Vital Football

Toast Season 4 # 14 - Canary stuffing season!

Toast Season 4 # 14 - Canary stuffing season!

They say that Canaries are a miner's best friend well after yesterday they will be every Pompey fans too. The home side missed chance after chance and Pompey took advantage of their generosity to nick the points with two late goals. That gives the Blues back to back away wins against sides in the play off zone and shows that they are how back on track after the hiccup in November.

Back in the top half with a game in hand against most of the clubs around them Pompey are now surely on their way to a promotion challenge rather than the anticipated relegation struggle. Some investment is needed in January and things may be rosy once more. It has to be noted that we had only five subs again yesterday.

It was another tale of two halves where the half time break made the difference. Norwich seemed to have total control in the first period but after Stevie C had his say Pompey got a foothold in the game and after Liam Lawrence hit the post David Nugent set up Dave Kitson for the opener and a late, late Greg Halford penalty sealed the victory after more good work from Nugent. By all accounts the Pompey man of the match was a hard worked Jamie Ashdown.

The petulance shown by home defender Leon Barnett in throwing the ball at referee Hooper after being shown a second yellow card will doubtless land him in hot water with the Football League.

Scunny visit Fratton Park next Saturday when three more points will set up an interesting Christmas period. With the top two both losing this weekend and the bottom clubs again picking up points the table is just getting so tight that a run like we had in October could put us well into the play off arena.

Snow joke

I saw a story in one of the free London papers this week about a Pompey fan who travelled all the way from South Africa last Saturday only for the game to be called off!! Cost was over £1,000! Shame then the decision was taken so early but heh I cannot keep going on about it can I?

Revenue thwarted

Happily Plymouth were given a stay of execution by the High Court this week as the HMRC continued their efforts to wind up as many Football League clubs as possible. Hopefully come February they will be able to satisfy the Revenue and find a way forward. They had asked for 56 days' grace at Wednesday's hearing, but perhaps surprisingly were given 63 by the registrar.

Good luck Argyle.

Award season approaching

I am told that the late J.L. Carr, a fine English writer, teacher, sports-lover and eccentric, once wrote a book called 'How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup`. It was about a village team which eventually got through to the Cup Final, beating Glasgow Rangers at Wembley.

Well if the voters of this year`s sporting awards are looking for a team of 2010 there can be no better candidate that the Pompey team that reached the Cup Final back in May. They were a collection of players begged, stolen and borrowed from the four corners of the football globe. Many of them had not been paid on time for months and a number of them were hardly fit enough to walk.

They played from the heart along with the manager who led them. Avram Grant and they completed that remarkable achievement of reaching a Wembley final that all players dream of.

Standing on the terraces

Remember when we could all stand legally and watch a game wherever you wanted in the ground well maybe those days might be returning.

A Private members bill is being launched by the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, Don Foster. It would allow clubs in the top two divisions to erect standing areas. Critics say there is no demand by the Football Supports Federation say 90% of its 180,000 members support the move.

The Lib Dems included the return of terracing in their manifesto back in the summer and supporters groups were hoping that after they formed part of the coalition there may be a change in the legislation. You only have to look around the top two divisions to see exactly how many fans stand throughout the game. It tends to be those behind the goals and surely it would be far safer for this standing to be done without the hindrance of a seat between rows.

UEFA do not allow standing at any games in their competitions and clubs around Europe have to install temporary seating or risk a huge fall in capacity. This is particularly prevalent in Germany where clubs such as Dortmund and Schalke have huge terraced areas and it can take several days to install the temporary benches.

Private members Bills rarely become law but let`s hope this one will break the mould.

Linvoy's Carol evening

A final reminder that tomorrow (13 December) sees the annual Carol Concert at Fratton Park. The fun all starts in the Victory Suite at 6pm with coffee, mulled wine and free mince pies. The carols start at 7pm with the local Salvation Army band and school choirs.

The car park is free too so why not go along and join in the festivities?


Did you know that between 27 December 1994 and 14 January 1995 (18 days) Pompey played four home games all against sides starting with a 'B'? Barnsley, Burnley, Bolton and Bristol City - they won three and only drew with Bristol City.

Cup luck

Talking of Bs were are of course off to Brighton in the third round of the FA Cup but don`t count any chickens yet. Pompey's last two visits to our eastern neighbours in Cup games have both ended in 1-0 defeats.

In 1969 we fell to an Alex Dawson goal in the League Cup - that was my first visit to the old Goldstone Ground. Then in 1993 we lost by the same score in the FA Cup third round - strangely that was the first FA Cup game after the semi final heroics against Liverpool; now it comes straight after a Cup Final.

Funny how the draw does that!


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Date:Sunday December 12 2010
Time: 12:00AM


So the Christmas season starts early - enjoy the banner from my tree last year.
11/12/2010 20:05:00
Nice one Dave. What do you make of the issue with Brown and to a lesser extent Hughes coming up on the limit of games played causing a contract extension that Pompey don't have the finance for; could be an issue with LL and Kitson ( I believe) having an appearance limit as loanees until January. It's technically possible that we will be without three key players during the Christsmas period.
12/12/2010 01:02:00
Russ - I did not heat the story on radio yesterday which is why I did not comment on it. It sounds the usual Pompey mess though.
12/12/2010 11:00:00
Does Delia have a recipe for stuffed canary? Can we clarify also if Kitson is signed or on loan. I keep reading in media he's on loan but I think he's a permanent signing and it was only LL who ended up being on loan on a technicality.
12/12/2010 11:07:00
I think you are right Tracy. I'm sure Kitson is ours and Liam Lawrence will be in January.
12/12/2010 11:25:00
I'd love them to bring back terraces, although Fratton Park become an all seater before I'd hit the age of 10, I remember going to games before that in what is now the South Stand Family Enclosure, and having massive yellow bars instead of seats, and my Dad would always sit me up on the bar (awkward though it was), whilst everyone around stood. I know there are some who'd rather have a seat, but surely there'd be no harm in having an allocated terracing area, as long as they didn't overcrowd it.
12/12/2010 13:55:00
A return pf terraces, now wouldnt that be grand for your 'traditional' fan! I do hope this is something the libdems will actually follow through on! Lucky yesterday but great result.. now not to blow it against scunny and the lions..
12/12/2010 18:00:00
After the bit about Brighton I now have a bad feeling for this game! We seem to have a love affair with the cup at the moment but 2 finals and one triumphant in 2 years feels like a 50 yr quota for us! I hope im wrong, like after the first final when I thought we wouldnt do it for another 50/60 years! Be a good game down the road whatever the result I'm sure!
12/12/2010 18:04:00
Re the Brighton game, we can go along and enjoy a derby match where we don't hate the opposition's guts with a passion, just some good old banter, and if we win - great! If not, we've had a good old run in the cup the last few years and oh well, we'll concentrate on the league. Where's the downside?
13/12/2010 19:00:00
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