out' though. Stewards were also trying to make everybody sit in their allocated seat on entry to the stand but as we prefer standing we went up to the back with no problems. Walsall took the lead just after half time with Portsmouth equalising through a penalty.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
As with a lot of older grounds, you tend to all spill out together and this was the case. No problems though.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good day out and Fratton Park is definitely a ground worth ticking off.

Portsmouth v Accrington Stanley
Football League Two
Saturday 11th February 2017, 3pm
Adam Houlden (Accrington Stanley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

A trip to the biggest club in the league and a traditional stadium made the long drive worth it.My fourth visit to Fratton Park to keep up my 100 per cent away attendance record for the season.

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

Straight forward trip down the M6, M40, A34, M3 and M27 taking about five hours. There was plenty of traffic close to ground on the A2030 but I had no problem on parking on a side street about 10 minutes walk from Fratton Park, near to a large Tesco store.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Went to Macdonalds across the road from Tescos near the ground.Full of Pompey fans as you would expect but friendly and complimentary regarding our long trip.Plenty of Paul Cook banter given his Stanley connection!

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

Fratton Park is a great old fashioned traditional ground, which is a bit out of place in League two. The away end was more than adequate for Stanleys small contingent. One small point I've never been as cold as I was on Saturday at a football match!

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

An ordinary game won by Pompey with goals in the first and last minutes in between plenty of restless and nervous home fans.Stewards very quiet and probably had more difficulty keeping warm! Nice hot cup of bovril at half time at a reasonable price.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Plenty of traffic leaving the ground as we expected but once on the motorway after about 45 minutes everything was fine.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A long day with a disappointing result but in spite of this and the freezing weather worth it to visit Fratton Park again for maybe the last time for a while.

Portsmouth v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 28th January 2017, 3pm
Louis Reynolds (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

I am a Leeds United fan but my best mate is an Exeter City supporter, so we travelled down for the game as Leeds weren't in action until Sunday. I was mainly excited about going to the game because I had never visited Fratton Park before and tagging a long to a few League Two games in the past this has to be said as one of the more "Glamorous" in the League.

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

As I'm living in London we set off by car at around 11am on Saturday morning to Portsmouth. Journey was straight forward and easy to follow using the advised post code on this page. We found unrestricted street parking only about five minutes from Fratton Park, but I would advise getting there as early as possible as it does become very busy with traffic especially on the roads coming into Portsmouth.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

One of our party still needed a ticket so we made our way to the ground and just round from the away end there is a small portable kiosk selling tickets to visiting supporters. We then had a wander around Fratton Park and took in the surroundings before having a stroll back into town before grabbing a bite to eat and a quick drink. It was unreserved seating so we made our way in at around 2:15 to get a good spot in the away end.

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

The little Fratton Park cottage and main gate looks impressive due to its iconic style, however unfortunately the rest of the ground looks tired and crumbling. Portsmouth unfortunately are clearly baring the brunt for their financial struggles over the last few years.

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

The game was very scrappy in the first half with Pompey having more of the possession but City looking more dangerous. The only goal was around the hour mark for Exeter and they saw the game out to win 1-0. Although Portsmouth piled on the pressure late on. Thee were around 1,000 Exeter fans who made noise the whole game. There was a great overall attendance of 17,000 there so you really have to give it to the Pompey fans given the situation at the club. Stewards were friendly enough and seemed happy to help. The toilet facilities I think must have been recently done up because they seemed modern and clean. The queue for a cup of tea at half time was extremely long and waited around 15 minutes. However the hot drinks were very reasonably priced with tea at £1, Bovril £1.20 and Coffee at £1.50. Just what we needed as it was freezing!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

You have to go on a raised walkway to get into the back of the away end so when we were exiting you could see the Pompey fans making there way out as well. There was the usual friendly banter between the two sets of supporters however there were a group of around five or six who started throwing coins and shouting abuse at the Exeter fans - not very nice but never the less in the minority! We walked back to the main road having a great chat with a friendly Pompey supporter and his friend (who happened to be a Southampton fan!).

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Always love the prospect of visiting a new ground and glad to have ticked Fratton Park off the list. If you want to do the 92 then by all means Portsmouth is one of the more memorable grounds but I won't be in a hurry to return.

Portsmouth v. Crawley Town
Football League Two
Saturday 3rd September 2016, 3pm
Geoff Slater (Crawley Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

Annual visit to our south coast rivals and the opportunity for my wife to undertake some serious retail therapy at Gunwharf Quays.

