Vital Football

Toast Season 2 # 14 Smiles are back!

Toast Season 2 # 14 Smiles are back!

Well we all wake up this morning with smiles on our faces and the odd hangover no doubt after our luck at last changed and as we will see later another great coincidence has occurred.

Free kick farces

We have seen two instances in the last week of how officials should not deal with players at free kicks.

Situation one was at Fratton Park last Saturday when Wigan keeper Chris Kirkland picked up a back pass seven yards from goal. Referee Philip Walton quite rightly awarded Pompey an indirect free kick but despite the protestations of the Pompey team moved the ball to a place close to the penalty spot. Sitting side on to the incident I could see exactly where the incident took place and so could the assistant referee opposite me on the far touchline. Kirkland's feet were on the six yard line.

Had the kick been awarded at the right spot the wall would have had to be on the goal line which would have been easy to control (in theory). But Walton measured out ten yards and tried for several minutes to position the wall to no avail as the defending players constantly encroached. He at no time threatened to brandish his yellow card in an effort to restore order and eventually Pompey who should have had an advantage in this situation lost out as Wigan scored the winner in the time added on for this incident!

Situation two happened in the Olympic Stadium in Rome where Chelsea were soundly beaten by Roma. Towards the end of the game Chelsea were awarded a free kick and the referee turned to Deco and clearly indicated he was going to blow his whistle before the kick could be taken. Roma were attempting to delay the situation and Deco lost his patience and took the kick to try and maintain the advantage his side should have had. The referee then turned to Deco and pulled out his yellow card and as it was his second, a red card.

Deco was thus sent off for trying to defeat the 'cheating' of the Roma players - a farcical situation!! Inconsistency rules OK!


9th November 1929 Maurice Leather - back up goalkeeper to Ernie Butler between 1950 and 1953 played just eighteen games. Moved on to Yeovil and if I remember played for the ex professionals in the 60's.

Jeff King 55 - midfield player made four appearances on loan from Derby in 1975/76 including the sad night Southampton won 1-0 at the Fratton Park with a last minute goal.

Terry Connor 46 - scored in the famous win at the Dell in 1988 (along with Barry Horne. Now having a successful coaching career and I believe is reserve team coach at Wolves.

Stephen Agnew 43 - midfield player joined on loan from Blackburn in 1993 and made 5 appearances including the Anglo Italian Cup games in Bari and Ascoli.

Jimmy Carter 43 - winger signed from Arsenal in 1995 who played 72 games scoring just five goals. Was a typical wide man flitting in and out of games and not regularly showing the skills he obviously possessed. Moved on to Millwall in 1998.

10th November Billy Gilbert 49 - centre back with hard man reputation came from Crystal Palace in 1984 to play alongside Noel Blake. The two struck a relationship straight away and the team began to flourish on the new solid base. Although it took three years promotion was achieved but once in the top Division injury struck down Blake and the two only played a handful of games together. Bill played 140 times for Pompey and never got his name on the scoresheet. I gather one his eleven England under 21 caps is behind the bar in the Pembroke Arms in Old Portsmouth.

After short spells at Colchester and Maidstone Billy ended up at Havant and played there for many years managing them for a spell.

Guy Whittingham 44 - Corporal Punishment left the army to join Pompey and went on to become their record goal scorer in 1992/93. Guy amassed 99 goals in 195 games for Pompey over three decades. He began as a substitute at home to Stoke in August 1989 and finished also as a sub against Wimbledon on Boxing Day 2000.

Guy is of course a modern day Pompey legend and can be heard on Local Radio commenting on his team. What was your favourite Whittingham goal?

Patrik Berger 35 - ex Liverpool heart-throb came in 2003 and scored some memorable goals in his eight strikes in fifty two games. After two seasons was allowed to move on by Alan Perrin and joined Villa.

12th November Kevin Ball 44 - Kevin was too eventually take the number six shirt from Billy Gilbert after joining from Coventry in 1982 but he had to be patient. Made his league debut at Shrewsbury in January 1984 but appearance were few and far between due to the consistency of Blake and Gilbert.

He became a regular in the late eighties but moved on the Sunderland in 1990 and became a hero on Wearside even having a spell as caretaker manager in 2006. Kevin played 105 games for Pompey and scored four goals - strangely all his strikes came in drawn games including one in a 3-3 draw with Sunderland.

Jason Cundy 39 Central Defender from Ipswich 1999/00 and managed only nine games before retiring. Cundy - who survived testicular cancer in 1997 - is alive and well and working on Talk Sport Radio.

13th November Paul Wimbleton 44 Havant born midfield man came through the ranks but played only 10 games between 1982 and 84. Made his debut against Fulham in March 1982 coming on as a substitute for Steve Berry.

Frank Burrows then took Paul to Cardiff City where he played over 100 games before going on a tour of clubs mostly in the west and South Africa, Hong Kong and the USA.

14th November Mick Mellows 61 - cultured left sided England amateur international joined Pompey in 1973 and made his full debut at Hull City in a 4-1 defeat. Mick came into the side at the expense of Brian Lewis and was regular for the best part of five seasons at Pompey slipped down the leagues.

