Date:Sunday July 13 2008
44pts out of 84 in total throughout the 2007/08 season to date was still a fine return, but as always as happy as I was with this I still felt that maybe it could have been better, maybe March could see this get better...
We started the month with the trip to Everton, who were a rival for 5th place; in fact both clubs still had an eye on 4th... Once again though against a team in or around the pack we wanted to be in we failed and a poor performance saw us beaten 3-1. We were behind after a minute, which set the tone although we did level through Jermain Defoe before the break, but rarely threatened to add to this and 2 goals in the final 15 minutes, both from defensive errors really, saw Everton home. 4th was gone for us for sure, 5th was now looking highly unlikely...
The following week came 'the big one!' We were off to Manyoo for the FA cup. Few gave us a chance but I just knew we were going to win that day at Old Trafford - I had kept harping on about it for weeks prior and on what was one of the most incredible away days of my life as a Pompey fan we did it! My first ever visit to Old Trafford will probably be my last as to see us beat a near full strength Manyoo side - albeit with a bit of luck, which we earned - cannot really be topped, unless we beat them in the league of course! After having sub keeper Tomasz Kuszczak sent off with no other subs left Sulley Muntari had to face Rio Ferdinand from the penalty spot, and the Ghanaian dispatched the spot kick and we went wild! The unsavoury reaction from those associated with Manyoo took some of the gloss off this fantastic win, meaning we never got the full credit we deserved but we had beaten Manyoo 1-0 at Old Trafford and were into the semi finals - no amount of whinging and whining could change that!
In the midweek that followed, with myself and most other Pompey fans still buzzing from 'that win' over Manyoo Birmingham came to Fratton. This was a sell out, and the cynical among us could say this was because those in attendance were told they 'might' stand a better chance of getting semi final tickets if they went... A decent game stated with us threatening to steamroll the Brummies as 2 Jermain Defoe goals in the opening 9 minutes had us in control. A quick reply and an equaliser before the break saw them level at half time. Hermann Hreidarsson and Kanu, in injury time, completed an entertaining 4-2 win.
We stayed at Fratton at the weekend with Birmingham's rivals Villa being the guests this time. It was a really good game, which might have gone either way but goals from Jermain Defoe - once again - and a bizarre own goal from Nigel Reo-Coker saw us to a 2-0 win, a win that saw us do the double over Villa! Despite it being a game with little malice about it both sides ended with 10 men as Sulley Muntari and Olof Mellberg both picked up second bookings in the final 10 minutes.
Spurs at White Hart Lane came along the next weekend, with the sky sports camera also in attendance. We were poor, we had little or no interest in winning the game but had Kanu taken a glorious chance he had we could have won this, failing that had a fresh striker been brought on sooner to replace him again we might have got the win, at least a point... As it was the pair of the Spurs subs, who both came on with 20 minutes to play made the difference as they scored the winning goals in the final 10 minutes. The weekend before this we had completed the double over Villa, with this 2-0 win Spurs completed this painful double over us!
The month came to an end with us returning to Fratton to face Wigan. Once again David James saved a penalty and then thanks to another double from Jermain Defoe - who set a record for scoring in his first 5 home league games as a result - we picked up the 3pts with a 2-0 win.
So the month ended on a high as we picked up a win, which meant 9pts from a possible 15 on offer - but most importantly we were into the semi finals of the FA cup!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Sunday July 13 2008
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