Toast Season 2 Number 4
There has been a lot of press already on the draw and just about every other angle but Toast will come up with something different we hope. It is a tough draw though that is without doubt and being seeded we might have hoped to avoid a Champions League 'drop out'.
Wet paint - Shepherd's crook
We warned you last week that some of the paint on the new facilities at the Park might still be wet and it sure did look only just finished. What did you think of the changes?
On the subject of wet paint passed the Shepherd's Crook on Monday afternoon and noticed they have just had railings installed outside. That is fine but why were they painting them only four hours before kick off??
We have heard a lot about the bells and drums and John Westwood's problems on the Fratton End. Others are complaining that they are continually being told to sit down but surely these rules have to be applied consistently to all in the stadium.
Last Monday night while Pompey fans were being given a hard time at one end, the Manchester United supporters were allowed to do just as they pleased. In fact they stood for the entire 90 minutes only taking their seats at half time. The stewards reinforced in number and resplendent in new coats made no attempt to enforce the ground regulations.
Why, one has to ask, was nothing done? The Pompey fans in the corner would not have been able to see anything on the Northern side of the pitch without having to stand themselves. This allowed the United fans to make plenty of noise while at the opposite end Westwood had walked out and the atmosphere went with him.
Sitting as I do at the Milton End of the Lower North I can see the visitors quite clearly and there are some groups who NEVER use their seats at all. The next group who continually stand to visit Fratton are Spurs. It will be interesting how their standing and often abusive chanting is dealt with.
The club meanwhile claims they can do nothing about the visiting fans as they have no penalty they can take against misbehaving supporters. The Premier league need to act on this possibly by reducing clubs allocation of tickets.
What a Stink
Last Monday during the game with Manyoo, four stewards were sent home after being taken ill. The reason was the stench caused by the toilets in the north-east corner of the ground. A number of fans in the front rows also complained about feeling unwell.
The problem is caused by a lack of water pressure in that area and needs to be resolved to avoid further problems and indeed a visit from the Health Inspectors
My first game - UKTony
Last week we asked you all to remember your first visit to Fratton Park and share it will us. Well UKTony made a promise to be first when chatting to Dave on Monday and true to his word here it is -
'My memory says Easter but Eastneydave and the records show it was 1st April, some week or so later. It was definitely 1967.
As usual we were staying at my grandmother's in Darlington Road, Southsea for the Easter holidays. Again, as was the norm, my mum, my sister and I had come down before Easter, while Dad stayed at home for an extra week or so. "Because he has to work" she used to say (it was expected that he worked 5 and a half days per week, i.e. including Saturday mornings) but it was strange that he always found time to go to The Den whenever Millwall were at home. He joined us later in the holiday.
In his absence I had asked Mum if I could go and watch Pompey when Dad arrived. She persuaded him to take me and we were off to Fratton Park for the game against Blackburn. A regulation Division 2 match, but I didn't care. I was going to my first football game.
The journey there was as exciting as the anticipation of the match. Walking up, past Lait's, the bakers, on the corner (long gone) across the road to the T-junction, turn left, then a right, then a left and there was Frogmore Road. It seemed to take ages and the crowds were getting bigger as we neared the ground. I held on tight to my dad.
I distinctly remember getting nearer to the gates, then a sense of panic and disappointment as we turned right and then left down what I now know is Specks Lane. Programme sellers, scarf and badge sellers and even rosette sellers all cried out for trade but Dad was not to be persuaded. (It was probably another 12 months before I was allowed to buy a rosette with my holiday money. It cost me 2/6d and I've still got it.)
We entered via the turnstiles at the back of the North Stand but stood on the Milton End terraces. It was a relief to get in because I remember having to go through a junior turnstile while Dad went through the adult entrance. Terrified that I was going to get lost or abandoned, Dad had to take me to my entrance, hand me over then go back and queue up for his place, while I waited for him to arrive. It was very noisy.
To tell you the truth, that's all I can recall. I don't remember it being a good or bad game; I don't know if it was an important match or not (probably not - lower half obscurity - nothing to play for type game was the norm) but frankly I didn't care. I loved it and was hooked. Regrettably, it would be another 12 months before I got to see them play again.
It was the Easter holidays, 1968...........
For the record, the score was 1-1 and the Pompey team was
8. Hiron (my first Pompey hero)
9. Pointer (goalscorer)
I know, 'cos I WAS THERE'
Thanks Tony (or is it Max Boyce?) a great story and hopefully there will be more to come!! Particularly enjoyed the reference to Lait's bakery; used to buy my rolls there and they were lovely and a unique taste too. Any fans living in Darlington Road now know how to get to FP as well!!
On the team - Keeper John Armstrong, in for regular John Milkins who had a broken arm, was released at the end of the season. Vince Radcliffe, an unused substitute, would never pull on a Pompey shirt again.
That's it for another week. Keep your ideas, Worst XI's and first games coming in because that put the butter on your Sunday Toast.
Written by eastneydave.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.