Sky Bet EFL League 2
Saturday 24th September 2016
Kick-Off 3:00 pm
Stadium: Fratton Park, Frogmore Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8RA
Telephone: 02392 731204
Club Colours: Blue and White
Key Personnel: Liverpool-born Paul Cook has been in charge at Fratton Park since May 2015 having previously managed at Chesterfield, Sligo Rovers and Accrington Stanley.
Paul featured in 700 domestic games in a 23 year career, most notably for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Burnley.
Brief Directions by Road: From the M25 exit at the A3 junction 10. Continue along the A3 southbound, which eventually becomes the A3(M). This road then becomes the A27 westbound. At the junction with the A2030 turn left Eastern Road signposted Southsea/Fratton.
Continue along the A2030 (coast road) and soon enough you will see the extremely large floodlights in front of you.
Car Parking: Car parking is limited in the immediate vicinity and street parking is the only real option. Secure car parking is available at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milton Road although there is a charge for this. Milton Cross School also in Milton Road offers parking for £6.00 per car.
Directions by Train: A London Waterloo train to Portsmouth will take about 90 minutes. However, the nearest local train station is Fratton which is a ten-minute walk away. Portsmouth train station is at least a 25-minute walk away – sounds like a cab to share to me!
Eating and Drinking Locally: At the risk of getting of “Press Ganged”, the pubs around the docks or in Old Portsmouth are worth a visit. My spies tell me two great pubs are The Duke of Buckingham or the Sally Port Inn, both to be found in the High Street.
Both are 16th century buildings and serve decent grub – apples in barrel, salted pork, stale biscuits, that sort of thing – and, of course, have a great selection of tums.
Most of the pubs in the immediate vicinity do not inspire, unfortunately, but all are safe for visiting fans according to the club.
Ground Description: Fratton Park proudly (and quite rightly) exhibits one of the very few remaining Archibald Leitch designed grandstands in the country. This main stand was built in 1925 and, unfortunately, the typical Leitch balcony, with its criss-crossed steel balustrade at the front of the upper tier, is now obscured by adverts. However, it still retains a certain grace whilst showing signs of age.
Opposite is the North Stand, which is also two tiered and was built in the 1950s but has been radically modified since. The largest structure is the Fratton End which is a home fan stronghold.
The recently covered Milton End will be our home for the afternoon. This stand is shared between home and away fans.
Rivals: Southampton, Southampton and Southampton
Admission Prices: Adults £20, Concessions £15, U17s £10. For full ticket details click here.
Previous Meetings and Memories: Our last visit in September 2015 resulted in a 3-1 defeat, Andy Yiadom scoring the Bees’ goal. The 16,217 attendance, I believe, is the highest ever League attendance that Barnet have played in front of.
In October 2011 the Bees pulled off a “giant-stinging” Carling Cup win at Fratton Park, Mark Hughes scoring in 1-0 win.
Twenty years earlier more than 6,000 turned up at Underhill hoping to see a Barry Fry influenced pure football Barnet team – which four months later picked up the Conference trophy – join the list of the ultimate FA Cup giant killers by beating Pompey in the third round. We were duly given a footballing lesson and lost 5-0, Guy Whittingham showing his class in front of goal that afternoon.
Celebrity Watch: One of Barnet’s favourite sons Linvoy Primus spent the best part of a decade at Fratton Park and became a Pompey legend in the process.
Peter Sellers was born here as was Paul Jones, lead singer with 1960s R and B (in the real sense of the phrase) band Manfred Mann. Ex-Prime Minster James Callaghan is also from these parts as is Isambard Kingdom Brunel who would no doubt been approached to design the stadium if he hadn’t had passed away in 1859.
Literary genius Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth and probably enjoyed a pint or two in the harbour’s pubs discussing book writing and silly names with fellow notable Portsmouth residents, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Besent and HG Wells. HG was always late arriving, allegedly!