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

Coming from the East along the A27, then Fratton Park is well signposted, it being preferable to come off at the junction for Southsea. The floodlight pylons can be seen from some distance so finding the ground shouldn't be a problem. Much of the residential area around the ground is terrace housing so street parking is limited (and there are two hour parking restrictions for non-residents). However, the East end of Devonshire Avenue isn't too bad as long as you don't mind a 10-15 minute walk. As an alternative you could try the Tesco Extra behind the home end where there is a three hour parking restriction - enough for most matches.

What you did before the ga me pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

The Pompey fans are a cheerful bunch, which perhaps isn't surprising given the club's rags to riches, then back to rags existence. (Pompey John will pose for selfies should the opportunity arise.) However, my son (a Portsmouth University graduate!) and I chose to have sandwiches along the seafront at Eastney - the calm before the storm.

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

Having come to Fratton Park over a period of almost 50 years, there have been numerous changes in that time, the most marked being the impressive home end (a larger version of stadio Woking) and the covering of the away end with seating placed on what was an open terrace. Fratton Park still retains an elderly ambience, similar to Craven Cottage, but they have now installed electronic entrance gates!

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

Facilities are pretty basic but there's always a good atmosphere and plenty of banter between the home and away fans. Stewards patrolled the areas between the now obligatory netting but other than that were largely inconspicuous despite their hi-vis jackets. As for the game itself, a first half pasting for Crawley meant a pretty mundane second half so not one to live long in the memory.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The rain came down heavily at five o'clock so the 10-15 minute walk back to the car left us wet through. Getting out of Portsmouth on a damp Saturday afternoon (via Gunwharf Quays) can take a while but still less time that it takes to get out of the Oxford United car park on a match day!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good family day out all things considered with a special mention to the Pompey supporter for removing an enormous house spider attacking my wife in the car as my son and I were purchasing our match tickets.

Portsmouth v Wycombe Wanderers
Football League Two
Saturday 23rd April 2016, 3pm
Thomas Inglis (Dundee United fan visiting English grounds)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

I was intrigued by the ground being as it is in the UK's only island city and had heard their support were quite passionate. This was also English ground No.65 visited for me.

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

I got my usual bus from Dundee at 8.45pm on the Friday, arriving at Victoria at 6.40am on the Saturday of the game. I then got my pre booked train Waterloo to Portsmouth. I could see the floodlights of the ground from Fratton station.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I had a few hours to look around the town, sights, shops etc. At 12 noon I decided to go for a pint. I asked a couple of guys for the nearest boozer and they pointed out The Froddington Arms. I quickly put a bet on in the bookies then popped into this bar. At the bar were (Gary and Ben, Father and Son) the two guys who had suggested this pub, and Gary offered to buy me a pint - now that is friendly. We had 3 rounds of drinks and chatted about football on both sides of the border.

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

I had a look around the outside of the ground and took the obligatory photo of the fancy Tudor entrance. I bought a mug from the club shop then went in to my seat in the Fratton End behind the goal. It is a fairly big ground for league 2 (20,000 capacity). I chose this end as there are no obstructing pillars, evident in the other two big stands running the length of the park. The 800 or so Wycombe fans were housed in the stand behind the far goal. I liked the overall look of the ground, helped by the atmosphere.

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

A good backing from both sets of fans for most of the game (and the bell ringer) created a noisy atmosphere. Stewards - helpful, pies 4/10, toilets - could be better. The game turned out to be pretty decent, plenty goalmouth action, three goals and twice that near misses.Portsmouth were looking to cement a play off place and were pretty dominant first half. They took the lead on 37 minutes when Roberts slotted in a cutback from around 6 yards. On 67 minutes Chaplin chased a long through ball,held off the defender and fired in a fine goal from the edge of the box 2 - 0. To make for a nervy last 15 minutes Wycombe's Jombati smashed a 20 yard free kick into the top corner. The game finished 2 - 1 Portsmouth in front of 16,187 fans.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

To let the crowds get away I went for a bite to eat in town then a couple of pints in the Trafalgar Arms. Train back to London then overnight bus back to Dundee for Sunday morning.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed Portsmouth and the town itself. It was a good game, good banter with fans and ground number 65 checked off.

Portsmouth v Cambridge United
Football League Two
Saturday 27th February 2016, 3pm
Sam Matthews (Cambridge United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?

As a Cambridge United fan, you don't get many chances to visit grounds that are better suited to the higher leagues, so Portsmouth away is always a must.

