Who Are These Jobbers?
Honestly, this lot again?
I swear, whoever wins this play-off better go up because the last thing I can be bothered with is playing Portsmouth two more times.
Anyway, they had a massive banter era between winning the FA Cup in 2008 and nearly going bust pretty much every year after that. They are now owned by a bloke who used to work at Disney and their manager looks like a Teddy Bear.
I sincerely hope we have a long break without seeing/hearing that goddamn bell because I’m really, really sick of playing Portsmouth.
What’s The Ground Like?
Could there be a more fitting venue to end the League One campaign than Fratton Park? For the purists, they see a jewel of yesteryear. A relic of a bygone era and something that can almost tearily described as a “proper football ground”.
The rest of us, however, see a stadium that looks like someone’s house and an away end when the seats have clearly been bolted onto the former terrace. It oozes that old school charm such as obstructing pillars and Bovril hotter than the sun.
Anyway, Sunderland fans are housed in the Milton End and will be backed by 2,000 lunatics making a mammoth trip to the South Coast on a Thursday night.
How Do I Get There?
Just to layer on the banter of playing on a day reserved for dead rubber Europa League ties in Belarus, Portsmouth is absolutely miles away from Sunderland.
If you’re driving (shine on you crazy diamonds), take the A1(M) down to junction 35 and join the M1 heading south. Follow this all the way to junction 15A and take A43 and M40 to junction 9 where you exit for the A34. Join the M3 until Eastleigh where you hop on the M27 heading east to Portsmouth.
Exit at junction 12 and take the M275 and A2030 following the signs for Fratton Park. There is limited parking at the ground so find yourself some street parking to plonk your motor. Should you get lost put PO4 8RA into your sat nav.
If you’re getting the train, the nearest station to Fratton Park is handily called Fratton. There are regular services from both London Waterloo and Victoria but be aware that the last train back to the capital leaves at 22:28.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
It’s such a bloody long way to Portsmouth, so you’re going to need a little light refreshment. The Staggeringly Good Brewery is a stone’s throw from Fratton Park on St Georges Industrial Estate and has a load of excellently named beers such as the 8% Velocirapture IPA and the Habanero-infused Reptile Dysfunction.
Arguably the most popular pub for away supporters is The Good Companion on Eastern Road while the Milton Arms and The Old Barn, both on Milton Road, will allow those of red and white persuasion, if you behave yourself. And if you absolutely have to know, the The John Jacques on Fratton Road is the place for you if you bloody love Wetherspoons.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
Since the good Lord has blessed us with a midweek venture to a glorious maritime city, it would be rude not to feast upon the meats of the cultural stew that is Portsmouth.
Do you want to see a git big tower? Well, get yourself down to the Emirates Spinnaker Tower, that’s right folks, Portsmouth has a sponsored tower. As towers go, it’s pretty impressive rising 170 metres into the sky and provides a tremendous view over the sea. If you’re git brave you can stroll along the glass Sky Walk or experience ‘The Drop’, a 25-metre freefall.
If you’re a fan of really old ships that are now better known for the sauce they inspired, then The Mary Rose museum is right up your alley. Learn all about Big Dawg Henry VIII’s favourite ship and see loads of Tudor objects that sailed on this big old boat.
And if you really, really, really, really love boats you see loads of them at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.