The story of the season - Bristol City (h)
2010/11 season v Bristol City in the league at Fratton, Tuesday 28th September 2010.
With the Leicester game being on the Friday it seemed a long time between 'that' win and the Tuesday although the expectancy levels, certainly my own, had - I must admit - risen slightly as we had a foothold that I hoped we could carry forward and us this momentum against Bristol City, which of course meant the return of David James. This would give us our chance to show our appreciation to him for what he did for us and say a fond farewell as I would be surprised if we saw him at Fratton again?
During the day, I was still in Cosham having been there since the Leicester league cup game, I just did my usual Vital Football work - as always there was plenty to do so I cracked on with that. As it was my final day before I went home, the following morning, I packed in around 3pm so I could spend some time with my Aunty, her viewing choice was 'come dine with me', 'location, location, location', 'coach trip' and more 'come dine with me'...all in all not my usual viewing, although in all honesty come dine with me is not 'too bad', but I am just grateful for somewhere to say in Pompey around the football and do appreciate them putting me up, of course I like spending time with them too.
The time that Chixy would pick me up, although pencilled in on the Friday, was confirmed - it would be around 5.45pm so I had my dinner, chicken kiev, chips and salad was on the menu, and left around 5.30, which was just as well really as Chixy arrived virtually as I got to the usual Southampton Road meeting place. As usual it was off to pick up Robbie then off to the pub. On the way I got a call from my Aunty telling me that there was a brandy waiting for me when I got home, this had been put safely in the cupboard out of the way so my Uncle could not get it! I said to her it would be a celebratory one...hopefully.
This time, having gone to The Shepherds Crook on Friday, we returned to The Rutland for our pub where John (pompeyyong) was waiting for what was his final game before he moved over to Thailand on a permanent basis. As usual I had a few beers! Richie and Ken were travelling for the game and would meet me there so they could use Tony and Gill's season tickets again. When Pam arrived it became clear that they had driven, and not go the train, as I was expecting for whatever reason by something she said. Prior to Pam's arrival I had a bit of a catch-up with Barry (Thompson) - he confirmed that he would be meeting Ken and Richie part way and share the journey for Boro - the first game this season I would miss - we both agreed that we felt a win, I thought 3-1 he was either 4-0 or 4-1, he could not decide...
A little after 7pm Ken and Richie finally arrived, traffic had been a bit thick, as usual, coming into Pompey but this still gave time for a beer of course. Come 7.35ish we decided to move on and get to the ground, in our seats by kick-off as usual - those expectation levels were still pretty high for me! And so, despite a slowish start in the 1st half, this expectation eventually proved true as we got another win - 3-1 this time. Another impressive performance, another entertaining game and again the goals were shared around. So, what more could we ask for?
John Utaka opened the scoring with a fantastic goal early in the 2nd half, and that capped a top quality showing from him. I never thought I would see the day that Utaka left the field to a standing ovation, but that was exactly what he got and he definitely deserved it. He had been impressive at Sheffield United and Leicester in the previous games and caused all manor of problems for the Bristol City defence. He also tracking back, which shocked, yet very much pleased me. He offered good support, and cover, to and for Carl Dickinson. If he can keep up THAT kind of effort, commitment and shows a similar willingness to give it everything is all us Pompey fans ever ask for and are more than happy to get.
The drawback was an equaliser soon after our goal, although we soon retook the lead when Aaron Mokoena scored, what I later heard, was his first league goal in English football! It was pretty much end to end after that, and I had not felt that nervous about a game for sometime - always feeling, or fearing, that they would find an equaliser but Jamie Ashdown, who was awarded the man of the match, kept them at bay and an injury-time break saw Hayden Mullins cap off a good team performance, and individual showing from him, with a goal.
Jamo got that reception he deserved, a standing ovation awaited him in the 2nd half and he showed his appreciation - he also enjoyed a laugh and a joke with the Fratton End over various songs, he also deserves a mention as he had a good game, making some good saves and claiming everything he came for.
9 goals in 2 games, with 7 different people scoring them was very pleasing. It is always nice to have one person score 15-20 goals although half a dozen or more players scoring around half a dozen goals apiece, with some others chipping in with a few more, will make a lot of difference to our season. Relying on one person for all the goals is something we cannot do so hopefully this also carries on.
Ken and Richie walked over to KFC with me after the game then went off to start their trek back to Devon, via a chippy. Mine would just be back to Cosham again so when Chixy and co arrived we walked back to the car, said our goodbyes to John - who caught the train for once so he could have a few beers - and went home. Again we were all in agreement that it was another game, and not just because we won, that we really enjoyed. It must have been around 10.15pm when I was dropped off at the usual, so I wondered down to the house - Matt was still up but soon went to bed so I had the 'celebratory' Brandy, and this was pretty much a treble, did a little Vital work that I had to do and then turned in myself. The Wednesday would see me travel back home, well to Trina's in Dawlish and then back to mine on the Thursday for work.
Boro, for me, could not come soon enough - even though I was not going! By this point I was starting, as always happens, to have the 'I wish I was going' thoughts but it was long since decided this was a no no. Even though it was going to be at The Riverside, and we might not travel well, and have not for sometime, they - for me - were ripe for the picking and we were certainly in good form of late so I felt we could pick them off, although I would bite the arm off of anyone offering us a point...
PLAY UP POMPEY!