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

I took the supporters coach, departing the Abbey Stadium at 9:30 am. After a short stop at Fleet Services on the way, where we bumped into the Chelsea fans coaches on the way down to Southampton. Our journey was pretty seamless, minus getting stuck in some traffic near Fratton Park itself.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We arrived at the ground at about 1:15pm, 15 minutes before the gates opened. However as the coach had dropped us some way from the supporters turnstiles we had a hike to get round to them, which allowed us a tour of the ground. As Fratton Park is situated in quiet a residential area of Portsmouth, nobody really ventured off to find a pub, and we all huddled around the away turnstiles for warmth until they opened.

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

Obviously Fratton Park is a step above most grounds in the league, so the first impression you get can be a bit bewildering for League 2 folk! You enter the ground by putting you ticket in an electronic scanner (another first for League 2) and then walk up a small staircase where you enter the back of the stand. The away end is by far the smallest at Fratton Park, with an impressive looking home end opposite. The side stands are dated but have character and are still plenty large enough for League 2.

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

The game was dampened a little by the fact that it was an icy February day with a whipping breeze, and those of us that were stupid enough to stand at the back of the stand, where there's a sizeable gap between the seats and the roof, paid the full price! The game itself was dominated by Portsmouth, Marc McNulty putting Pompey in front after 41 minutes. They then went 2-0 in the second half, only for us to grab a consolation in the final minute.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Bit of a fuss, although the coach driver had warned us that the coach was going to be parked in a slightly different place coming out, but we hadn't anticipated just how different it would be. It was a rather unpleasant walk around the ground in the cold trying to find it for ten minutes, fearing we'd be the last aboard. However when we finally found it, we were relieved to discover other people were having the same issue! After that it was a straightforward journey home, back in Cambridge by 9pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Minus the result it was a good trip. I would recommend Portsmouth to League 2 fans as there really is nothing like it in the league. Portsmouth will need to update their facilities if they ever make it back to the big time, but for now it's more then sufficient.

Portsmouth v Macclesfield Town
FA Cup 1st Round
Saturday 7th November 2015, 3pm
Simon Abbott (Macclesfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Fratton Park?

This was first ever meeting between the two clubs. 

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

Travelled from Bristol so journey was fairly straightforward apart from the weather. Have previously visited when supporting Bristol City - so was easy to find ground(the tall floodlights are a big help). Parked on a street within half a mile of Fratton Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Went slightly upmarket with a three course fixed price lunch for £12.95 at Brasserie Blanc on the Harbour front. Very pleasant. Atmosphere fairly relaxed with home fans as is normally the case when non-league clubs visit league clubs.

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

Whilst impressive for a League Two football ground it seems obvious that in their Premier League years not much money was invested in Fratton Park as it has a slightly run down air about it. The away end is distinctly average considering Portsmouth's recent status - seating leg room typical of 'older' stadium in being a little tight and the ladies toilets (I'm reliably informed) are not much to write home about. If there was a large away support the toilet and food facilities in the away end I think would seriously struggle to cope.

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

Stewards were incredibly officious considering the visiting club was non league, have had zero previous meetings or history with Pompey and in my long experience Macclesfield supporters do not have any 'reputation' for trouble making. After been frisked on the way in ( me and my wife of 50+ years old!) - this doesn't even happen at Championship games (eg Wolves, Derby, Leicester, WBA, Leeds, Birmingham etc) I have been too as an away supporter. - the stewards were taking a keen interest in the fact that the Macc fans were standing up - and that was half an hour before kick-off! This continued during the first half with threats of eviction from the ground - eventually this petered out after the half time break .(it should be noted that the same zeal was not applied to standing home fans).

Initially it appeared the game would be one-sided for the home team especially when they scored in the third minute. However after a massive howler from the Pompey keeper led to an equaliser Macclesfield grew in confidence and the play was more balanced until a bit of pinball in the Macc penalty area in first half added time led to Portsmouth taking the lead again. Second half was scoreless with relatively few chances for either side and Pompey scrapped home. Most of the atmosphere came from the Macclesfield fans as the home support was mostly quiet despite outnumbering the away support by over 20 to 1.Barely heard the chimes or the drum. I did not sample the food but it did seem expensive for League Two - eg £2.50 for a grab bag of crisps, £3.70 for a pie. Programme reasonably priced at £2.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Not particularly quick getaway as it took probably half an hour to get to the motorway but plain sailing after that.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good performance from Macclesfield against an underperforming Portsmouth and with slightly more composure Macc could have taken them to a replay. Whilst supporting my home town non league side I have also been to many League grounds whilst supporting Bristol City (27 years resident in Bristol) and in comparison Fratton Park has very poor away facilities to many clubs considering their very recent Premier League status. Portsmouth is a pleasant place to visit but their ground is not top of my list to re-visit.

