Toast Season 4 # 18 - 2011 pointless no longer
Until yesterday 2011 seemed a pretty pointless year but after an action packed game at Fratton Park at least we have one point. Not sure where to start except by saying it is a game Pompey should have won, taking the lead twice and then contriving to twice give that lead away. There is no doubt that poor defending was to blame for that as Pompey looked the better side throughout but let Leeds back in. the second equaliser led to SC kicking anything in sight seats, steps and a water bottle a dozen yards onto the pitch. On reflection Leeds did not impress me as promotion contenders but what do I know?
The power cuts in the second half killed the game as both sides seemed to settle for a point after the resumption. I can assure fans that there were blackouts in the region around the ground during the afternoon but not here in sunny Eastney!! The rumours that David Lampitt had ignored the red reminder that dropped on his desk are wide of the mark.
Good to see 20,000 in the old ground for the first time this season but why were the crowd so quiet? The Leeds fans as expected made noise but the home fans were strangely subdued probably something to do with the recent bad run. The team need the fans though and through tough times that is vital - but then Pompey fans know that only too well. Perhaps that can start on Tuesday night when Burnley come to town. Plenty of tickets left as the club tell me that they expect on 11,000 based on current demand.
Now at half time I saw something inside Fratton Park that I have never seen in a football stadium before and I am a veteran of over one thousands games. Any ideas on what I might have seen?
I hear the Scottish Premier League clubs have voted for a ten club format in the future. Is that really doing the rest of Scottish football any favours with those clubs playing each other four times and freezing out other clubs apart from cup ties?
Surely two is closer the mark of the real league and if they invite others to play at Ibrox and Celtic Park then they should make the league as large as possible!
Lee Bradbury was appointed Bournemouth boss last week after the departure of Eddie Howe to Burnley. Good luck Lee in the new job - he has also decided to hang up his boots at the ripe old age of 35, two years older than Howe. Certainly was a good start for him after a point at Rochdale the Cherries followed it up with a home win over leaders Brighton yesterday.
It was forty years ago today that one of the great 'recent' cup ties took place at Fratton Park. Pompey had been drawn against First Division leaders Arsenal and cup fever gripped the City. Tickets were hot property and the ground was an absolute sell out - the eventual crowd being 39,659 slightly below capacity due to the awful weather no doubt.
The Pompey team that day was John Milkins, Fred Smith, George Ley, Eoin Hand, Colin Blant, David Munks, Norman Piper, Mike Trebilcock, Ray Hiron, Brian Bromley, Ray Pointer, Sub. Tommy Youlden.
I went looking on the internet for a report of the game and could find only one so I nicked it - it's ok though because I wrote it!
A sell out crowd of nearly 40,000 crammed into the Park on a very wet January afternoon as Pompey the perennial Division Two strugglers took on the Division One Leaders and Cup favourites Arsenal. The Gunners started well and had Pompey on the back foot for a spell with Charlie George prominent but Pompey gave as good as they got and were perhaps unlucky to be 1-0 behind at the break. Peter Storey converting from the spot after George Ley handled on the line - in those days that was not even a booking offence!!
The second half saw Pompey pour down on Bob Wilson's Fratton End goal but Arsenal held firm until with the game in injury time Fred Smith's cross was met at the far post by Mike Trebilcock, although he was only two yards out the ball seemed to take an eternity to hit the back of the net. Pandemonium around the ground as Trebs and the other players celebrated.
One of the great recollections I have of that day was being able to see my beloved Pompey on Match of the Day, which was a very rare event - probably every couple of years. If the BBC cameras were seen in the vicinity of the Park the news would spread like wildfire. They usually only made an appearance when the rest of the country was frozen solid - very little undersoil heating etc - and we on the south cast were basking in winter sunshine.
