Toast 6#35 - Pompey show Blades a cutting edge
I am not too sure how what to write about yesterday because it was simply quite sensational! Pompey saved their best football of the season for the first forty five minutes and blew their promotion chasing visitors away.
Relegation parties are famous for Pompey fans and most will remember Wembley in 2010 when 40,000 enjoyed the 2-0 over Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final well yesterday was different but equally stunning.
A season`s best attendance of 18,433 bathed in the April sunshine, sat back and watched a scintillating display not from Sheffield United but the team of misfits that are Portsmouth Football Club. Patrick Agyemang orchestrated most of Pompey`s attacks and both flanks got forward to provide chance after chance.
The first was shaped when Jed Wallace and Agyemang combined well down the right and the latter sent in a fine cross to the back post where Shaun Cooper had got forward to head home across keeper Long. Three minutes later David Connolly made it two with a neat flick at the near post to meet a Wallace cross.
The Blades were stunned and would never recover from the old one two. Deservedly it was Wallace who got the third on 35 minutes as he finished a Connolly cross than crept past two defenders. With that numbers of the United fans on the Milton End decided to head for home and who could blame them. Their side had simply disintegrated under Pompey pressure and a Dave Kitson lead attack was toothless - much to the pleasure of the home fans!
The second half as a party as Pompey at times toyed with their defeated visitors with back flicks, cheeky moves etc 'just like watching Brazil` the crowd sang and few could disagree. There were chances to increase the lead but few really cared. For the Blades the worrying fact is that with the play off now certain, they failed to test keeper Simon Eastwood even once.
There were some strange sights around the ground though with the usual end of season fancy dress but for me it had to be the Director`s box joining in with the singing and chanting - now that is unusual.
Pompey must try and keep this squad together although some of the youngsters will no doubt attract interest from clubs with a higher status. The football especially in the first half was probably the best seen in League One this term and that standard would more than likely blow away most League Two opposition. With the fantastic new that the ten points has gone this year and Pompey can start on a level playing field next season it could be an exciting time. Finally it was nice to see Nick Awford make his debut - just two minutes- at the end. I expect Phil Smith might get a few minutes at Shrewsbury next Saturday.
The Trust are set to make a number of announcements next week. The most eagerly anticipated are the appointment of a manager and season tickets prices for 2013/14. Then the playing budget has to be settled quickly and decisions made.
So after 427 days in Administration all is not rosy but there is a lot to look forward too.
35 years from Division Four and back!
Probably a title for a future book which I will, probably like all my wild ideas will, never write. But yes it is thirty five years to the day almost since Pompey were last relegated to the lowest level of English football.
Looking back though the season 1977/78 was completely different to the current campaign. We only had one manager - jimmy Dickinson who had taken over when Ian St John departed the previous May. Pompey only used twenty six players - half of this season - seven of them made thirty appearances or more.
As the season went on the fans lost heart not like this term even cheering opposition goals in home defeats.
• It was the season Bobby Stokes played for Pompey - he was a real fan!!
• David Kemp goals were the only highlight before he was sold to Carlisle for £75,000
• Tiny Bideford Town equalised at Fratton Park in the First Round of the FA Cup
• Crowds dropped to just over 5,000
• The final home game saw another 'big` club Preston win 2-0 with late goals with just 6,000 present.
• Mick Mellows played most games
• Alan Knight made his debut in the final game at Rotherham.
Quite a contrast really!!
Only a shareholder!
Just a reminder to those with shares, you should show the staff the respect they deserve and not treat them as your staff. You do not pay their wages, the club do!
Our win helped Bournemouth who clinched promotion with Brentford dropping points at Hartlepool. Congratulations to the Cherries. And well done to the Stags of Mansfield for winning the Conference title - we will see you next season - they have only visited Fratton Park once in heir history.