Portsmouth v Stevenage
Football League Two
Tuesday 20th October 2015, 7.45pm
James Walker (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Fratton Park?    

If we had been travelling to Portsmouth a week ago then I would've been dreading it given our recent form, but a high-scoring draw then a win (with our keeper scoring) meant I was feeling fairly confident we could nick a result at Fratton Park.

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

As usual, I took the Stevenage supporters coach, which was due to leave at 4.30 but didn't end up going till nearly 5pm as we were waiting for one person who didn't seem to know (or care) about listed departure times!

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

A crash on the M3 followed by heavy local traffic meant we were only arriving at Fratton Park as the game was kicking off. Our driver then missed the turning in to the stadium, and therefore having to do a lap of the whole ground (getting stuck in every set of red lights). This meant we ended up getting in to the ground roughly eight minutes in to the match, so no interaction with home fans outside, but I remember from previous visits that they are friendly enough.

What you thought on seeing Fratton Park, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

Having been here on our last two visits, I knew exactly what to expect. I always enjoy visiting Fratton Park as it's an old stadium and it's fairly easy to generate an atmosphere here. The away fans are in one half of the Milton End and Pompey fans are near the end of that stand, with only a bit of netting across a few rows of seats as segregation.

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

The game itself was a bit of a blur (they usually are for me when I miss the kick-off) but Portsmouth had the better of the attacking play in the first half without causing us too many problems. 0-0 at Half Time seemed like a fair result to me. As I didn't have any time to get a programme or food before the game, I knew what I would be doing during the interval.. Programme sellers walk around the edge of the pitch during the break so getting a copy of the matchday read (£3) was easy. Next for refreshments. I went for my usual Chicken Balti pie (£3.20) and it was one of the nicest I have had this season! The pie was swiftly demolished and soon it was time for the second half. Dipo Akinyemi should've put us 1-0 up almost straight after the restart but fired a great chance just wide. Pompey then started to build up, forcing Jesse Joronen in to some great saves. However with 13 minutes to play, Conor Chaplin pounced on a defensive error to put Pompey 1-0 up. Cue eruption around the home stands. However we were not to be denied as Brett Williams was subbed on in the 92nd minute and was racing away celebrating the equaliser in the 94th, a good looping header from a long throw. Cue mayhem in the away end! The final whistle went soon after and it felt like a win for us. I was delighted to see that the toilets have been upgraded in the away end. It used to be on par with York for the worst Gents in the league but now looks much better with the improvements.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was simple as we walked out of the away end, went through one of the car parks and across a road to board to coach for the trip back home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Thankfully our trip back wasn't as long as the one going, getting off the coach back at the Lamex around 12.15am. A long night with a fantastic end to it thanks to Willo's goal earning us a fantastic point. Now on to Sixfields on Saturday.

Result: Portsmouth 1-1 Stevenage
Attendance: 14,900 (133 away fans)

Portsmouth v Exeter City
Football League Division Two
Tuesday 29th September 2015, 7.45pm
Terry Bingham (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Fratton Park?    

I had not been to Fratton Park for many years and was looking forward to see if it had changed.

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

Travelling from Exeter at 3.30pm meant that we encountered several traffic jams as we hit rush hour all around the Bournemouth and Southampton areas. However we were lucky to find a car parking space about a mile from Fratton Park. Met up with a very helpful Pompey supporter who showed us the shortest way to the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly? 

Arrived at the ground with just 15 minutes until kick off, so no time to get food or a drink. Everybody we met were very friendly and helpful.

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

Didn't see much change in the ground from my last visit.  It seems as it needs some modernising, but did not worry me as I like older stadiums of this sort. Adequate away end, only spoilt by behaviour of a couple of away fans who were removed when they refused to sit. Well done the stewards.

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

The game was exciting for Exeter fans as we took an early lead and added a second in the first half. Atmosphere electric in the second half as both set of fans were trying to out shout each other. One way traffic in the second half and fortunately we held out until injury time when Portsmouth got a consolation.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Quite straight forward as we retraced our steps back to the car which was parked near the main road back to the motorway. Couldn't get any food as the food outlets were so crowded, and it would have seriously delayed our return journey.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day, apart from the journey to Portsmouth.

Portsmouth v Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two
Monday 6th April 2015, 3pm
Tom Harris (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Fratton Park?    

Dockyard Derby! A visit to the biggest stadium in League Two, so I was really excited for this fixture. I wasn't overly confident that Argyle would win but I was still anticipating a good game.

