Toast Season 5 #13 - Viking lights the fireworks!
Pompey kept the fans waiting for the fireworks yesterday afternoon. It took almost forty five minutes before Hayden Mullins lit the blue touch paper with a rocket against the bar, Erik Huseklepp picked up the loose ball and bent a beautiful curler over Forest keeper Lee Camp.
The start of the game the game was instantly forgettable and Forest had the only decent chance when Lewis McGugan failed to control a pass from Chris Gunter with the goal gaping. The second half was a more lively affair with both goalkeepers in spectacular action before Pompey broke at speed and a quick throw (aided by the Pompey bench)put Erik away to earn a corner. The Viking bent the kick to the near post and Dave Kitson's head did the rest. The third was provided by Chuck Norris and Erik just managed to squeeze the ball under Camp.
In the end the scoreline of 3-0 probably flattered Pompey but with some good performances on the road rewarded with very little return they will not complain. The Fratton End were in great voice with songs such as 'Stevie Cotterill, you taxis outside' and '3-0 to the 4-4-2' good fun and I think SC enjoyed the reception he got if not the result.
We now head for the international break before a visit to Watford and a home game with Leicester City.
Cloak and Dagger
The Pompey curtains have certainly been pulled tightly shut at Fratton Park recently with no leaks apparent. The media have all been guessing who will be the new boss and the bookies have opened and closed their books more time than I care to count.
However I think that is a wonderful piece of work by the owners and staff because all too often in the past this would have all been carried out on the front page of the local rag. All the News could run on Friday on the billboards was 'POMPEY MANAGER LATEST` which of course was nothing.
I was also given a world exclusive the other night on the managerial situation. It concerns the number of managers coats the club has in stock with the letters SC emblazoned on them. The club are keen not to have to dispose of them and are therefore busy drawing up a short list of candidates with the initials SC. They thought long about adapting the letters with Sean O`Driscoll and Steve Coppell has already been mentioned but I gather was the wrong size, others are no being considered but I hope there is no truth in the name I did pick up - Simon Cowell!!
Fan`s Conference News
Community Mascot - The players have agreed to sponsor the mascot place, starting from the Leicester City game at Fratton Park on November 26th which I'm sure you will agree is great news. Conference has a choice to make and I'll happily go with the majority decision. Whilst the players will be sponsoring the kit, the last conference meeting felt in was an idea to give some sort of goody bag for the mascot to take away with them. Is this something a collective group could do for each game with one group donating the money the week before each game - we could then say the goody bag was sponsored by 'insert name of group/website' so each group gets a mention in the matchday programme too - £30 would seem to suffice.
Community Tickets - The club have agreed to allocate 50 tickets for the Hull City and Middlesbrough games in the new year to allow the Conference to run this as a pilot scheme to see how we get on. Any suggestions how they could do this, please feel free to speak up. How the scheme is it going to be advertised is another question of course.
It is now up to the Conference and its members to prove these two new ideas a success and that of course needs your involvement.
That is what Fans Day 2012 will be known as and it will be at the last home game of the season against Derby County on the 21st April 2012 (subject to late promotion push and sky rescheduling the fixture of course). The times will be 10am - 2pm or something along those lines.
The Club have agreed that Johnny Moore, Nick Byrom and Derek Stone will come to the table as the clubs representatives to help us make FD12 a success. Once again the conference needs ideas and volunteers.
A question too far
Last week we asked you for the names of the two players with Pompey connections who had scored a Premier League hat-trick against Chelsea. Of course you all knew about the King Kanu who netted three times at Stamford Bridge in the last fifteen minutes back in October 1999 - Arsenal won 3-2.
However you forgot the Patrik Berger threesome back in October 1997 when Liverpool beat Chelsea 4-2 at Anfield. Come on Toasters pull your socks up!!
This week`s teaser concerns loanees. In the Berger game, Bernard Lambourde received an early red card you will all remember him? (Six games on loan 2001). But which member of the Arsenal squad in the Kanu game would have seven games on loan at Pompey in 2000?
Away travel memories
Forty five years ago almost to the day saw my first away trip and it was to Crystal Palace which is why I am reminded of it after our midweek trip to South East London.
A group of us after our exploits at the World Cup decided that we must get to a Pompey away game or two that season (1966/67) and looking at the fixture list the trips to Charlton and Palace looked the best bet. Sadly the man who worked out the fixtures had put them back to back which meant for us school kids financially it was impossible.
We decided on the second which was Palace and started saving our paper round money. We thought we have made the wrong decision when Pompey played at the Valley at goals from John McClelland and Ray Hiron earned a 2-0 victory. We felt the same way the next Saturday when Pompey slipped to a 3-0 home defeat by Derby County - regular attentive readers will remember that was the first game on Southern Soccer- but it was all planned.
The weather was atrocious and by the time we arrived in SE25 it was snowing heavily. Once the ground was located it was inside to find some cover from the stands or so we thought. Selhurst Park those days was a bowl with just one main stand and three open terraces so we stood in the snow waiting for the game to warm us up. Pompey had a large number of fans in the crowd of 15,700 and we all congregated behind one goal.
Snowball throwing was more popular than the usual trip to the toilet to find the Izal rolls and hurl them onto the pitch! The game was 0-0 at half-time and then one of the funniest things I have seen on a football ground happened - the pitch was a typical London surface of the sixties a brown (mud) diamond with four green triangles in the corner. The surface which had obviously been rolled by the groundstaff before had cut up badly but they attempted to keep the lines clear by brushing the snow off them. Finally just as the Palace keeper - probably John Jackson headed towards his goal in front of us a man glad in a raincoat and carrying a bucket ran to the goalmouth and cleared away the white snow before painting the goal line - WHITE!!
A curler from Albert McCann and a two yard special from Ray Hiron won the game in the second half, the two scorers finished the season as joint top marksmen with eleven; we all went home happy (cold and wet too!). Plans were made for the next away trip to Coventry on News Year`s Eve on the train home - that was a disaster as we were trounced 5-1!! Away trips were off for a while after that.
Anyone interested in telling a story of their first away game let me know.
and finally ….
You may have missed that Kevin Prince Boateng has announced his retirement from International football with Ghana - and that after his impact in the 2010 World Cup. Well I suppose he is twenty four!!
Meanwhile in South Korea Nadir Belhadj scored the decisive penalty in the Asian Champions League Final for his new club Al Sadd against favourites Jeonbuk Motors after the game finished 2-2.
Must give a mention to the Ipswich Town fans who gave Doncaster's Billy Sharp a standing ovation after he scored against them yesterday. Sharp lost his son Louie just two old last week. Well done to the Tractor fans!
Next week Eddie will tell us about the birth of the 657 crew at Bury!! Not what you might think that though.