The Fitness First Stadium
When the fixtures for the season were first announced, I had been planning to go to St Andrews to see Wolves play Birmingham, however when tickets went on sale for £30 (behind the goal), then I decided that that was the limit for me to watch second tier football, even if it would have still been a relatively cheap day out thanks to the small train fare, then it was still too much and that it was time to send a message to the club(s) by refusing to go (for all the good it would do). With this in mind, I wasnít going to simply sit at home, so another game to go to was needed!
Looking down the fixture lists, the one match that stood out was Bournemouth vs Carlisle, partly because there were cheap train tickets available, meaning I could save over £20 on the normal price, so with this in mind, I decided to go for it and take another step closer towards completing the 92.
With the distance involved, I had to leave early, catching the 6:40am train southwards, which took just under 5 hours before arriving into Bournemouth. Once there, I headed off into the town to take up a couple of hours before arriving at the ground just before 2pm. As usual, I went round taking a few pictures, before visiting the club shop, and finally going in once the turnstiles opened.
Iíd bought tickets in the North Stand behind the goal, which was a fair sized, single tier stand running the width of the pitch. Along the two sides were identical stands mirroring each other, and like with the North Stand, they were single-tier all-seaters. The Main Stand to our right had a row of executive boxes to its rear, but still remained at the same height as the East Stand opposite. At the far end of the ground was the South Stand. When the ground was rebuilt several years ago, this end had been left empty, with the intention to build something similar to the North Stand, however it now had in place a temporary stand featuring red seats, which made the ground a little bit more interesting, and certainly looked better than an empty car-park as previously.
Having taken a few pictures, I eventually found my seat, and the game got underway. Carlisle kicked off, and it didnít take them long to trouble the home side, winning a penalty in their first attack. A ball had been played over the top to Karl Hawley who, sandwiched in between two Bournemouth defenders, seemed to make the most of the situation and go down rather easily. The referee gave the penalty, and Hawley himself dispatched it with relative ease to give the visitors the lead. With the restart, it was Bournemouthís turn to attack, and throughout the rest of the first-half, they caused Carlisle problems in the box, but never really seemed to get a decisive final touch on it, so with the visitors content to sit on their lead, the half eventually finished 1-0.
After the break, the second half resumed much as the first half had finished, with Bournemouth having the lions share of possession, but unable to get any luck from their strikers up front. The hosts did manage to have a chance cleared off the line, but not helped by the ref, who gave them nothing all afternoon, the score remained at 1-0, with Carlisle taking all three points.
Throughout the game, the home fans in the North Stand had tried to get a good atmosphere going, and in the second half, with the tempo of the match picking up, then they seemed to really buoy the team up, so it was a bit disappointing for them to come away with nothing, when a draw would have been a fairer result.
After leaving the ground, I made my way back to the station, catching a train later on, and having to go back via London, before getting home just after midnight.Despite it being a long day, I was glad that Iíd made the trip down to Bournemouth. The ground, whilst not complete, is still an interesting one, and is certainly one Iíll happily end up at again one of the days, so the long journey was definitely worth it!
Page last updated 01/11/09
All Material Copyright © T.S. Rigby 2009