Carlisle v Pompey match summary
The first clan away game of the season proved to be a very local game against Carlisle. Much was anticipated after promising performances watched last weekend by myself and other clan members mid-week. Unfortunately it was anything but promising - with a return to the long forgotten days of lower league football. Sloppy mistakes, poor performances throughout the whole team - coupled with a threatening Carlisle forward line, signalled bad news. That said many of our goals conceded were from poor defensive errors - getting court in possession or making silly mistakes. On this sort of performance, which has been rightly highlighted by Appleton and certain players as sub-standard - it just points to what we probably all expected anyway, it’s going to be a long, long tough season.
Despite the late dramatic goal fest of the last twenty minutes and a number of clan members missing Carlisle’s second goal just after the restart, Pompey were nowhere near good enough to been Carlisle, who had a lot more threat about them going forward. Neither side looked overly impressive at the back, but we lacked a real attacking edge for large parts of the match. I think we got what we deserved, as weren’t good enough on the day. Frustratingly - we found a little consistent form in the final half hour of the game and some more attacking threat going forward after substitutions, but no sooner had we scored - did we concede yet again. It is quickly becoming apparent that a number of our players are not good enough for this league and are punching above their weight. I hate to highlight a single player as throughout the side we were well below par, but the centrefold ‘Mclead’ was just shocking (poor touch, not threatening in front of goal etc).
So a poor day at the office and I think I was not alone amongst the travelling clan members thankful that we had a relatively short journey home (except poor old Ken - legend!). I certainly felt for those who travelled up from the south coast - a long journey at the best of times, let alone after a team performance like that!
Football aside - it was still a good day and good to catch up with old and new faces and most people seemed to enjoy the pre-match buffet and drinks at the rugby club. I got a little excited when I thought i’d won the goalscorer sweepstake - only to find out the App on my iPhone had the wrong goal time! Gutted - still well done Scotty.
Look forward to the next away day - when hopefully we’ll see the proper pompey team…!
Colchester v Pompey match summary
A cracking match with what was probably a fair score.
Pompey played in a great looking orange strip, with black shorts which looked impressive under the floodlights.
An end to end game that started with both teams making lots of effort but no real risk of scoring.
I spent most of the evening trying to learn who our new players were as none were known to me. Luke Rodgers (10) will be forever recognisable. A bald headed, stocky centre forward who makes Steve Stone look like a pussy cat! He scored the first goal with a clinical finish and he twice hit the post in the second half. Our second goal, scored by super sub Obita came from one of the rebounds. Izale McLeod was alongside Rodgers upfront and was unlucky not to score or win a good penalty shout.
Our goalkeeper Andersen seemed to lack confidence early on but as the game went on he improved. He does tend to be a puncher of the ball though, which is not great for the nerves!
Long (4) and Connelly (14) worked well as a central defensive partnership. Adam Webster (22) looked like a young Greg Halford and played well in a right back role.
Mustapha Dumbaya (2), distinctive with a gold fringe in his black hair played well on the right but could have timed his crosses better. Compton on the other side did well but frustratingly many of his crosses were met by the keeper at the front post.
Brian Howard (8) in centre midfield did well as captain and whilst some experienced Col players were losing their heads, Pompey players were totally professional throughout.
Official figures are that we had 1,114 fans at the match and the total crowd was just over 4,000. Best chant of the night, “Your ground is too big for you”.
At the end, every Pompey player applauded the fans and the biggest cheer was for Michael Appleton, who does seem to relish the support he receives from the fans.
It was a great advert for league 1 football.
Pompey v Bournemouth match summary
Well….we made it to the season start! The long term future of the club obviously still hangs in the balance - but it was nice to focus on football for a change to the continuing back-room saga. I’m sure someday - somebody is going to make an awesome film of the story of our club and its’ adventures!!!
Pompey opened the season against local rivals Bournemouth at Fratton Park - with an almost completely new starting eleven and subs bench. Appleton is already a legend - who has to applauded for not only remaining professional and positive with everything going on around him - but to cobble together a completely new team from scratch - and to make them genuinely competitive!
A few thoughts about todays game.
Good 1st half performance - we looked superb from the off and almost run out of steam when we seemed to die away in the 2nd half. Cracking atmosphere all game and a decent crowd of over 17k.
On the pitch - it looks like we've picked up a good few prospects. Centre-backs ‘Long’ and ‘Connolly’ looked pretty decent and solid. (We heard afterwards on the radio that they only joined the club on friday night - with appleton meeting them in a hotel and the first time they met the rest of the team was when they were putting their kit on today?!) Amazing performance and understanding generally with that in mind! It something that can only improve as they become more experienced playing together.
The rightback looked really good on the ball - a new vince hilaire going forward?! Other highlights included ‘Williamson’ looking solid in the middle and left midfield ‘Compton’ looked nippy and not afraid to take people on. Lots of good tackling and big hearts shown by whole team - which is always what any fan wants to see. However we looked a little goal shy and toothless upfront - but hopefully that will improve. We were very lucky with our goal - after a dreadful goalkeeping error when the ball slipped through his legs. The Fratton end was ever-forgiving though and did not give him any stick for the rest of the game?!