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

I know someone who lives in Portsmouth, so I stayed with them and walked to Fratton Park.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

The home fans seemed okay, but I had covered up my Argyle shirt as I walked to the ground. Pompey fans at the pubs surrounding the ground seemed alright and I didn't see any bother. 

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

Fratton Park is a huge ground for a League Two side. The size of it shows you how out of place Pompey are. They deserve to at least be a Championship side at least. The away end uses an electric system for scanning the tickets as you go in and its quite tight for space behind the stand. Once in the stand, there isn't loads of leg room and the flooring is uneven in places, so I had to watch my step. The view though is amazing.

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

We lost 2-1 but as a consolation I saw one of the goals of the season from our midfielder Olly Lee. The atmosphere at Fratton Park is unbelievable, the fans constantly singing as well as the bell in the back ground. The noise round the stadium was very loud. Sometimes I hate being an away fan and seeing a home team score because it makes you feel so alone in your part of the ground. Never have I felt this more than at Portsmouth.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was okay getting out of the ground. There was a bit of shouting between the Argyle and Portsmouth fans but no trouble.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out, although I felt that Portsmouth didn't deserve to win really, but that is football. A great stadium though and one I would definitely visit again.

Portsmouth v Oxford United
League Two
Saturday 28th February 2015, 3pm
Jake Hardiman (Oxford United)

Why you were looking forward to going to the ground?

As an Oxford fan there is rarely a chance to visit what was so recently a Premier League ground so naturally, helped by the promise of a good away following and a 3-0 home win over Mansfield Town the previous week, I jumped at the chance.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

A simple enough train journey from Reading via Guildford (having almost missed the bus to the station!) which took around a couple of hours, was followed by a walk which was by no means short but still simple enough. Fratton Park is also quite a bit easier to find than certain away grounds, due to its towering nature.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As per usual, we took a walk around this impressive ground, marvelling particularly at Fratton Park's famous Tudor façade, before entering the away end (following some fairly rigorous and arguably over the top searching) in good time around an hour before kick off. Home and away fans were able to mix freely outside the stadium.
 
What you though on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end, then other sides of the stadium?

We were almost awestruck upon entering this comparatively huge ground, and the away end certainly impressed, being large and fans housed close to the action. Opposite us was the impressive Fratton End, the ground's "Kop" and tallest stand. To our left was the two tiered South Stand, which housed the dugouts and press box, and, to our right, the North Stand, which had an unusually large number of supporting poles dotted around it.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

Although the game finished 0-0, it was by no means the worst I've ever seen, with both sides putting in a competitive performance but being unable to get anything past two pretty resolute defences (special mention to Ryan Clarke, Oxford's keeper who made two magnificent saves in the first half). As expected, the Yellows were backed by an impressive away following (1,292 out of a total crowd of 16,355), which made for a good atmosphere-the Pompey fans weren't exactly quiet themselves to be fair, although they could do with finding a song other than "play up Pompey" or "blue army". The stewards were fairly disciplined and kept people from standing in the aisles, but ultimately they were friendly and useful in allowing us to stand, which the majority of the away fans did.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

With a big crowd present this wasn't the quickest thing ever, but it was still easy enough and we arrived back at the station in good time for our train back to Reading via Southampton.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A decent result at a brilliant ground, one which will almost certainly be done again next season when, hopefully, both teams are challenging for the promotion spots they deserve.

Portsmouth v Northampton Town
League Two
Saturday, December 28th, 2013, 3pm
Elliott Barnes-Ward (Northampton Town fan)

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

I was looking forward to going to the match because I got the tickets as a Christmas present from my Uncle. My late Granddad had supported Pompey and he once took me there, but that was some time ago.  So I was really looking forward to a great match and seeing what it was like as an away fan.

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

We journeyed by car leaving Northampton at 10:30am and arrived at Fratton Park at about 1:30pm. We  parked relatively easily in a side street, just a couple of minutes walk away from the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We had Lunch at a KFC which was in sight of the ground and accommodated both Pompey and Cobblers fans. It had quite a friendly atmosphere, but a lot of fans arriving later had to queue for a while to get their food.

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

We made our way to the very old looking away stand, about 20 minutes before kick off and took our seats with the help from the Stewards. The other sides of the ground look like very old classic stands especially the two tiered South Stand, to our left, which had displayed on the front some of the old Division 1 and FA Cup titles on Bill Boards that Pompey have won over the years.

