It was not quite a make or break day but Saturday 21st January 2006 and the game with Birmingham was seen as a key moment in our both teams’ survival hopes.
Once again this was a game that I had to go through listing to it on radio 5. I started it almost convinced we would take something, anything from it, quite possibly all 3 points – how wrong I was!
We started well and it looked good until 5 minutes in? Jiri Jarosik put Birmingham ahead – cue the 1st punch of frustration and anger of the wardrobe but we could still get back into it I soon told myself.
Jamie Ashdown brilliantly denied Chris Sutton but the 2nd still came after 37 minutes, Jermaine Pennant scoring this time, cue the 2nd punch of the wardrobe – but, optimistic as I am I still felt we would come back…
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so the ‘danger man’ Emmanuel Olisadebe came on – but it was soon 3-0 when Matthew Upson headed home. The day was going from bad to worse, the wardrobe took its 3rd pounding!
There was no coming back from this – a couple of missed chances from Benjani and another when he was denied by Maik Taylor confirmed this.
3-0 became 4-0 after Noe Pamarot conceded a penalty that Mikael Forssell converted in injury time – the wardrobe took hit number 4 and number 5 came right after – by which time my knuckles were almost bleeding! – when David Dunn waltzed through to complete a 5-0 rout.
I had always remained hopefully that we would survive at the end of the 2005/06 season, but I must confess that I worried big time after this mauling…
Things did not get much better in the weeks that followed, until, as we all know ‘Pedro Mendes’ match‘ against City and we then eventually pulled off the ‘great escape’ – what an escape it was, ‘dead and buried’ is an understatement.
What had been a horrible afternoon, a depressing afternoon in fact that left me in a foul mood and a devastated state at the thought of what was to become of my beloved Pompey was eventually well worth it – in a way – as the Brummies might have won that particular battle, but we went on to win the war!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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