In a nutshell - plenty to be positive about the game today. Looking forward to Carlisle.
Chelsea v Pompey match report
Chelsea v Portsmouth, FA Cup Third Round, 8th Jan 2012
The walk from Fulham Broadway tube station to Stamford Bridge provided an illuminating moment about the opposition for the travelling Pompey fans. How many other football clubs have hot food vans selling roast pork baguettes and smoked salmon? The other point to note was the sheer quantity of stewards Chelsea had laid on to prevent us from interacting with their fans. Two solid lines of yellow jackets extended from the away fans’ entry point to the road outside the stadium, forming a gauntlet that took several ticket checks and a continual threat of frisking to negotiate. It seemed our reputation had come before us!
Inside the stadium and the away end was packed out, as was the rest of the ground. Needless to say the 3,000 Pompey fans had no trouble making more noise than 37,000 Chelsea supporters throughout the afternoon! The team line-ups revealed that Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas had paid us the respect of opting to play the strongest team that he could given the absences of Drogba and Kalou to the African Cup of Nations, and Daniel Sturridge to injury. For Portsmouth, Luke Varney was still not fit, but Ward and Halford returned from suspension. Michael Appleton opted to go for a 4-4-2 formation, albeit a quite defensive one as front men Dave Kitson and Marko Futacs would spend much of the game behind the ball.
The match started with real excitement for the Pompey fans as in the first thirty seconds Kitson found himself with just the keeper to beat but only managed to pull his shot wide. From then on the game settled into a pattern with Chelsea having most of the ball and zipping it around on the ground. Pompey however, appeared comfortable, if occasionally stretched, and still offered some threat going forward, After 20 minutes all Chelsea had to show form their superior possession and territory was a header from Torres that was saved easily enough by Henderson. Torres was as petulant as I remembered from observing him playing for Liverpool at Fratton Park a couple of years ago – continuously moaning to anyone who would listen. At one point Aaron Mokoena brushed against him by the touchline and he threw himself to the ground. Nobody, not even his own team-mates, paid him any attention whatsoever, and he eventually got up and carried on!
The rest of the half continued in much the same vein with Pompey holding Chelsea off with surprising ease and Pearce and Rocha doing very well at the back. Lampard burst into the box and Henderson saved at his feet, but Chelsea were beginning to resort to long shots and crosses from deep that normally consisted of Malouda blasting the ball high and wide. Pompey hadn’t created much since the first minute but were causing Chelsea a few problems down the wings from time to time. 0-0 at half-time and Pompey were very comfortable.
Unfortunately, all this went to pot straight after half-time. Ashley Cole bundled the ball through to Malouda and he got in behind the defence and pulled the ball back for Mata to slam home. Straight after the goal I could see on the replay on one of the big screens that the Pompey defence had been claiming that Cole had handled. He was probably guilty as charged but the referee hadn’t seen it and the slight hesitation had given Malouda the space he needed.
Following this Pompey didn’t crumble and produced our best moment of the match. Kitson dispossessed David Luiz and poked the ball through to Futacs. He had a shot saved by Cech and the ball came to Joel Ward who headed the ball goalwards only to see it blocked on the line by John Terry. David Norris then blasted a shot towards the corner only for Cech to recover and save it. Terry was down injured after this, having collided with the post. He received some magic spray while the Pompey fans delivered a loud rendition of the Pompey Chimes and ‘Terry’s going to prison’ but sadly he was ok to play on after a few minutes. Later in the game he managed to plant his studs in Ward’s chest but the ref only gave him a yellow card.
On the terraces, Portsmouth fans were having a great time making much more noise than Chelsea’s legions. An amusing moment came when some of the home fans roused themselves enough to sing ‘Stand up if you hate Tottenham’ and Pompey fans immediately joined in and upped the volume considerably.
The score remained 1-0 until the last 10 minutes. At this point Appleton decided to go for it and altered the tactics and formation. First he replaced Mullins with Huseklepp on wide left and pushed Lawrence into the middle, and then he took off Rocha, who may have had a knock, and replaced him with Williams (centre-half for right midfield).This left Pompey with three at the back in a very attacking 3-5-2 arrangement. The manager probably had this switch planned from the start as the two players at full-back, Halford and Mokoena, are much more comfortable in the middle. The change looked like it might pay dividends as Pompey started pressurising Chelsea’s defence with a series of crosses and breakaways that Chelsea were just about managing to deal with.
