Date:Sunday April 8 2012
Chris Maguire and David 'Chuck` Norris wrote themselves into Pompey legend with two cracking efforts at St Marys yesterday lunchtime. Pompey twice came back from Sharp goals to possibly blunt their hosts` promotion chances.
Pompey started well but Jamie Ashdown was kept busy with some excellent saves until the first Billy Sharp goal on 27 minutes; that lead was short-lived however when Maguire scored a beauty from the edge of the box.
The second half anticipated onslaught never really materialised and Pompey appeared to be coasting to a point when Sharp bundled home the second in the final minute with the linesman`s flag raised. Referee Neil Swarbrick however decided to overrule his assistant and it appeared as though the 89th minute derby defeat hoodoo had struck again - remember 1976 and 83.
With the home fans on their feet celebrating Pompey poured forward and four minutes into stoppage time Dave Kitson (remember him?) knocked the ball down to Norris who lashed his volley past a hopeless Davis for a stunning leveller. With that the celebrations moved the blue half of Hampshire - in the pub I was in children were thrown in the air and fans young and old roared their approval - that is what this game means to whole of this city! Despair was turned to jubilation in a split second.
On the second Sharp goal Appy said afterwards "We`ve looked at it again but the initial ball came off Luke Varney`s head, which means Billy Sharp wasn`t offside.' Not sure the fans would all share your honesty Appy?
Defeat for Doncaster and two dropped points at home by Coventry certainly helped the Pompey cause but Bristol City winning at Forest was not in the script - it does pull SC`s side back into the mix though. With Bristol City entertaining the Sky Blues on Monday - a game all fans should pray for a draw - all is not over quite yet. The Pompey squad today showed their pride and certainly got the disastrous Burnley result out of their systems, they just need to win the last five games, which is entirely possible and hope that is enough. Toast is always optimistic.
Having now seen the goals they were fantastic and as Nigel Adkins described them 'two wonder goals`. Sky Sports News gave their goal of the day award to David Norris and the concentration he put into the effort was superb keeping his eyes firmly on the ball and placing his dipping shot right in the corner - a great high in such a disappointing season.
The job in hand
Of course after the exhilaration of the derby draw we have to get back to the real subject that counts the future of the club.
All seems to have on quiet on the buyer front in the past week and I have not yet received the promised Trust document on how to organise a group share purchase. I have personally made my pledge and I hope that a number of you who can afford it have done the same. Remember you only risk £2.50 if you make that £100 pledge and if you do not like the final prospectus you can have your money back.
This is of course the Easter weekend which is possibly why the rumour mill has stopped turning recently.
Four years flies by
Looking at the daily 'on this day` on Thursday there were a couple of dates that evoked great memories. The first was twenty years ago when at Highbury Darren Anderton so very nearly edged out Liverpool and took us to a Wembley Cup Final only for a late equaliser to thwart.
The other sixteen years later was at Wembley when the King scored the only goal as Pompey defeated West Brom and reached that final - strange how those two events should both happen on the same date - 5th April.
That day (at Wembley) seems like only yesterday but let us think just what has happened in those four short years. The highs of winning the final, the European tour especially Milan, beating Spurs at Wembley and a second final. Then there were the lows of the manager`s disloyalty, the sale of the stars, administration, relegation and administration again.
Where will we be four years from now?
Fabrice Muamba was twenty four on Thursday and report from the London Chest Hospital suggest that although he is still in intensive care he is showing steady progress and has been walking a few steps.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle said 'We have to stress that he still has a long way to go, but the improvement has been remarkable and long may that continue.'
Toast is a little shorter than usual this week due a lack of bread delivery!! PUP
Date:Sunday April 8 2012
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