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

The game was very good, with Pompey's striker Jed Wallace hitting the bar early on, then, later in the first half, Cobblers defender Ben Tozer took a long range throw in which hit the bar as well. In the second half, our keeper, Matt Duke, made quite a good save from a header, then, in the dying minutes, David Moyo was through on goal and then was fouled inside the box but, surprisingly, no penalty was given, so the game ended 0-0.

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

It was very easy getting out of the stand with 728 Cobblers fans in. It was also quite easy finding the car as well, and we left the ground surrounded by Pompey fans who were very friendly.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great Christmas present and I had a great day, I wouldn’t hesitate in visiting Fratton Park again one day.

Portsmouth v Exeter City
League Two
Saturday November 2nd, 2013, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

For me this was a new ground to visit. Like Exeter City they are a supporter owned club and definitely a club to go to given their history.

2. How easy was your journey?

The journey was straight forward, travelling on the supporters coach. We left Exeter mid morning, arriving in Portsmouth just after 1pm.

3. What did you do before the game?

On arrival at the ground I first picked up my programme for the price of £3. Then we walked along a narrow footpath from the car park along the side of the stadium to the away turnstiles. From there we took a 5minute walk to the end of that road to the main road where almost opposite was the Shepherds Crook pub. Inside it had a mixture of home and away fans and offered drinks at a reasonable price.

4. First impressions on seeing the ground?

On getting through the turnstiles there is about 30 steps up to the back of the stand. Once in your seat you can see that the ground is still very much in the old style where the fans are almost on top of the pitch, just a few supporting pillars blocking some views.

5. Comment on the game, atmosphere, refreshments, stewards and toilets?

The game was played at a very fast pace with Portsmouth running out 3-2 winners after being 3-0 up in front of just over 16,000 supporters. With the 1,302 travelling Exeter fans creating a fantastic atmosphere in the away end. The refreshment hut is about half way down the steps towards the entrance/exit, on asking for a cup of tea 10 minutes before kick off I was told hot food and drinks were not ready so had to settle for a bottle of coke, by half time they had sold out and closed up! Stewards were very helpful and non-obtrusive and had to open up the corner section of the away stand for the late arrivals. The toilets looked very old and dirty.

6. Comments on getting away after the game?

Very easy walk back to where the coach dropped us off and a straight forward journey home.

7. Summary of the day out?

A very good day out despite the loss, but the way we played we still went home in good spirits.

Portsmouth v Preston North End
League One
Saturday December 15th 2012, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

The trip to the south coast was one of those days in football when it was difficult to know what emotions should really be foremost; on the one hand, a desire to see my team win, and win well would normally be uppermost, yet with Pompey in such a dire situation with their off-field problems, I couldn't help but feel real empathy towards their plight.  No-one wants to see good clubs go bust, if only for the "there but the grace of God" syndrome surely. It seemed only a breath of wind had passed since the Pompey chimes were frequently heard on "Match of the Day", but two relegations, administration, points deductions and court visits galore, the club was hanging over the relegation zone in the third tier of English football, with debts reportedly in the region of £61million and a further points deduction apparently waiting in the wings.

So, with weird emotions I, along with my daughter departed Kent, detoured via Croydon to collect two work colleagues, and then headed South along the A3.  Early watery sunshine dissipated as we neared our destination, and the grey clouds seemed to be almost touching the floodlights of Fratton Park in a gesture of nature that was far too symbolic for my liking.

We opted to pay £5 to ditch the car on one of the small business outlets near the ground for convenience, and made our way to the stadium.  My mood lifted somewhat as we walked towards the ground; it has a lovely flavour of the bygone age of football, when matchdays were more spontaneous, echoes of generations of men who would flock to such venues to stand under the floodlights on terraces to watch their team in whatever the weather could throw at them.

Although modernisation has touched Fratton, you can still taste the rich history. One of the things I was keen to see was how the ground had indeed changed since my previous visits. The "Milton End" for away fans has recently had a roof added to complement the seats fitted onto the former open terrace, and the opposite end for the home fans is a quite distinct and impressive modern all-seat affair, a far cry from the open terrace that greeted me on my first visit in 1994

The two stands along the side of the pitch have both had seats fitted onto their once charming open paddocks, and the stand to our right as we viewed the pitch has had its roof extended considerably. Meanwhile, as you wander along the back of the "Milton End" to enter the viewing area, or return to purchase refreshments, you can see into the backs of all the houses; the colourful array of childrens climbing frames, broken bicycles, well tended gardens, others less well cared for, another reminder of how much history has passed down this lovely old ground.

