Date:Friday March 4 2011
2010/11 season v Scunthorpe in the league at Fratton, Tuesday 1st - Wednesday 2nd March 2011.
Having missed Ipswich, which I would have anyway due financial shortages even if it had not been my brothers wedding, Scunthorpe marked the start of a week of, well more really, short trips in quick succession.
The journey started in Dawlish, as I knew I would be there anyway following this wedding. Chaos reigned as a technical problem with the lines between Newton Abbott and Exeter, or something like that, was causing delays and/or rail replacement to be laid on. Fortunately my train, headed for London Paddington, due in at 11:39, was still on but extra stops were added between Dawlish and Exeter St Davids so my already late train would be even later, the missing of my 13:27 connection at Westbury was looking likely...
Make that connection or not, there would be others to get me to Cosham in plenty of time for the game, I would be glad to just get off this train as a guy that got on at Exeter St Davids, and sat in the seat in front of me, absolutely stank! I mean real bad, so oniony that it almost made my eyes water!
Fortunately, as it happens, he did get off before me and I did make my Westbury connection so I was in Cosham, and indoors, by 3.30ish.
Cottage Pie, Sheppards Pie, whatever it was - meat with mash potato over the top that is all I know! - on the menu for dinner. Very nice it was too, so that was wolfed down and Chixy met at about 6pm, in the usual place. It was just the two of us that night although we would met others in the pub - Chris (sneakay) sat with Chixy and Jake and his old man with me as Tony and Gill could not make it either.
It was another 'ugly win' but a win nevertheless. That 2-0 win, thanks to Dave Kitson and Aaron Mokoena goals, 'should' confirm safety now although some thoughts are turning towards the play-offs...
We were certainly much better in the 2nd half and did start knocking the ball around more instead of hoofing it long from the back, and that too also made a difference. Making some driving runs forward, from a deeper position, also meant Scunny had to amend their defensive wall slightly and we eventually got the rewards. I do wish whatever Steve Cotterill does at half time could be put into action in the 1st half though.
We are not playing brilliantly but we are picking up wins, and that my friends is what we had to do. Wins breed confidence, speaking of which the confidence that a solid looking, and constantly picked, back four is giving the whole team cannot be underrated. What a difference this is making.
The wins have been ugly in recent weeks, in an ideal world with the threat of relegation just about gone we can start churning out some top class performances to go with results - then again it is a 'results based business' so is it better to play well and lose or have patches of good play, but overall be bad, and win?
From a paying punters point of view you want to be entertained, but sometimes needs must - as said with these needs survived hopefully with some pressure relieved we can see some of the free flowing football we have sometimes seen this season return, but without too much problem to the defence. Maybe I am being greedy!
I was back home by 10.30pm, a bit of time was spent with my cousin Matt, before the evenings results were input into the vital computer and then it was off to bed in preparation for the journey home as a flying visit ended. Although as I was not travelling until 18:39 on the Wednesday, I had to go back despite the weekend game with Sheff United as I was working on the Thursday, I had the day to do some work and wolf down a lovely chicken curry, with a meat ball curry also made, with the usual trimmings - there was even time for a couple of cheeky Brandy's to be sunk!
It was a good job well done ultimately and the flying visit was, as always, worth it but can we possibly make it 6/6 against The Blades on the Saturday?
To be honest with you, whilst not taking them lightly, I am quietly optimistic about doing this, but surely we cannot keep a 6th consecutive cleansheet, can we...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Friday March 4 2011
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