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A Rough Guide To Bournemouth
Wednesday, 17th Oct 2018 09:14

It's South Coast Derby time again, but not as we know and like it, as we head West to take on the Cherries in the New Forest Derby and as usual we bring you all the info.

Saints head to Bournemouth on Sunday to take on the Cherries at what is now called the Vitality Stadium but we still call Dean Court.

Despite the fact that we have done this many times over the years they still like to think of us as some kind of rivals and refer to us as Scummers, we have no such name calling for them and indeed many Saints supporters are delighted that they have managed to reach the top flight for the first time in their history and avoid relegation for several seasons now and look like doing so again.

With the Vitality Stadium only holding 11,464 we have received only 1,200 tickets, although with many Saints supporters living in the Bournemouth area there are likely to be a fair amount of Saints fans in home areas.

The Stadium

The Vitality Stadium is on the same spot as the old Dean Court although the pitch is in a different direction so that what was behind the goal at the old Dean Court is now on the side at the Vitality, you get my drift.

It was opened in exactly the same year as St Mary's, 2001 and built by the same people, but is only a third of the size.

It is essentially a three sided ground in that only three stands were originally built, when we visited in 2008 behind one goal was a small open temporary stand that boosted the capacity to the 10,008 mark that attended that game.

Now it has the temporary but more robust Ted MacDougall stand behind one goal honouring their greatest player who also played for Saints and played a vital part in our promotion season of 77/78.

This means the capacity is now officially 11,464 slightly below the record attendance of 11, 772 in a friendly against Real Madrid.

The Away Section

This is still situated in the corner of one of the side stands, now named the Energy Consulting East Stand, the views here are unblocked by pylons but with the stand only having around 16 rows most fans will be fairly low down in their view of the pitch.

The concourse underneath is spacious and see's the usual selection of pies and burgers and it should be noted there is little choice nearby outside the stadium.

Alcohol is available in the ground normally with cans of Lager or bitter at £3.50.

Getting There

By Car

It is a short drive from the Western edges of Southampton and can be reached from the M27 junction 3 in around 30 minutes, just follow signs to Bournemouth and the ground is just off the A338 on the left as you come into Bournemouth.


There is a good sized car park at the ground but please note it is a pay at the meter car park with a charge of 50p per hour, make sure you put enough money in to cover the time in the game as they do check and give out tickets.

Otherwise its street parking and it might be easier to park in the area around Pokesdown Station.

By Train

You have a choice of two stations, Bournemouth central served by all trains from Southampton and Pokesdown which is nearer but served only by slower trains, it should be noted that after the game the Police are likely to escort Saints supporters on the train directly back to Pokesdown rather than Bournemouth central.

Bournmouth central s a 25-30 minute walk from the ground and Pokesdown around 15 minutes.

Pubs Etc.

Pokesdown Station has a number of pubs by it and also more options for eating etc, the Sir Percy Florence Shelley was a Weatherspoons outlet that was popular with away fans, but that shut down a year or so ago, although there are also several other pubs including Mello Mello and Baxters who admit those wearing away colours in the same road as the Station.

Baxters has tweeted to say that it will welcome Saints fans back this season despite the fact that a flare was let off in the pub at our last visit.

Otherwise it is a case of having a drink near Bournemouth Station around a 1.5 mile walk to the ground.

There are few pubs near the stadium, The Queens Park Hotel is strictly home fans only so not worth even trying.

Do remember though that a small minority of Bounemouth's support do have a chip on their shoulder about Saints and have tried to stir up some sort of rivalry given that the Cherries are one of those few teams who have no real local rivals of their own.

This being the case be wary in certain situations.

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Photo: Action Images

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