Sunday Toast Season 3 # 7 - Must empty my inbox.
I am lost for words after yesterday's Everton game. The team gave their all and more than deserved something but one mistake from Janice Kaboul cost them again. It was great however to see the team given a standing ovation at the end as most of them sunk to their knees in disappointment.
It will be difficult to pick them after that as they must play with belief rather than just for pride. Talking to some Everton fans after the game they felt their side got more than they deserved and than Tim Howard was clearly man of the match. Still we now move on the Molineux next week a game that would have been a certain win IF we could have got something from the Toffees.
Good also to see the reception Sylvain Distin got after the game. Not perhaps what Defoe will get in a few weeks time.
Well what a week for members of the PVA - the short notice cancellation of the meting with Dr SAF on Friday was not a shock but bitterly disappointing. We want to know what is happening and we have been denied the opportunity to find out - was what I was going to write along with quite a bit more when I heard late on Thursday night.
Well then the power of the organisation was bought to bear with a huge campaign and within a matter of hours the meeting was rearranged and the members all had to remake their travel arrangements. They came from all over, the Isle of Wight, London etc and about forty fans were locked IN the Sports Bar at Fratton Park when Dr SAF made his entrance in a fast car. Well at least the gates have been locked at Fratton Park once this season.
So job well done and many fans have said that to me; one even came up to me and said 'thanks for what the PVA is doing keep it up'. Well the effect of the PVA was shown yesterday when the threatened demonstrations that the club`s staff feared did not materialise.
There is a downside to it though, my email inbox which at the present has 767 items with 98 still unread!! Any volunteers to help me read through them all? Thought not.
We have been through the list now so they will be brief unless something of interest has occurred. Remember to click the name for the link to view the Pompeyrama stats on the player.
Scott Hiley is 41.
Robert Gaddes is 68.
Andy Petterson is 40.
Paul Cahill is 54.
Jason Crowe is 40 - who saw him in the Leeds side against Liverpool this week?
Sammy Igoe is 34 - currently struggling with a thigh injury as Bournemouth.
Mick Tait is 53 - what more can I say than we have not already written about Yosser?
Alex Totten is 33.
Paul Walsh is 37.
Vincent Pericard is 27.
James Brown is 66.
Duggie Reid was born in 1917 and died 8 February 2002. Great player and a great club man. Even down to having the apprentices living in his home.
In the occasional series of the best of the fifty years of eastneydave's time supporting Pompey we come to 1979/80 - well to be honest we look at two games in particular.
Frank Burrows had started Pompey`s second season in Division four with several new signings. The defence was strengthened by the arrival of Swindon pair John McLaughlin and Steve Aizlewood and Archie Styles from Peterborough, the engine room gained the experience of Terry Brisley and Joe Laidlaw and up four twinkle toed winger Alan Rogers joined from Plymouth.
So hopes were high as they always were at Fratton Park in those days but they were warranted for once and October arrived with eight wins out of nine league games only losing 4-1 at Tranmere. On October 1 my son was born - yes he is 30 this week - and on October 2 we all set off to Bournemouth to celebrate. In the pubs in Bournemouth I can clearly remember that seasons song. It was sung to 'Brown girl in the ring' by Boney M, and went
Show me promotion la la la la la,
said show me promotion la la la la la la,
Show me promotion la la la la la,
It looks like we're gonna win the league, win the league.
Well it was being sung in all the Bournemouth pubs before the game as the Blue Army hit town - about 10,000 in number. The game was far from memorable until Brisley got his head on a long cross from Styles and we were celebrating again in a big crowd by Dean Court standards of nearly 14,000.
Now this was also paultsmouth's first game and we wonder what he remembers of it? Very unusual to get your first match away from home Paul you must tell us the story.
The next Saturday Darlington cane to Fratton Park and Burrows unleashed a player he had scooped from Rochdale reserves, Phil Ashworth. He scored two as Pompey scrapped home 4-3. Two weeks later big Phil repeated the feat with Bradford City being sent home on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline. That was in the end to prove a crucial victory and showed why the season best crowd of 23,871 was there.
Ashworth was never seen again at Fratton Park after scoring four in four. Jeff Hemmerman was fit again and Phil soon drifted on to Scunthorpe United. Phil does not deserve a thread I read recently on the News site calling him 'the worst player ever to wear the shirt'. Can't agree there I`m afraid.
