My Matchday - 283 Dean Court

AFC Bournemouth 2v1 Bristol Rovers
League One
Monday 25th April 2011
The third and final leg of my Easter treble finishes at Deans Court with a day spent in blazing hot Bournemouth.
Bournemouth is a large coastal resort in Dorset, founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, The town’s growth coincided with the arrival of the railway, becoming a recognised town in 1870. Originally part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974.
Bournemouth's location on the glorious south coast has made it a popular destination for tourists and was once surveyed as being the happiest place in Britain to live.

AFC Bournemouth originated out of the remains of the Boscombe St. John's Lads’ Institute F.C. in 1890, playing matches at King’s Park. The club became Boscombe F.C in 1889, competing in the Bournemouth and District Junior League on a pitch in Castlemain Road, Pokestown, before a return to King’s Park.
In 1910 the club was granted a long lease for a new ground on wasteland next to King’s Park by their president Mr. J.E. Cooper-Dean. The ground opened in December 1910, named Dean Court after the club benefactor who was instrumental in the club’s relocation.

The Cooper-Dean estate contained numerous cherry orchards, this as well as the team’s red jerseys gave the club the nickname of “The Cherries”
In 1923 the club changed their name to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club and were elected to the Football League. Around this time the ground had only a small wooden stand, then in 1927 the club purchased turnstiles and a steel framework from the Wembley Empire Exhibition. The frame was used towards the building of the Main Stand. The stand held 3,700 seats with dressing rooms and offices and a standing paddock, all at a total cost of £12,000.
The South End covered terrace opened in 1936 followed by the extension of the west terrace, known as the “New Stand” in 1957, financed by a record attendance of 28,799 against Manchester United in the FA Cup.
In 1971 the club moved to the top of Football League, but only alphabetically, changing their name to AFC Bournemouth, but ground wise nothing changed until the club purchased land from the Cooper Dean estate to built a new stand on the north terrace. The project came to a standstill due to rising costs, so by 1984 the club abandoned the idea, demolishing the structure and building 27 houses instead. The properties were sold at a profit of £500,000 which helped eased the clubs financial worries.

The ground was completely rebuilt in 2001, with the pitch rotated ninety degrees from its original position, moving away from the aforementioned north end houses. The Cherries ground shared at Dorchester Town for eight games until the stadium was complete. Originally it was rebuilt as a three sided stadium with open corners. Each stand is of a similar size and style decked out in red seats, with the East and Main Stands having AFCB picked out in white. The Main Stand is located on the west side and differs slightly having a row of executive boxes at the rear.
Temporary seats were placed on the undeveloped south end of the ground in autumn 2005, which are rarely used.

Cherries’ legend Steve Fletcher came off the bench to grab a late winner and keep Bournemouth in the League One play-off picture against struggling Bristol Rovers.
Wayne Brown latched on to a long ball before slotting the ball under Jalal to give the visitors an early lead, but they were soon down to 10 men after David McCracken needlessly elbowed Adam Smith as they prepared for a corner kick.
It was soon 10-a-side as Danny Hollands saw red for two bookings just before half time as Bournemouth struggled to make any impression on the game.
Rovers looked likely to hold on until substitute Mathieu Baudry headed the equaliser on 84 minutes then four minutes later Ings capitalised on a mistake by keeper Conrad Logan to tee up Fletcher to score and send the bumper Bank Holiday crowd at Dean Court wild.
AFC Bournemouth remain in sixth place in the table with a three point cushion over seventh-placed Leyton Orient with two games left to play.

The weather on the south coast this Easter weekend has apparently been warmer than Spain. Since we left Tyneside on Thursday morning the weather has been glorious especially on the Dorset coast in Poole on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday in Bournemouth. We arrived in Bournemouth around mid morning and the beach was already beginning to get packed with lazy sunbathers, it was hard to believe that we were actually still in England.

This has probably been one of the Smudgers best weekend breaks. We’ve had a fantastic time, everything has gone to plan and I’d say the only trouble we’ve had over the five days is getting people to understand our accents. This happened on several occasions, but the best example of our far far away southern hosts having trouble with the Geordie lingo was at Yeovil, when I asked for a cup of coffee and was handed a hot dog!
As was the case at Torquay on Friday, yet again I need to mention another warm welcome and say a big thanks to the staff at Dean Court for a great afternoon.
To finish the holiday all that was left was another mammoth road trip back home. The busy Bank Holiday traffic meant we finally arrived home at 1230am, “Wor Al” having clocked up at total of 985 miles over the weekend,however the laborious road travel has been well worth it having ticked off the three furthest grounds left in ‘The 92’ in one go!

Matchday stats
AFCB 2(Baudry 84, Fletcher 84)BRFC 1(Brown 4)
Admission PP(£18-£25)
Programme £3

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