Toast Season 5#23 - Fans show their love.
Oh we do love to be beside the seaside!! That was what the Pompey fans sang after their mammoth journey to West Lancashire - a round trip of well over five hundred miles. There were around two thousand of them there to witness their side fight like tigers and pick up an excellent point which probably deserved to be three.
On a pitch that might just have failed a test if the game had not been live on Sky both sides struggled to control the ball and as the frost bit into the surface it became a real task to keep your feet on the skating rink. Pompey`s players though were magnificent for the way they stuck to their plan in circumstances that many would have just sat back and taken a beating against their high flying hosts.
Pompey were though resolute throughout and created the better clear cut chances including a Marko Futacs effort which grazed a post. Erik Huseklepp who was probably at home in the chilly conditions gave Pompey the lead just before the break and they held on fairly comfortably until Greg Halford gave away a needless free kick on the edge of the box and Crainey bent is shot into the top corner. Stephen Henderson then made a brilliant save to deny Silvestre and those were the Seasiders only two shots on target.
After the game the managers views were understandably diverse Ian Holloway moaning about the officials and Appy praising the Pompey spirit and the amazing support so far from home on a freezing Saturday night.
On the positive front the partnership between Futacs and Erik is certainly looking promising and the back was solid throughout. Lady luck needs to start shining on the club soon and maybe we can start climbing the table that I unless the Football League deem a points deduction as a punishment for their crime of clearing the last in a line of 'dodgy' owners.
The fans and the team showed last night they deserve better
Pompey have been front page news all week and then the story broke after the court verdict that former Chief Executive Peter Storrie had been in court previously and acquitted. We were aware of the case but not allowed to cover it due to the reporting restrictions placed by the judge.
It was one of those stories that the fans really needed to know about but we were gagged - we tell you the stories as soon as we can here on Vital but only if we are allowed to. .At least that story is no longer in the headlines. There has been enough muck about Pompey in the press from all directions.
It was not helped by the escapades of two former players in the week. Firstly Paul Merson was banned from driving for running his Mercedes into the back of a 38 ton lorry!! He had been drinking earlier at a charity evening and was well over the limit? You are telling me!! Specsavers might need a visit Merse.
The next day Jamo is fined for speeding!! Of course those members of the media keen to kick Pompey when they are down were only too happy to remind us that they were ex-Pompey players!
Any more crazy ideas?
These are desperate times for Pompey and all of us who support them. We can do without too many false dawns that have been in evidence in the past week. Two suggestions that come to mind in the last week were just crazy but could have been seen by fans as a lifesaver.
The first was the idea that the government buy Fratton Park from the club and then lease/rent it back. The idea was the football foundation but up the money. Crazy idea that for many reasons least of all why would they want to buy and aged Park? The National Trust have already laid claim to the North Stand toilets as the oldest working urinals in the country.
Then came the plan for Portsmouth City Council to settle the clubs debts!! The law would allow the council to help the club BUT they do not have a spare penny at present with the government`s austerity policies and it would mean a decision between cutting services to the old and vulnerable or saving PFC.
These ideas make headlines but are laughable and more at home in the new upcoming cult film 'Carry on Pompey'.
The week has also been news of meetings and then more meetings and others are planned. Members of Parliament were involved and eventually the club met with the HMRC. We do not know the outcome of that meeting yet but hopefully a way forward was agreed,
Next week the Trust will meet will Admin Andy and he is demanding proof of £100m to support their bid to buy the club. The clock is ticking away towards 20th February and the time for action is now here not an endless trail of meetings.
Pack the Park we all hope can eventually start on Tuesday evening when Ipswich Town visit the park. This is the last chance for the fans to show their love for the club before the winding up order. We must hope though that the overnight frosts relent and the pitch thaws out. The temperature tonight will drop well below zero and then there are only two days to get the pitch fit.
We saw at Bloomfield Road how a hard and rutted surface can ruin the game as a spectacle and Ipswich themselves yesterday suffered the farce of a match starting but being unable to be finished.
The club are running many packages on the night including a lovers chance to 'Propose on the pitch`
Pompey have been shortlisted for three prizes at the 2012 Football League Awards.
The club has won the Coca-Cola Community Club of the Year for the South West and is in the running to take the national accolade at this year`s ceremony.
The club has also been nominated for the Tokio Marine Family Club of the Year, while Joel Ward has been shortlisted for the PFA Player in the Community title. Joel has throughout this time has continually shown his commitment to the club by working with a number of its community projects, including working as a mentor for the Extra Time reading scheme, visiting a six-year-old child from one of the most deprived areas of the city every week.
Well done to all concerned and it shows just how much the community means to the club and the club to the community.
Look away now
Last week after watching the international egg chasing I asked you who was the ugliest player you had seen? I did though forget who Ed had named as his number one.
He tells the story about how the Huddersfield Town team bus dropping the team at the end of Frogmore Road and the team would walk to the Park. Famous faces such as a very young Denis Law would walk as a group but on his own with his boots draped around his neck was wing half Len Quested. Children would hide behind their forecourt walls as Len approached daring not to look and the ex Fulham player. Sadly I have not been able to find a picture of Len or maybe they are not allowed on the web!!
Len, as far as I can tell is now living in Australia and has done a fair bit of coaching out there. Anyone got memories of him?
Ed has promised to share his top ten uglies with us in the future.