Ground: Dean Court (Goldsands Stadium)
Date: 29th December 2013
Match: Bournemouth - Ipswich 1-1 (League Championship)
Attendance: 11 096
Before this trip I has visited 68 of the current 92 grounds. This Sunday the Football League offered a full round of matches. Staying the night in London I decided to visit a match in southern England. AFC Bournemouth won promotion from League 1 at the end of last season and for the first time in 20 years they are now playing in the second tier of English football. The south coast have been badly hit by rain this winter but as I made my way from London Waterloo to Bournemouth the sun was out and it was almost a clear sky. Bournemouth is two hours by train from london and by 2.35 I was at Bournemouth train station. I then boarded a local train to Pokesdown, a 15-minutewalk from the ground. My earliest memory of Dean Court (or Goldsands Stadium as it is officially called nowadays) is a Tipsextra match from 1984. Manchester U were reigning champions in the FA-cup. In the third round of the 1983/84 season they were drawn away to AFC Bournemouth, then in the third division. Bournemouth won 2-0 and this match was shown live in Sweden. Since then Dean Court has been completely rebuilt and the pitch has been rotated 90 degrees as well. Three new permanent stands were built in 2001 but the fourth side (South Stand) was left open. In time for their return to the second tier a new temporary stand was built and the ground looks quite good now it has been completed. Dean Court has an all.seated capacity of 11 400, with away fans given around 1 400 seats in the East Stand.
I went inside the ground as soon as the turnstiles opened, 75 minutes prior to kick-off, and looking at the pitch Iwas surprised to see it was in such a good condition. Anyway, I took my pictures of the empty stands before having something to eat and drink. My friend James then showed up as well. Living outside Peterborough this was quite a long trip for him but when I told him I was going to this match he decided to come as well. We could see the ground fill-up nicely. 11 092 (1 400 away fans) packed Dean Court and we could watch quite a good match. 0-0 at half-time but early in the second half Ipswich scored, 0-1. Bournemouth then threw everything forward and managed to equalize in the 74th minute. They continued to play well and scored again, disallowed for a push on the goalie though. The last 20-25 minutes were really entertaining but no more goals were scored and the match finished 1-1. After the match James and I walked back to Bournemouth station and at 17.50 our train left Bournemouth. This was my 22nd Championship ground, only missing Burnley and Sheffield W in this division now.
There are now no matches in England until New Year´s Day but with Dunfermline vs Rangers being played tomorrow evening I will make the long journey to Fife in Scotland. Hopefully the rain won´t cause any problems. I will also meet up with some fellow Swedish groundhoppers in Dunfermline so an interesting day coming up.
Rear of the South Stand
Rear of the West Stand
Rear of the Northwest corner
North Stand (Steve Fletcher Stand)
South Stand (Ted Macdougall Stand)
View of Dean Court
View of play
Football is boring...