The game was up however with five minutes to go as Ramires stabbed home a loose ball in the box to make it 2-0. A killer blow. Two minutes later and it was 3-0 as Pompey refused to sit back and Ramires was played in by Torres on the half-way line to run through and lift a quality shot into the top right hand corner. Deep into stoppage time, Lampard managed to find space on the edge of the box to stroke home a fourth and make the score look incredibly harsh for Pompey. The gamble had not paid off but at least we had had the guts to try to hit back rather than accept a 1-0 defeat in a cup match. It was a game that we could quite easily have drawn or even won on another day, despite being up against one of the top Premier League sides, so pride was very much intact. However, the day out was over and there will be no trip to Wembley this season, unless of course a play-off final materialises!
Burnley v Pompey match report
Sat 10th Dec 2011
A bitterly cold, frosty morning greeted our early train extravaganza from Glasgow (Ed. Carlisle) southwards towards Burnley. The clan were on their travels again! For some, a considerable task with up to four separate train journeys - starting and ending in the early hours! Never the less, on route - a hearty full English breakfast, a noteworthy rant over Preston stations’ lack of toilets and a considerable dousing of beer - all aided in keeping spirits high on our traveling adventure. After our final train leg - a tediously slow crawl of a journey - through the ‘picturesque’ Lancashire landscape - we eventually arrived at a damp and dreary Burnley.
Pre-match pub banter predominately centred around every football fans’ tried and tested dilemma of head verses heart. On paper - Burnley came into the game in good form and would certainly have fancied their chances against Pompey without a win away all season. It suggested a recipe of head over heart with many predicting a low score draw or close burnley win....
The match itself was largely a nullifying ordeal - with neither side producing many real goal scoring threats. Pompey demonstrated some neat one touch passing at times and some positive play - yet repeatedly found wanting in the final third. Burnley looked a shadow of the pre-match form guide and looked very average. The game continued on the field with plenty of huff and puff yet little purpose - whilst noise a-gusto rang from the Pompey fans, unsurprisingly berating the lack of noise from the home fans and reminding everybody of the forthcoming derby match!
At the half time whistle - many fans had already made an early exit to the refreshment stands to ‘beat the queues’. By then the air had turned decidedly colder - as the old habits of foot-stamping and hand rubbing became visible by anybody still braving the half time stands’ lowering temperature.
The second half continued largely in a similar vain to the first. Chances of witnessing a goal were few and far between - with shots taken from long range or threat stifled before reaching the box. It seemed any snap shot by either side had little chance of stretching the net. The game had an air of nil-nil written all over it. One moment of note and one of the best chances came when Pompey were clearly denied a penalty when the Burnley player hand-balled jumping high with arms flaying to block a cross. The referee was not interested - much to the unsurprising vehement frustration of the traveling fans.
And so the game played out its course - with end to end football - yet it never seemed to feel like their would be an end product by either side. Pompey continued to have good possession and neat passing with the majority of the attacking threat down the left. Burnley threat seemed largely to be more direct through the middle and at set pieces - but nothing ever looking too troubling for a stout Pompey rear-guard.
And so the game neared it’s end. Watches were checked and re-checked. A draw was mentally prepared for - not a bad result by the form guide but Pompey would have felt a little aggrieved having had the better share of chances and play. However all that was to dramatically change - as Norris fired in a late low shot to left of the Burnley keeper and send the traveling fans in a late burst of delirious enjoyment and increased noise. Could this be the away win we so badly craved? We didn’t have to wait long, for the simple answer was to be YES - as Burnley had next to no time to reply to the opening goal.
It was difficult to pick a man of the match as the whole team seemed to have a reasonably good game - so instead I’m going to dedicate the ‘man of the match’ award to google maps and the iPhone for being the saviour of the day!
And so we witness the highs and lows of being a football fan. Both sets of fans would have been content with the draw for different reasons - yet the blue army went home with smiles on their faces, sore throats and warmth in their hearts, whilst the fans donned in Claret - could only exclaim excuses of ‘a bad day at the office’.
Bring on the scum...
Ipswich v Pompey match report
Prior to the game I was aware that Ipswich had a good home record and are a team with confidence and ability. My understanding is that Pompey have been a team of one half per match this season, well last night was a much improved display with Pompey being the better team for both halves and Ipswich showing none of the qualities I had been told to expect.
We had most of the possession and won most of the one to one battles around the pitch. I haven’t read any newspaper reports yet, but I would say that nobody was poor with the exception of the awful defending for their goal. The defence really hadn’t had much to do to at that point in the game and that is why they were opened up so easily and attackers not closed down. I couldn’t tell you who the offending players were but the defensive mix up happened on our left side.
After we went down a goal we changed from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2, we bought off Rocha and bought on Eric and then soon after Kanu came on for Kitson and we also made a defensive substitution and took off Lawrence but I couldn’t tell you who came on. It was a frantic 10 minutes at the end but as had been the case throughout the game, lots of huff and puff and possession but no killer instinct and by this time, we never looked like breaching their effective defence. The result was an unfair 1 – 0 loss.
I came away really pleased that we had made an effort for both halves of the game and despite losing, we had been the better team throughout the game.
It was great to see Jan at the game although I think he had had significantly more to drink than me and waffled a lot!