We were all impressed with the most vibrant co-ordinated drumming that was the pre-match entertainment; one of the better such that I have seen for a while, and it was equally interesting to see all the 'blue santas' amongst the home support, something that my 8 year old daughter found most amusing, if somewhat bizarre. I tried to explain that Pompey fans love their club very, very much, and many like to dress up as blue santas at this time of year to show their love for the club . . . . . . she didn't seem too convinced, but was certainly captivated!

Once the match itself started, I sensed we may have a problem, as some stewards seemed keen to try and make all the Preston supporters sit in their seats, and in so doing they were blocking our view of the match, but they soon seemed to sense that they were fighting a losing battle and disappeared and left us to view the less than appetising fayre on offer. As a football match, it was poor, and the atmosphere amongst the home fans seemed more directed at overall survival with chants such as "We'll never die" floating across the air. The penalty that Portsmouth were awarded, and then contrived to smash against the crossbar in the 14th minute probably summed the contest up.

I was merely glad that, as the clouds opened with a vengeance and unleashed the most torrential rain, that the "Milton End" now had a roof. Meanwhile on the pitch, we could have stayed there till midnight and we still probably wouldn't have seen a goal - in part I wouldn't have minded, as there is a certain magic about watching those swathes of rain drift illuminated under the shafts of light from the floodlight pylons; and it was more entertaining than the football too!  On the other hand, when the referee blew the final whistle, it put us all out of a certain misery; fans of both clubs have been used to seeing much better football at higher level(s), and it was sad to see how on the pitch neither side had much to offer, but I would have to admit that the Pompey youngsters seemed to have more desire and hunger than our players applied themselves with.

Thus we wandered off into the wet gloom of the environs of Fratton Park, and were pretty quickly settled into the car to head home, and as we did, caught a few glimpses of the floodlights glaring down onto the old lady that is Fratton Park in between rows of terraced houses.

That evening, I noticed that the 0-0 draw had not been enough to prevent Pompey from dropping into the relegation zone, and with another ten point penalty hanging over their heads, I really fear as I do still for the future of the club, and its lovely ground.  I hope come May 2013 they have survived to play league one football again, but the omens are as gloomy as the weather was at the final whistle that afternoon.

Portsmouth v Notts County
FA Cup 1st Round
Saturday November 3rd 2012, 3pm
James Spring (Notts County fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to visiting the ground (Or not as the case may be)?

I’ve heard nothing but good things about a trip to Fratton Park, so it’s a ground I’ve wanted to visit for a long time. However it was only this season that the opportunity arose to see Notts County play there in League One, but we ended up drawing them away in the FA Cup 1st round, and being a Weymouth based Notts County fan; I couldn’t resist an earlier than expected trip to the old ground.

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

We caught a train from Upwey Station, switched at Southampton Central, and arrived at Fratton Station just after half 12. There’s a footbridge over the station which brings you out onto Goldsmith Avenue. To get to the ground, turn left until you reach the roundabout at Hazel Court (You’ll see the Pompey club shop in one corner). If you turn left at the roundabout onto Fratton Way you can get to the ground that way, this brings you to the Fratton End and the ticket office. There’s also a KFC and McDonalds on this road. To get to the away end straight away go straight across that roundabout and go left when you reach Apsley Road. The Milton End is no more than a five minute walk down there.

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

Brought a match day programme for £3 (66 pages, decent quality - there are sellers all around the ground, even near Fratton Station!) before going for a pre match meal at the McDonalds on Fratton Way. We then walked across to the Fratton End of the ground to welcome the team coach. Most of the home fans we came across were very friendly and chatty.

If you want to see the Tudor Facade and are at the Fratton End of the ground you’ll see a sign on a wall saying ‘Frogmore Road Ticket Office’. Head down the alley to the right side of that and it brings you out right in front of the facade. To get to the away end from there head down Carisbrooke Road and turn left onto Specks Lane.

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

The ground is just as old fashioned and as full of character as I thought it would be. The four tall floodlights are visible from Fratton Station and that, for me – always signals a ‘proper’ football ground. The away end is a bit tight in terms of legroom but the view I had was better than expected, even stood right in the back row. There are a few supporting pillars at the front of the stand which do seem to impede your view at times no matter where you sit.

To the right of the Milton End is the North Stand – an old fashioned but large stand. You can tell the front part used to be terracing. Opposite you is the Fratton End where the wonderful atmosphere the Pompey fans create comes from and to the left is the South Stand – probably the oldest looking stand at the ground. None of the stands seem to match but it doesn’t seem to matter at Fratton Park – it’s a ground steeped in history and full of character. I loved it.

