Toast 7#23 - Pompey grind out a hard earned point
Pompey grabbed a vital point in their first ever League encounter at the Kassam Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Richie Barker`s new look side contained three debutants in Daniel Alfei, Ryan Taylor and Nicky Shorey who was perhaps surprisingly employed in the centre of midfield. The goalless scoreline reflects the number of chances with Pompey not managing a shot on target in the entire ninety minutes.
Barker`s Pompey put in a good shift though and a clean sheet away from home is always a good sign. Of course we need to create more and take some of those chances. Fixture coming up are generally at home to teams in the bottom half and away to those in the upper echelons. The home games must be won and a points like those picked up yesterday will come in very handy.
A word too about the Pompey following of 2,365 which is remarkable when you consider the position we are in and the time of year. It was bigger than three home gates in League Two!
Back at last
Sorry we have been off the streets for the last few weeks but Christmas and the like just got in the way. In fact on the day of the Northampton Town game Pompeytim said to me 'no Toast today?` - crikey I thought 'today is Sunday!`
I am getting old you know and I don`t know what day of the week it is! Not helped by playing on Sundays either. Hope you enjoy today`s bumper edition.
Some weeks ago I received a text message asking me about the whereabouts of Robbie Simpson, a striker who made a couple of appearances as a substitute back at the end of 1997/98.
Well after extensive research by the Toast team and a former colleague of his Luke Nightingale we are proud to announce that we have not got a clue!!! Robbie if you are out there get in touch please.
Local Boy who made it
On Friday I sadly had to write the obituary of a boyhood hero of mine in Albie McCann. If you missed it you can catch up here
Another Pompey hero though passed away recently and that was Johnny Phillips aged 76. Whereas I saw plenty of Albie, Johnny only played just once before my eyes. That was in my first ever game at Fratton Park and it was one of Johnny`s last for the club.
Obviously I do not remember him but he had a reputation as a player who gave 100% in every game despite being in a team that was beginning to drop down the leagues. A tigerish tackler he was often given the task of marking key players in the opposition.
The final game of Phillips` time at Pompey arrived on April 18, 1960, against Sunderland, before he was sold to Worcester City by Freddie Cox.
Phillips later played for Salisbury, Bognor and Chichester, before returning to work at the Dockyard as an apprentice fitter.
Supporters Direct ran this story in the week and I think it shows how far a club can go with the right ideas and thinking.
Pompey have had their digital fan engagement strategy recognised by the prominent O2 Guru TV channel.
The fans have been rewarded by the club`s innovative approach to digital media and interaction by undertaking a number of initiatives such as Blippar (augmented reality in the programme), Ticketing on Facebook and Qikserve (food and beverages ordered by an App and delivered to your seat).
Club spokesman Colin Farmery said: "This is great news for us. O2 Guru cover the very latest technological innovations. It shows how far we have come when we see the club mentioned in the same feature as Google glasses.
"It really helps us to improve the experience to customers and has served to revolutionise our image with sponsors and within the game. We are increasingly seen as a positive, family-friendly and innovative club."
Pompey have seen a whole range of improvements in the fan experience with a new programme, website, ticketing system, digital e-zine Heaven`s Light, concourse TVs and a big screen sponsored by OneCom, as well as refurbished kiosks with the Qikserve service.
Colin added: "We know there is still significant ground to cover and there are always teething troubles with any implementation, but overall fans tell us the experience has really improved."
The Club, who played the first ever League game under floodlights in 1956 against Newcastle demonstrated their continued appetite for innovation and the recent success in engaging with supporters has landed the Blues with a reputation as one of the most forward thinking clubs in the country.
Review of 2013
This would have appeared last week but the cancellation of the Accrington Stanley game and other factors consigned it to the file. (Excuses Ed.) It is a quick look back at last year 'Toast` style.
Started badly with a 5-0 defeat at Swindon only Johnny Ertl who is still at the club featured in the starting eleven.
James Keene returned on loan to try and help the club later that month Shaun Cooper would follow suit. Yassin Moutaouakil and Sam Sodje have signed on for a month.
Rumours of a new bidder started to filter through yesterday. Keith Harris, of Seymour Pierce fame, was being mooted as part of a consortium.
Pompey bottom of League One
Still no wins. In fact year starts with seven straight defeats Until a goalless draw at Hartlepool.
Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, 2 players who played in 2 different FA Cup finals for Portsmouth, now playing for Italy, managed to inspire Milan to victory against all odds, scoring 2 goals to beat Barcelona
Pompey get a win !! at Crewe and the 500 fans who travelled party all night!! Twenty three games without a win that is half a season.
Another win the next week against Bury. And the court case to decide the future of Pompey is fixed for 10/11 April - we all hope this is it.
Off the bottom with 2-0 win over Coventry
On the 10th I wrote - After a tense day in the High Court the judge has endorsed an out of court settlement that was engineered overnight. In court lawyers representing administrators and the former owner Portpin told the judge that 'terms had been agreed in principle'.
Judge Peter Smith signed the order at 16:20 on 10 April 2013 allowing the deal agreed between the Administrator and the Trust to go ahead.
The details of the agreement will become known later. I now hear the Trust agreed to pay Portpin £3m for them to release the charge. That suggests Portpin believed they would lose in Court.
Let the celebration commence!!
Then I said 'more to follow`. I never did as I was out celebrating!
Season ends on a high with a full house and a 3-0 thrashing of Sheffield United at Fratton Park. We can start looking forward to League Two with enthusiasm if we can keep this bunch of players.
Sees the new board announce season ticket prices with the emphasis on free games. In essence prices are unchanged - sales eventually reach an incredible 10,500!
The summer saw Boss Guy Whittingham assemble a squad within a tight budget allocated to him He manages to retain most of the group who finished the season but missed out on keeper Simon Eastwood who goes to Blackburn while others such as Ricardo Rocha, Thery Racon, Shaun Cooper decide for various reasons to look alsewhere.
Game one was the much awaited visit of Oxford United to Fratton Park. The game drew a record attendance for a League Two match and all seemed rosy when Patrick Agyemang but Pompey who were strong favourites for promotion ahead But then the wheels came off and over confidence took over and the visitors romped to a 4-1 victory. All the pre-season excitement melted away and Pompey knew they were in a real battle. Goals were shipped at an alarming rate and leads frittered away.
First win of season arrives beating Morecambe 3-0
First away win at Burton then a thumping at York in the away trip
Unbeaten for the month - that is unusual!
After a home win over Exeter City come five successive defeats in all competitions. Out of the FA Cup at Stevenage - just memories of bygone days.
Results get no better and Guy pays the ultimate price. Awfs takes temporary charge.
Richie Barker sacked by Crawley ten days previously is the new boss and eventually on Boxing Day a win is achieved over Dagenham and Redbridge! After a run of nine without victory.
League games in 2013 showed Wins 11 Draws 14 and Losses 20. Goals for 50 and against 68 - not a good year eh!!
During the year we lost
Steve Aizlewood, Ron Davies, Fred Brown, Sir Alfred Blake, Peter Faulkner
Another candle on the cake
Yes Toast has now been going for six years - thanks for your support and I know a lot of people read it but don`t comment - why not I ask?