Toast Season 5 #17 - win helps hide the worries
Pompey picked up three points yesterday in a game they should have won comfortably and helped take the fans thoughts off of other their other problems.
Firstly my apologies that this weeks Toast is not up to the usual standards as my laptop is playing up and I have had to borrow my wife`s - happy birthday tomorrow before I forget!
December 3rd is not a great day in Pompey history - no win since 1966 and Coventry are a definite bogy club - they did the double last season. So it might have been a difficult day.
It was a game that Coventry were rarely in and yet Pompey made it hard on themselves by refusing to take chances or over elaborate before getting the final shot away. The visitors started passing the ball around nicely but could create nothing, on the hand Pompey had early efforts, one an early effort from Dave Kitson which was bound for the bottom corner until keeper Joe Murphy jst got a hand to it at full stretch.
The opener on twenty minutes was thank to Joel Ward`s persistence as he chased a lost cause and Murphy made a hash of his clearance hauling down Ward as he entered the box. Referee Boyeson eventually pointing to the spot after consulting his assistant. Greg Halford who had just changed his boots calmly slotted the spot kick home.
At the start of the second period the Sky Blues came more into the game and a ball inside the fullback sent Richard Wood away and his low cross was swept home by Lucas Jutkiewicz. A simple well executed goal.
Parity only lasted five minutes and this time Ward turned from provider to scorer. He won a free kick on the edge of the box and quick thinking George Thorne immediately played the ball back to Ward who slammed his shot across the keeper and into the corner.
More should have followed and the appearance of Luke Varney for the struggling Hayden Mullins gave the strike force much more fluency and his ability to hang in the air when flicking the ball on is a great attribute. EricHuseklepp also had another lively game and was in on goal late on but delayed his shot allowing a defender to get a tackle in.
Still three points are three points and Appy will be only too pleased to get those in his back pocket.
I was going to write a piece on how Appy has tackled the week just gone by but sadly that article is not available. However there was an excellent interview in the Independent where he made in clear that he is no quitter and will fight on through whatever is thrown at him.
Now you need experience to face a press conference especially when the questions are not football related but he handled himself well saying 'because some of them (the players) have been through this before, I have asked them to give me their opinions on the situation. They said that people here won't be walking away, they'll be meeting the situation head-on and I was happy to hear that.`
He added: 'I'm not sure where the blame lies, but I've got a role on the football side. I've got to make sure we're still professional and don't take our eye off the ball.`
David Lampitt spoke of his manager in glowing terms when he addressed yesterday`s Fans Conference simply saying 'he is doing a fantastic job!`
Despite all the problems the club is facing the fans conference meeting yesterday morning covered much more that just the financial woes. After running the gauntlet of the Sky cameras (gather I was seen on Sky Sports News)and the radio press a well attended meeting discussed the day to day matters before getting to the main topic.
Chief Executive David Lampitt having been given a long list of questions in advance addressed the conference at length and tried to give as much detail as he could in the current circumstances. Fans must accept that a great deal of matters have to be kept confidential but he attempted to tell us what he could.
To be honest we did not gain a lot of information that we did not know already but it was nice to hear it direct from David and it was made clear to him that the fans are behind the club.
In simple terms the club is currently solvent but investment is needed in the medium term. DL does not think the club should be deducted points but that is in the hands of the Football League but the penalty I believe should be only if the club is making a financial advantage by going into protective administration i.e. not paying their creditors. The club is not in that situation but only time will tell.
The rest you could have read in the matchday programme and on David`s monthly blog on the official site but he made it clear he did not see it coming and was feeling the club were beginning to do very nicely when the news broke. But he added that one things he said he has learnt from Pompey fans is to be Bloody minded and never give up!
One point I did make at the meeting was that the Football League are not necessarily to blame for their errors on the 'Fit and Proper Person test` because I believe they are not the correct body to carry it out. These tests should be carried out by a body such as the Financial Standards Authority, a major accounting company or one of the credit rating agencies such as Standard and Poors. Another member of the conference thought that the government should appoint a suitable body as it is them that stand to lose tax revenues when companies (Clubs) go into administration.
There will be an official statement by the conference signed by all of us in the next few days and I will bring it to you as soon as it is released. Next week I will also try and update you on the other matters discussed which while important are not Vital!!
Appy birthday Appy! Thirty eight today.
And yes I was there in 1966 when we last won on December 3 - at Palace.