Vital Football

Toast Season 5#28 - back down to earth

Toast Season 5#28 - back down to earth

What had looked like being such a good week ended in disappointment yesterday at the Ricoh Arena. Pompey again had the best of the chances but again could not apply the finishing touch and slipped to a potentially disastrous 2-0 defeat. They now trail Bristol City by six points but do have one game in hand over some of the teams above them.

The side had chances but they were squandered as they have been so often in recent weeks and two bad defensive mistakes allowed Coventry to pick up the vital three points. Appy was apoplectic after the final whistle blaming his sides lack of energy and for allowing the game to be played at 'testimonial pace'.

The week had started so well with the resounding come from behind win against Birmingham City on Tuesday evening. It was one of those special evenings at Fratton Park but did you see it coming after twenty minutes? It was then that Pompey started to get a foothold in the match and after the break they played some of the best football of the season. It showed that the players Appy has brought in to replace the loaned out Lawrence and Mullins are quite capable of doing an equally good job on a fraction of the salary and prove Administrator Trevor Birch right that you can run a Championship club without the need to pay Premier League wages.

Scott Allan, Chris Maguire and Kelvin Etuhu were all begged, stolen or borrowed and had the Fratton crowd on their feet in acclamation of their achievements. It was a night when the Fans, players, and manager showed the world that they are as one.

The crowd size was very disappointing after Saturday but with all these home games in quick succession it is difficult for the ordinary fan to afford. Remember we told you last week that 11,000 was the true fan level for these games and that proved it. The crowd will be good again next Tuesday as the Hull game was a big seller in the original 'Pack the Park` campaign and fans who have already paid will presumably attend. It is now very much the point of no return.

The only thing missing from the Pompey display that night was the balance of having a genuine left sided player. I had already written that it was too late for that to be corrected when out of the blue two loan signings arrived from Manchester City on Thursday. Both Luca Scapuzzi and Karim Rekik can both play on the left and f used will help sort out the imbalance in the side.

Of course had Brum won at Fratton there is no doubt players would have been headed in the other direction. The attitude shown by Jason Pearce and others was commendable given the situation the club finds itself in through no fault of the players.

In addition to the two City players Gabor Gyepes and Tom Williams are having trial spells at the club. Gyepes has worked with Stuart Gray at Wolves and Northampton in the past. Appy also told the press that other players had slipped under their net and been looked at by the blues staff.

I personally doubt we will see any of the these trailists signed on but a presume that somewhere an emergency goalkeeper is awaiting a call.

Flaming 'eck

So we now know the Olympic flame will visit Fratton Park this summer. It is due to leave the old ground on 16 July Monday at 07:41 and progress down Goldsmith Avenue, over Fratton Bridge and then via Fratton Road and Kingston Road before being bussed to the next location. Nice for those of us trying to get to work using Fratton Station then!!

Apparently some sort of party is organised on Southsea Common on the Sunday night and att he Park an event for schoolchildren is planned.

It will not the first time the Olympics have visited Fratton Park on 26 July 1948 in the football competition Holland beat the Rep of Ireland. There were just 8,000 there and the game was refereed by George Reader who would later have the World Cup Final of 1950.

Terry Ryder

Former Pompey inside-forward Terry Ryder has died aged 83.

He signed from his home-town club Norwich in October 1950 for a fee of £6,000 - a lot of money in those days and there is no real indication why boss Bob Jackson trumped for Terry to add depth to his the Champions squad. His stats at the Canaries were only a goal in every four games and at only five foot and four inches he was one of the smallest forwards to ever to play for Pompey. Few thought he would make the grade in a very tough First Division.

But just seven days after signing he stepped in for the injured Len Phillips, making his debut at White Hart Lane in a 5-1 defeat and held the number 10 jersey for another six matches, scoring three goals. He was then in an out of the side for the next two season replacing injured players such as Duggie Reid and Peter Harris.

After a contribution of four goals in 16 games - the same one in four as at Norwich, Terry left Fratton Park in July 1952 to sign for Swindon, where he netted - 13 goals in 34 matches. The last trace of a football career I can find is at King`s Lynn.

Terry`s father George was an active founder of the Player`s Union when he played at Osborne Road - for those who do not know that was the former name of Brisbane Road the home of Leyton Orient.

When I asked Ed about Terry he remembered him playing for the reserves mostly and described as the 'little bloke in the reserves` also guessed correctly that he played just a handful of first team games after the Championship years and always did the job asked of him whether wide or in the middle.

Another Toast another obituary - condolences of course to Terry`s family and friends.

First thousand almost done

Well according to Pompeyrama next Saturday when Burnley come to Fratton Park will be my one thousandth competitive Pompey game.

They are stretched over fifty two and a half years - one Pompey game every nineteen days. Of the thousand 843 will have been at Fratton Park and the other 157 on the road - that includes seven on neutral grounds (I think). The record also tells me that will be my one hundred and fifty seventh consecutive home league game.

Great source of stats is the Pompeyrama site and you should all get registered and start logging your games before you forget them. Never know you might just catch me up.

Might even get to the Rutland before the game for a celebratory drink. Well we have not had much to drink to recently. Maybe I will see you there.

Did you put your clocks forward this morning?

PUP - keep the faith

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday March 25 2012
Time: 1:00AM


Quality stuff Dave, and as for your big milestone, I wouldn't say there are many people out there who can celebrate it, if any. Making it to 1,000 games is impressive enough, but to be able to pinpoint the exact match that tips the counter into 4 figures is incredible. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a first. Massive congratulations and I hope that the team can make it a memorable one for all the right reasons.
25/03/2012 02:19:00
Congratulations Dave...Mighty impressive!
25/03/2012 09:49:00
Many congratulations. More appearances than Alan Knight!
25/03/2012 10:48:00
really enjoyable read as ever dave, and managed to read it on a sunday morning too!
1000 up next weekend eh, good stuff.
25/03/2012 10:51:00
Hi Dave - I really hope you get to see another thousand Pompey games - fingers crossed eh?
25/03/2012 12:25:00
Looking forward to seeing the Olympic torch when it comes down here and you're right about the Pompeyrama site, its a great site which all Pompey fans who go to games should join, especially wif you love your stats. And Congratulations Dave, that is some achievement!! :)
25/03/2012 22:00:00
i meant 'if not 'wif' haha, shame you can't edit comments on here like we can on the forums.
25/03/2012 22:04:00
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