Goals were hard to find for Mick and I clearly remember his first goal which came at Orient in a fourth round FA Cup replay. I met Mick earlier this year with Jimbo who is one of many who helps with this column and he was surprised when we told him we were both there. Mick said in all the 35 years that had passed since that moment he had met no-one who had said 'I was there' and then two come along together.

Mick jumped ship when Pompey were relegated to Division Four and moved to Waterlooville to continue his amateur career. He works closely with Linvoy on the 'Faith and Football' project. His Pompey career lasted 181 games with 16 goals.

15th November Boris Zivkovic 33 - if you placed all Pompey players alphabetically Boris would be last. If you placed all Pompey players in order of the affection of the fans Boris would again be at the back of the queue. He only played eighteen games after signing from Bayer Leverkusen but rarely performed to his enormous reputation and potential. Boris was played at Full Back by Redknapp and always protested he should be featuring at centre back to which HR would reply 'has anyone ever seen him win a ball in the air?` Returned to Germany to join Stuttgart and is now playing for Niko Krancjar's old club Hajduk Split.

Five years ago

Pompey recorded their biggest Premier league win beating hapless Leeds United 6-1 at Fratton Park. I say biggest win because it was by five clear goals rather than the three in the 7-4 win over Reading.

Leeds were on a bad run having lost the last three but after Alan Smith equalised Gary O'Neil's opener they got close to half time before Hayden Foxe put Pompey back in front. Second half goals from Dejan Stefanovic, Yakubu, Patrik Berger and O'Neil again sealed the win and Leeds' manager Peter Reid lost his job on the Monday morning.

Fifteen years ago

Pompey went to Sunderland (coincidence) and won by 2-1 (another coincidence) thanks to goals from Paul Walsh and Stuart Doling. This extended their unbeaten run to a massive seventeen games. They then headed out to Italy and were beaten 2-1 by Pescara on the Adriatic Coast - Doling scoring again for Pompey.

The season though tailed off badly and promotion was missed again.

Twenty Five years ago

Pompey started the week with a 1-0 win over visitors Gillingham thanks to a late goal from winger Alan Rogers. The week ended in dramatic fashion with a 5-1 hammering at Bristol Rovers on what was their last ever visit to Eastfield as the ground closed in 1986 after nearly ninety years.

The Rovers defeat was steeped in controversy mostly surrounding the Pompey team including drunken behaviour, a fall out with manager Bobby Campbell and many more. However loanee Trevor Ross was the scapegoat; substituted at half time and never seen again near the club!!

Rumours 1

Who were the three South African gentlemen being shown around Fratton Park and the other facilities on Friday - prospective investors maybe?

Rumours 2

There is a rumour going around the Vital Pompey corridors that the much loved series 'Challenge the Old Git'` is about to return. Can I advise new members that is was awful, boring dross where some old git just went on and on about things that no-one was interested in nor wanted to read.

Hopefully it is only a rumour and we do not have to be subjected to that again.

Well we are all smiling again so have a good week. PUP

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Date:Sunday November 9 2008
Time: 6:00AM


Nice one, Toastmaster. As you say, the sun is shining and I am smiling. It is going to be a good day/week/month
09/11/2008 08:52:00
Free kicks just make me laugh these days the two examples you mention sum it up really well.. it's mean to be an advantage ... Do you remember Cameroon (I think it was) in 82 or 86 World Cup where they didn't knwo what to do to defend a free kick .. at least they had a (albeit somewhat lame) excuse.. Wigan ahd none last week and should have all been booked.. In fact I think the ref should have booked himself... The Deco one is slightly different though as although he deemed to have lost the advantage at least the ref had indicated that he had to wait for the whistle.. but Deco choose not to..
09/11/2008 09:10:00
Some good birthdays too Dave... especially 'atrik Berger ! (lol) Knew most of them but must admit Maurice Leather was a name I didn't know...
09/11/2008 09:15:00
Nice Toast Dave. Finally I have read one on Sunday morning
09/11/2008 10:33:00
Geez, that Deco thing sounds pretty harsh! Its funny reading about some of the rubbish players we have had over the years
09/11/2008 10:50:00
Actually read this with my toast this morning after a hectic night out! Saw the game yesterday, thought our luck changed. We were poor first half, better second. Definate pen. Well done Tony and the boys!!
09/11/2008 11:44:00
Free kick farce is right, it really does wind me up when its your free kick, & so often gives the advantage to the offenders.
09/11/2008 15:00:00
"smiles are back" - they never left here :-)
09/11/2008 16:16:00
Another great read and what a team of birthdays. Some wonderful names bringing back some wonderful personal memories.
10/11/2008 11:25:00
Well done Dave - again! On Friday night I was having dinner with Gordon Dale's widow, but she didn't seem to know much about his Pompey Days at all - can you fill me in Dave? I can't wait for his birthday to come up! She has promised me that I can go to the Veteran Pompey Players Ball with her next year.
10/11/2008 16:23:00
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