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

The first half was somehow an entertaining affair with little goal-mouth action until Francois Zoko headed Notts into the lead just as the board went up for one minute of added time. The second half began with Pompey – as expected giving it a real go but the Notts gave themselves a deserved 2-0 lead on 56 minutes when Arquin struck home from Campbell-Ryce’s cross. Pompey never really offered a great deal after that and Notts looked more likely to score again.

The match became a bit spicy with around a quarter of an hour to go when Portsmouth’s Scott Allan saw red for kicking out at Jamal Campbell-Ryce right in front of the dugouts. A bit of a scuffle between both sides followed which resulted in another yellow card being handed to both sides.

Notts saw the game out to claim a rather comfortable 2-0 victory at Fratton Park.  The stewards are very helpful, chatty, don’t mind people standing up near the back and didn’t force us to sit in our allocated seats. The Atmosphere, as expected was excellent particularly from the Pompey fans who I don’t think stopped singing all game, great credit to them – they’re a magnificent bunch of supporters.

There’s a small food outlet at the back of the Milton End, so I’d expect a bit of a queue. I didn’t sample it for myself but from what people around us brought it appears they have the usual selection of hot/cold drinks, snacks, and pies.

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

A lot of the crowd were heading towards the station and we seemed to mix with no problems at all, even got talking to another Pompey fan at the station. The roads immediately surrounding the ground did appear to be quite busy as you’d expect but the traffic soon disappeared. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of day out:

On the whole an excellent day out to an old ground full of character and steeped in tradition, made sweeter by a win for the Magpies. Can’t wait to return for the league fixture in January.

Portsmouth v Swindon Town
League One
Tuesday September 18th, 2012, 7.45pm
Ronan Howard (Swindon Town fan)

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

Evening kick off under the floodlights of a fine old historic ground, along with yet another near capacity away crowd, and the closest away game I was going to get this season!

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

Another one I’d gone to on the train, which from Basingstoke was a direct journey taking around an hour. A mate of mine who’d driven down from Swindon did say parking was horrendous but couldn’t comment personally. The ground being a ten minute walk from Fratton train station and easily identifiable by those grand old floodlights made the journey very straightforward.

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

Having passed the ground and gotten my bearings, I made a beeline for the Brewers Arms, an away-friendly Fullers pub a short walk from the ground. Portsmouth and Swindon fans mixed well and the pompey fans were a credit to their club. I found the area around the ground far more welcoming than some less high profile games, none of the pubs seemed to be asking fans if they were home/away supporters, and certainly didn’t go so far as to ask for proof in the form of match tickets (I’ve had this at Southampton and Aldershot before). The general impression was one of passionate but welcoming supporters.

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

Completely iconic, and so nice to see in contrast to many modern stadiums. The floodlights are a fantastic thing to see, especially when they’re used for an evening kick off.

The away end which was fully occupied by Swindon fans was a bit of a throwback – once through the turnstiles the stand looks like a former terrace, and is very open. Both side stands are fairly small and basic looking, but the home end is fairly large and impressive. Can’t comment on the quality of the seating as the stewards allowed us to stand for the whole game.

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

Pompey had been on a poor run of form and as visitors we dominated the game from the off – some great passing moves and reasonably clinical finishing had put us 2-0 up and coasting, however town did their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and Portsmouth were well worth their consolation towards the end of the game. Thankfully we held on for a deserved 2-1 win. The facilities were fairly basic but functional, and the stewards were helpful but not intrusive, always a good sign.

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

A short walk back to the train station and a fairly quick return journey capped off a good evening – also had the opportunity to have a friendly chat with some Portsmouth fans on the way home, who were very gracious in defeat. Logistically one of the easier away trips in the league.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good game, good win, home support vocal and passionate without being intimidating. A classic football ground and a great club, unfortunately which have had happier times. Best of luck to Portsmouth for the rest of the season, definitely a ground I’d like to return to.

Portsmouth v West Ham United
Championship League
Saturday January 14th 2012, 3pm
Jamie Burton (West Ham fan)

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 dispatched 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.

Why not write your own review of Fratton Park Portsmouth and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* Although this is the number of seats, the Club currently have a safety licence for a maximum crowd of 18,900.

Updated 17th August 2018

Buy my new Football Grounds Book
Fully updated for 2018/19
The biggest and best yet!

Football Grounds A Fans Guide Book Cover 2018

Click Here For More Info
And How To Get Your Signed Copy!

Buy my new Football Grounds Book
Fully updated for 2018/19
The biggest and best yet!

Football Grounds A Fans Guide Book Cover 2018

Click Here For More Info
And How To Get Your Signed Copy!

FACEBOOK

TWITTER