What a busy time - after the first game we travelled to Highbury on the Tuesday night for the replay only for the famous undersoil heating to flood the pitch and cause the postponement less that an hour before kick off. I was actually in the Arsenal tube station when I heard. On the Saturday it was off to Hull for the weekend coming back Sunday after a famous 1-0 victory thanks to Ray Hiron. In truth we got absolutely hammered but John Milkins was at his very best and we got out of our half just once for Hiron to pinch his goal. Because of all the cup fervour very few fans made the long trip in fact I think there may have only been the four of us there!
We spent the weekend on the Hull University campus and travelled back on the Sunday after the heads had cleared. Then on Monday it was back to London for the rearranged replay, which meant 3 away trips in 6 days!! This time we were among friends as there were a reported ten thousand Pompey fans in the crowd of 47,865 and what a noise they made but despite another great fight from the Blues the fairy tale was to end. Pompey made one change with Nicky Jennings coming in on the left wing for Ray Pointer.
In the game Arsenal came from behind to win 3-2 in the final five minutes with another Storey penalty. Norman Piper and George Ley with the Pompey goals and good ones they were too. Piper a volley from a corner and Ley a special on the run and unleashed a twenty five yarder passed a surprised Bob Wilson. To add insult to injury Brian Bromley was sent off in the last minute was an offence committed allegedly by Jennings.
That was a busy season (70/71) for the wandering eastneydave as I went to 38 of the 48 competitive games which was a seasons best for me just beating the 36 in 1967/68. Thanks to pompeyrama.com for that and all stats.
Why not have try at writing up your favourite game for inclusion in a future edition of Toast?
Controversial referee Stuart Attwell will be back at Fratton Park on Tuesday for the visit of Burnley. The fast tracked ref who is now on the FIFA list is still only 28 but has certainly upset a few premier league managers and journalists along the way. Not that there is anything wrong with that but the goal he gave in the Watford Reading game a couple of years ago when the ball went nowhere near the goal will always haunt him.
Let's hope he has a good game and the Fratton End do not need to break into 'You're too young to referee'.
He could certainly not be as bad as Mr Taylor was yesterday. That was the worst refereeing we have seen at Fratton Park this season and we have had plenty of contenders.
With the demise of PFCTV for financial reasons the club have announced a new initiative which will please fans abroad or in far off parts of the UK.
Portsmouth Football Club are now offering fans the chance to sign up for the Pompey Player Premium Service. Pompey Player is a worldwide online service which gives supporters the following:
Live matchday web commentary - never miss a match online again!
* Manager and player interviews
* Weekly live show 'Pompey Live FANZONE'
* iPhone capabilities
The Pompey Player Premium Service launches on Saturday, January 22 for the Blues' home clash with Leeds at Fratton Park. You can make use of these great features for just £3.99 a month or, as a special offer, only £15 until June 30. You can also keep up with the live Pompey action on the move with fantastic iPhone capabilities.
The Pompey Player Premium Service is the only way not to miss a kick home or away online this season. Visit the club website to sign up..
Live coverage of all the Blues` home and away games on Express FM and BBC Radio Solent will still be available on standard and DAB radios.
Contrary to rumour this season`s npower Championship play-off final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, May 30 (kick-off 3pm).
However, the npower League One and npower League Two play-off finals will be staged at Manchester United`s Old Trafford on Sunday, May 29 and Saturday, May 28 respectively.
This enables Wembley to stage the UEFA Champions League final on the evening of May 28 and the npower Championship play-off final two days later.
Walked into the Eastney Tavern on Friday and I was introduced to someone as Mr Pompey, the man who knows everything about the club!! Not quite true but the chap asked 'do you remember a goalkeeper in the 50s called Dore?' I replied it was of course Charlie Dore who played few games in the years just after the Championship was won. Turned he knew Charlie's son and the family all live locally.
Well got home and looked him up and he played just eighteen times between 1951 and 1954 but of more interest Charlie was eighty yesterday. Caught up the questioner before the game and he sent Charlie a happy birthday message via his son who wondered 'who told you that?'