The story of the season - Leicester (h)
2010/11 season v Leicester in the league at Fratton, Friday 24th September 2010.
For the first time this season, the first time in some time in fact, there was no travelling for me for this game, well bar the Cosham and back roundtrip as I was already in the area having travelled up for the league cup game with Ken and Rob on Tuesday. I stayed in Cosham as I had the one day cricket between England and Pakistan at The Rose Bowl on the Wednesday, Thursday off work and would have been travelling back on the Friday morning anyway so it was not worth the hassle of this back and forth travel.
Tuesday afternoon and evening was good - weather wise - the defeat and exit from the cup bad of course. Wednesday was even better, blinding even and I ended up catching the sun in Scumhampton, but overnight Wednesday through to Thursday and Friday it was mostly rain and overcast conditions, not that it really bothered me either way to be honest - if anything this would be good for the football in many ways. It was dark and grim, mostly, on Friday, which kind of mirrored the situation with Pompey really. I had plenty of Vital work to do so I was kept busy although waiting for this game to arrive was still a pain as I just wanted to get on with it.
As Tony and Gill could not make Tuesday I was prepared to accept their season tickets at some point as Tony had posted them to me Thursday morning so they would arrive in time for Richie and Ken to use for the Bristol City game, although the fact that they arrived on the Friday morning - as it turned out they could not make this game either - meant that they would be able to use them for this game too, so they would. The plan was to meet them by the turnstile for 7.40pm as they would be in The Newcombe, I would be at The Rutland on the other side of Fratton, although then I had a text from Richie saying they would try to be over to the Rutty for around 7pm.
A lift with Chixy was agreed for around 5.35pm, which gave me time to wolf down a nice chicken curry with the trimmings - perfect preparations for a 'big game'. He arrived around 5.40 in the end so off we went to pick up Rob and then it was onwards to the pub, which would be The Shepherds Crook in the end this time as Chixy and Robbie wanted to get some chips, with the chippy just around the corner, they also had to meet someone to pass on a ticket so the plans with Ken and Richie changed, I would meet them by the turnstiles for 7.40pm. Joining us at the pub were tracyc (Tracy) and her other half - whilst I can see them, and Gandor (Annie), from my seat each week I had not actually seen them to talk with since the early weeks of the season I do not think, it might not have even been since the FA cup final? When Chixy went off to get his chips he also got me some, which was a very nice gesture, but the curry left me stuffed and as I could not pass them on sadly they got wasted.
Come 7.30pm(ish) and it was time to make our way to the ground, which is literally 5 minutes to my seat I would say from there, nevertheless I still got a call from Richie asking where I was as they were early - meet them I did and then in we trotted, of course they had to go to the toilet first.
All in all I think that most people had a 'good feeling' about this game, and within 10-minues, when a penalty was gifted to us and Liam Lawrence scored, the confidence grew. His second, following a sending off for a Leicester player, saw this grow even further. At 2-0 up at half time most would happily accepted that as it was but Dave Nugent, a double from Dave Kitson - this included two goals in a one minute - and a wonder goal from Mikey Brown - with a Leicester consolation somewhere in between - saw us thump them 6-1!
There was some fantastic football played at times, with some of the goals top quality in their execution and the build-up - it had to be a toss up between Kitson's 1st goal, in which Nugent played a major role by chasing down the defender, just after his goal, and laying in the Ginger Ninja to lift the ball over the keeper and Brown's solo effort where he carved his way through the defence - Kitson again played a good role in that goal as pressure saw the ball come to Brown and his side step, knowing he would have been offside, helped Brown weave through before rounding the keeper and scoring.
I would go with Browny's to be honest, although unless you saw it in the ground, or on sky at the time, the replays shown since do not do it justice as they cut out the early part of the run! Yep, t'was a good game and cracking win, one that we most definitely deserved, which could have been far greater than it was really but for some good goalkeeping. If anyone picked fault in this then they would be pretty harsh and very rarely satisfied I guess!
Ken and Richie had to rush off as they had a 22.04 to catch to ensure they got home that night, which was always going to be made but with the huge queues you can sometimes get you want to make sure. I, as always, waited by KFC where we would all walk back to the car happy and cheerful, we usually always are regardless but there was that extra bounce after a rare, well very rare, league win and this made the journey home extra pleasant. As I was dropped off at Southampton Road, as always, plans were made for the same time pick up for Tuesday. My Aunty was up watching the box when I got in, she had some down for a drink and stayed down, she knew we had won as I was grinning like a Cheshire cat, although when I said 6-1 she was amazed.
We now had a foothold, and at least until after the weekend games, would be out of the bottom 3, but we had to use this and carry forward the momentum gained into Tuesday nights game against Bristol City, when Jamo returned. A league win had been long overdue, having got this, and in the manor we did, you would 'hope' that confidence would be sky high going into that one and we could build on this and grow the momentum even more?
Rather than go home I would remain in Cosham again until this game, I could continue working from this base, and Trina was working pretty much non-stop Thursday through to Sunday night it made sense to stay, dreams of back-to-back wins were on my mind...
PLAY UP POMPEY!