Pompey season in review - September
The 2007/08 season had started with 5pts from a possible 12 throughout August, September however did not get any easier, particularly on paper with Arsenal and then Liverpool next up...
Arsenal away is one of the games that I most look forward to each season, but is one I would most like to forget from 2007/08... We were abysmal on the day and were lucky to escape with only a 3-1 defeat, sadly the sky sports cameras witnessed the horror show and beamed it out to people around the globe... Arsenal are a quality side do not get me wrong but the respect we gave them was unbelievable, we basically rolled out the red carpet for their goals. 2-0 down at half time, we had plenty to do to get back in the game but not all was lost and when Phillipe Senderos got sent off early in the 2nd half you thought hang on, we might get something here? Wrong! Arsenal were 3-0 up before Kanu bizarrely pulled one back a minute later. The fella is a genius but not even he meant what happened to happen when he scored.
My nephew Reece was born in the days that followed, and the opening months of his life were fantastic - what a run we went on after this, which began after an international break, a break that saw Sol Campbell and David James back in the England squad I believe for the first time as Pompey players I think?
We returned to Fratton for the first time in the month after this international break, and once again sky sports had their cameras at the game for the lunchtime kick off. Maybe not the greatest of games but I still think we did enough to have won and but for Kanu missing a penalty we would have. I was screaming that he should not take it, as I knew he would miss... We picked up a point after the 0-0 draw but it felt like a defeat, and this is one of the games that I look back on with the most regret at 'what might have been' had we won it.
The following Sunday we were off to Blackburn, a tough team at the best of times but on their own patch even tougher. We battled away against one of the teams most famous in the top flight for their 'battling qualities' and thanks to a Kanu goal, minutes after he had missed a double chance and after Blackburn had missed a sitter, we came away with all 3pts and a 1-0 win.
Following this we stayed in Lancashire to face Blackburn's rivals Burnley in the league cup. Once again it was all change as fringe players were given a run out. We were made to work hard for it but finally with a little over 20 minutes to play cup specialist Dave Nugent scored the winning goal to send us through, much to his delight and he let the Burnley fans that were taunting him know it! Another 1-0 win and a Wembley dream lived on...
Saturday 29th September 2007, this will be one of those dates that will be forever etched in the memories of so many! Why? Because this was the day that Fratton would witness one of the most remarkable games ever seen, luckily this just so happened to be the first game that I was able to make that season, what an inspired choice the group from Devon had made! When we went in 2-1 up at half time against Reading few could have predicted what would happen next... From 2-0 down Reading were back in the game just before the break and level at 2-2 just after it before Hermann Hreidarsson made it 3-2 Pompey. Nicky Shorey had the chance to level again from the spot but he saw this turned away by James then Benjani added to his earlier 2 to complete his hat trick for 4-2, Niko Kranjcar made it 5-2, but Reading refused to give up coming back to 5-3. Sean Davis saw his effort deflected in - later losing the goal to Ivar Ingimarsson, who was credited with an own goal - for 6-3 before Sulley Muntari blasted home an injury time penalty for 7-3. Reading were still not done as Shorey drove home via a Campbell deflection to make it 7-4 at full time! Match of the day gave us a few minutes at the start of the programme, but were not that interested, those of us that were there on the day certainly were. What a game, and what a way to end the month.
7pts from 12 on offer and a place in Round 4 of the league cup meant it was another decent month. The performance in the defeat to Arsenal a real low point, but really we should have gained at least 9pts as we should have beaten Liverpool...
PLAY UP POMPEY!