The Darts away match at Havant and Waterloggedville was called off on Saturday morning. I read this on H&W’s forum, not very inspiring. I don’t think I’ve seen anything of this ilk on the Pure DFC forum.
Crap pitch. Boring style of football. Badly behaved fans. Undisciplined players. Hopeless manager. Uncommunicative board. Random car parking arrangements.
Having seen this spoof article which underlines the problem with the blocked sink hole at H&W, I went down the M3 to Southampton anyway to see my daughter who’s at university there. I avoided the A3(M) since signage on the M25 indicated ‘long delays’ so would have had a problem getting to the venue had it been on. My daughter was working until later in the day so I mooched around town and found that the day turned out quite nice with some blue sky and sunshine, unlike the horrid grey and wet start. I planned to get down about lunchtime as I knew that The Saints (Southampton FC) were having a home game. Needless to say parking was a nightmare and by the time I found somewhere it was too far away to get to the ground before the match started. I had in mind that I’d wend my way to the ground across town and try to get some shots of fans celebrating as they left the stadium. I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that it was a bit daft. Not used to the sheer size of this league level, there were more than 22,000 fans there (a few more than the 1,000+ that come to Dartford. I got there, having wandered around St Marys, taken a few pictures on the way.
Firstly, in the park, some excellent colors, but no spring flowers to speak of. It certainly was waterlogged with squelchy lawn and huge standing puddles.
Then I made my way past the skateboard park. I’ve been there before when my daughter was in the nearby Halls. It was so wet and muddy I wasn’t in the mood to get filthy and there weren’t too many people around. I found this picture, taken some time before. The graffiti is no longer there.
I took just my 10-22mm wide angle lens with me on this walkabout.
I found that the sun made the paintwork on the disused park buildings look stunning.
So as the afternoon wore on I found myself heading towards St Marys and came across this piece of street art.
I found my way towards the football stadium just before the full time whistle. You could hear the fans’ chanting and cheering from far away. I realised that I probably wasn’t going to get to the stadium in time, it was farther away than I had planned for. I took a shot of the stadium from a distance.
It sounded like they were tearing the place apart, there was such a noise of banging. Never having been to a stadium of this size before during a match, it was quite intimidating. I suddenly realised having looked at my watch that I was highly likely to get caught up in the thousands of spectators moving away from the stadium and might be trying to go the wrong way. So, thinking that I probably couldn’t have got the shots I has visualised, it was time to make a not-too-hasty retreat with the other early exit-ers. On the way, I noticed that the sun was shining directly on the nearby gasometer. Strange how the sun can make the ugliest structures look amazing.
There were plenty of police loitering around, no doubt expecting the usual after-match bother. I found out later that Southampton beat Swindon 4:1 so no doubt the home fans would have been in a good mood. By this time it was good for me to go and meet my daughter and think about some food before heading home. We met up and went to the Cowherds on Southampton Common. It was absolutely packed solid, even early in the evening. Nice meal, though.