Then the wheels came off the season and the usual Pompey away form was to blame. After defeat at Torquay they go fourteen away games without a win and surely the promotion we sang about in Bournemouth has gone. Defeat at home to table toppers Walsall in game 38 followed by another at Lincoln's Sincil Bank appears to end any chance. Seven games left four away from home we must win them all to have any chance.
Well we win the first three away games at Port Vale, Aldershot and Halifax set up the last game at Northampton where if we won and other results go our way we could pinch fourth place. Cobblers they would say on Soccer AM but it was possible.
The game was hindered in the run up by a strike affecting all local papers giving us no travel information, team news or horoscopes! But the Blue Army hit the road to the East Midlands in hope rather than belief. The Cobblers have a good home record but their crowds tend to be less than 2,000. With this in mind the home club allocate their own supporters just the small covered end of the ground and a few seats, Pompey get the rest.
For those who have never been to the County Ground, then don't because it is now for cricket only. In those days one side of the ground was open as it was the cricket pitch and they tended to play their final games away from home to allow cricket to start but not in 1980.
The ground filled and the usual 1,800 swelled to nearly 11,000 there biggest crowd for years - how fourth division clubs were going to miss Pompey coming to town. As the game kicked the rumours of scores in other games is continually spreading around the ground from fans with transistor radios. It was nerve racking but helped by Steve Davey putting the blues in front just before half time with his first goal of the season.
So Pompey were on course but what about the other games. You have to remember that communications were not great and even Sport on Two was not giving much coverage to those who live in Division 4. So the second half gets underway and is continually interrupted by groups of fans dancing in small groups as they believe that we are going up. Eventually winger Ian Purdie breaks away down the left and adds the crucial second goal.
Now the celebrations can commence but what are we celebrating? Is it just a win or is it the promotion we had been singing about on the Dorset beaches back in the autumn.
The full time whistle goes and thousands pour onto the pitch but they do not know the outcome only the result. The players are mobbed and are all looking into the stands for someone to give them the news. It seems to take an eternity before Jim Ware in the Radio Victory commentary position not far behind me jumps on his table and gives everyone a bug thumbs up. Now we know and pandemonium breaks out, the noise is unbelievable as fans not used to celebrating start to party. The team come out in the Directors box to fate their fans but by now fans are climbing all over the stand and anywhere they can access.
We eventually slip away to the streets outside where horns are blaring and champagne corks popping as the Blue Army head for Trafalgar Square. Not for me I stayed up in Northampton for the weekend with relatives. We party in the Town on our own and run into a Peterborough fan that was at the game with Bradford. It is then we discover how lucky we were. Bradford lost 1-0 but hit the woodwork six times and had laid siege to the Posh goal for almost all of the second half. The national press told the gripping story thus
'3rd place Bradford travel to Peterborough, knowing a point will secure them promotion, yet aware if they suffer their 2nd defeat in 18 games they will secure promotion unless 4th placed Newport win at top of the table Walsall, who have lost only once at home all season and need victory to secure the title and 5th placed Portsmouth can win at Northampton.
Only as Bradford lose 1-0 and Portsmouth win 2-0, Newport secure an unlikely 4-2 victory at Walsall, leaving Bradford pipped to promotion by Portsmouth on goal difference and trailing Newport by a point.'
Fans will be fans
Well we all saw Craig Bellamy dishing out the 'punishment' to a fan that ran on in the Manchester derby. Well over in Russia they do it a little differently and this is well worth a look.
Would you have scored?
Here at Vital we were rightly proud of our place in the Daily Telegraph top twenty five football web sites. Some say we were number seven and that is not true, the sites were sorted into categories and three were listed under Communities including Vital.
The Telegraph wrote 'A network of fans site that has managed to dodge the bullet of being taken over then run it to the ground by large media organisations Vital is a great first port of call for independent news, especially if your club is outside the Premier League.'
Well said the 'Torygraph' and well done all at Vital.
Why move it?
Preston's players took to the pitch at Deepdale for the Tottenham game wearing T-shirts protesting about the possibility of the National Football Museum moving to Manchester.
Apparently the popular Museum, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year, can only afford to operate in Preston until the end of 2009, having lost major revenue from the Football Stadium Improvement Fund in March.
But why does it have to move to Manchester? Does the whole of the football world have to be centred in a far off northern city?
Overheard this week - Southampton fan 'you are building a team for the Championship`
Pompey fan 'well you're not'.
Bit of a slog today Toasters but I hope you enjoyed it. Right now where's that inbox?
We have been watching the Word Association thread as it grows recently and on Friday it went through the 10,000 barrier. The word by huge coincidence was Portsmouth and the member who posted it was race.