Monday, 14 April 2014

Our away day at Yeovil's Huish Park

I was quite late in deciding to buy tickets and make the trip to Yeovil. What influenced me was the thought that Yeovil might not be in the Championship next season and it was a ground I had not been to. I also see it as a great family club that would have a nice welcoming feel about it and I wasn't wrong there.
Robert and Stephen assess the atmosphere outside the ground.
We had to make an early start at 10.30am aw we headed across country from Redhill in Surrey to the Somerset Plains. As expected we hit a bad run of traffic around Stone Henge as cars decided that 4mph was plenty fast enough to enjoy the scenery and view the monument. We were really getting behind on time though and a two and a half our journey ended up nearer to four hours which meant missing out on a pre-match stop-off. 

Robert decides that the gentlemanly thing to
do is to shake the hand of the opposition's manager.
So we followed the signs for away supporters with cars and managed to find a spare space on one of the roads  leading up to the ground to make a £2 saving. 

We then walked up to Huish Park among lots of other fans and had a quick look round the shop where Robert found a cardboard cut-out of Gary Johnson who he seemed very pleased to meet. I had not realised that the BBC were about with Mark Clemmit (Clem) doing a few interviews for the Football League show and must have been very lucky to avoid his microphone as I noticed after the match that some of the people I had photographed were indeed interviewed by Clem not far away from where I had been standing.

We just had time to sample a burger and spot a few faces enjoying the sunshine behind the away stand on the grass bank, before handing our tickets in through the turnstiles to see a packed stand full of supporters of the Cherries. It really was standing room only, although the seated section to our left was also filling up fast. A total of 2000 away supporters was a great turnout and everyone was looking to see if the AFCB players could carry on their strong winning run.
The inflatables are back.
Cherry Chimes busily got to work taking photos of the crowd and player and I had a quick word with AFCB's official photographer Steve Cook who was also hard at work snapping away. The stewards were very accommodating and let me  take as many photos as I wanted and as the balloons and inflatables started to bounce around Robert, Stephen and myself could not wait for the game to start even if the weather suddenly had a chill in the air. The crowd respected the minute silence for the 96 who died at Hillsborough extremely well, but after that I felt the fans found it difficult to get the singing together. The chanting was a bit disjointed, with our fans being split between two stands, and so was the football when it came to it. 

Indeed, the game itself was not the best to watch and when Yeovil scored the fun of the day seemed to fall away for the Bournemouth fans as it became more anxious for us to get something from a game that we had all hoped would be a much easier affair. Yeovil's tall players were creating plenty of chances and our lads were finding it difficult to string many passes together. It was a bit hard on Yeovil to concede the goal in the way that they did but as Ryan Fraser will  no doubt be ribbed about he got his head in the right place for once and to see the ball loop up and into Yeovil's goal was the best feeling I had all day.

The teams line up.
Yeovil and ACB players stand for the minute silence.
With Eddie Howe then clapping the fans and the players looking completely spent we were left to dwell on what might have been. Another point but it could so easily have been a defeat. As we left the ground we chatted to some Glovers who were keen to say how lucky our team had been and I couldn't really disagree with them. The West country had given us a good day out and we had enjoyed the chance to stand and watch a game rather than be seated all match. It had brought back some memories of being on the stand at the old South End at Dean Court, but without a roof I was just pleased that the rain held off.

I had a bit of a run in with a steward at the end of the match as I wanted to speak to some AFCB fans in the seated stand but was having to shut over to them to try and get them to realise that I would try and come round. But the officials over heard my conversation and wanted to show us the way out. I was okay with that but the steward was insistent that he could help and show me where to go when all I wanted to do was tell my friends to wait where they were until I could catch up with them.  I hadn't asked for the steward's help and he was trying to stand in front of me so that I could not get a message across to the other stand! I was probably still annoyed at the score line and the steward was only trying to be helpful, but I was getting pretty annoyed. Still I caught up with my friends which was the main thing. Apparently you were not allowed to go over from the main away stand to the seated stand because of safety reasons, but with fellow Bournemouth fans situated there it was a bit baffling to know why they made such a fuss about it.  

Tommy Elphick leads the team out at Huish Park.

It will be back to more familiar surroundings on Friday but after that we are looking forward to our first visit to Portman Road. 

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