Brighton St Pauli went on their first trip away – staying in the New Forest for the AFC Bournemouth v West Ham Stephen Purches Testimonial at Dean Court (aka Goldsands Stadium).
All packed and raring to go I met up with Mark, Flo, George-the-dog (Black Labrador) and Becky at a campsite near Holmsley, along with guests Robin (aka Batman), Michelle and their kids.
The short journey from Brighton was good, despite the inevitable GridLock in the New Forest (see below)!!
Tents were quickly pitched, BBQ’s lit and soon we were enjoying some delicious burgers and washing them down with some equalliy-fantastic beers… It was hot, almost unbearable and the sun setting came as a welcome rest-bite. Badger, Ringwood, Butcombe and Dorset Brewing Company ale continued to flow, along later with red wine, cider and – just to finish-off! – just a little port.
Sleep came quickly and we awoke to a beautiful fresh Saturday morning. That lasted all of two hours, until the sun threatened to bake us alive from around 10.30am… There was no escaping from the searing heat, so we set off to the seaside on our way to Dean Court.
Arriving at Dean Court and hour before kick-off we headed to the ‘1910 Bar’, named after the year that ‘The Cherries’ moved to the current site donated to the club by the Cooper-Dean family. The stadium is named after the family but has seen naming-rights sold and the ground previously called the Fitness First Stadium, the Seward Stadium and currently the Goldsands Stadium (if only all clubs could follow FC St. Pauli’s example!!)
I remember when, in the old Dean Court, the AFC Bournemouth members’ bar would be a regular feature in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Alas, those days are long gone but now-a-days we can enjoy some reasonable food whilst watching the Ashes with a beer before taking our seats.
Purches was a trainee at West Ham and joined AFC Bournemouth in 2000, staying for 7 years and missing only three league games in that period. He moved to Leyton Orient, where he stayed until he was released in 2010 and re-signed with AFCB in June 2010. Recently Purches was appointed a player-coach role at AFCB, but he’s currently best remembered for him scoring in the 2003 Division 3 Play-off Final, which AFCB won 5-2 against Lincoln City.
West Ham won comfortably 2-0 with both goals from Nolan and Collision both scored in the first half. Considering the heat, the game was played a good pace; AFC Bournemouth passing the ball but enable to make the most of their changes, whilst West Ham showed a clinical eye in front of goal and hitting the woodward twice in the process. **Full Report – courtesy of Up The Cherries **
In all, an enjoyable weekend with many comments made on the Sankt Pauli shirts, plus a couple of Bournemouth fans expressing an interest to one day visit the Millerntor. Hopefully by the time of our next Football Away Day we’ll have more members and a lot less heat!!!
Next up, The Tolpuddle Festival.
Pass me the aprés sun, please; a cold one from the fridge is perfect!!