Moneyfields 0 Brimscome & Thrupp 0 aet
I picked this tie mainly due to the fact that I don’t know Portsmouth very well. I’ve passed through and visited the tourist attractions, but I’ve never been to football there. A lengthy journey but fortunately we had been spared the hellish conditions endured by folk in the north of the country.
London was always going to be busy a couple of weeks before Christmas, I did particularly like the dozen or so people fully dressed in Santa suits with tattoo’s plastered all over their bodies. I never actually discovered why they were hanging around Waterloo station but needless to say, nobody gave them a second glance.
The rest of the train journey went without incident, I did pass a non-league grounds about 5 minutes before arriving in Portsmouth and made a mental note to look up where it was only to later discover that it was the ground I was going to.
For once, I fell out of the station and immediately saw the street that I was looking for. I never once came close to getting lost.
The obligatory market was situated all away along the middle of the pedestrian walkway near all the major shops. This made it an absolute nightmare to walk anywhere, you took about two steps and had to step aside for a pram, group of people, walking frame or dog coming the other way. Even when I finally got off this walk-way, there were still plenty of different shops littered all over the place and I saw very few boarded up shop fronts - Good to see.
I was confident I would stumble across a chip shop and indeed I did. I just ordered a portion of chips and asked for them to be left open. Clearly in Portsmouth, asking for them to be left open involves putting them in a polystyrene tray and then wrapping them in three large pieces of paper. I spent the next few minutes walking along the street trying to keep them unwrapped, every now and then actually finding a chip and managing to navigate it to my mouth. I eventually came across a bus stop with a bench and bin, managed to unwrap all the paper and actually found a lunch that I could get at.
The street leading to the ground reminded me a bit of Coronation Street. A long straight road with similar looking houses but nothing else of any interest to see.
The ground is actually next to a footbridge that may have saved me a few minutes if I’d used it but it looked a bit secluded and dodgy so I decided to give it a miss.
A bunch of kids were playing football on an outside 5 a-side court on my arrival supervised by a couple of adults. Both teams were shooting into the same goal and I wasn’t quite sure how this worked, turned out to be the only goals I saw all afternoon.
There is a stand by one of the nearside corner flags and also a covered standing area on the near side. The pitch is also right next to the railway line as previously mentioned and trains went past at regular intervals and occasionally stopped for a while at signals giving the passengers a free view of the game.
A large number of away fans were in attendance and certainly made the most noise. Quite a nice atmosphere all in all, the tea hut did great business and was staffed by three cheerful and really hard working ladies.
For the fourth Saturday in a row, I was subjected to winds of over 40mph. It’s now got beyond tedious. Playing a match of any quality is near on impossible as the ball constantly flies out of play at warp factor nine. The first half was actually fairly interesting with Brimscombe and Thrupp having a few great chances which they somehow didn’t take. As the came went on, the chances became fewer and fewer and virtually nothing happened in extra time despite a large amount of endeavour from both sides.
My first 0-0 of the season, not a terrible game but to quote a cliche, the only winner was the weather.