Date: 8th July 2008 at 9:20am
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We so far had 37pts from a possible 75 – this was still not bad return but the slight decline that we were seeing towards the end of the year was carrying on and in all honesty we could, and should have had even more, but we did not so onwards we go with February 2008…

The month kicked off with Jermain Defoe coming in for his Pompey debut in our game against Chelski at Fratton in a 3pm kick off, yep a 3pm kick off on a Saturday! In what was one of our best performances, if not the best at home that season he did what he always does – scored on his debut to rescue a point in a 1-1, the least that we deserved that day!

It was away at Bolton next and a reunion with Matty Taylor – and the fella gave us a fair few presents it must be said, missing a hat full of chances including one absolute sitter! Bolton battered us that day but they could not break through thanks to the resilience of our defence but mostly to the brilliance of David James who made several fantastic saves, including one of the finest I have ever seen. Then towards the end, without the cheek to even wear a mask – which at least Dick Turpin had the decency to do! – we stole the points thanks to Lassana Diarra to win 1-0.

It was back to FA cup action the following weekend, and in front of the sky sports cameras we travelled to Preston in round 5… For a spell in the 1st half it seemed only a matter of time before we scored, but in the 2nd Preston were all over us like a cheap suit and yet again only the brilliance of David James saved us, with him making several fantastic saves and saving yet another penalty. Deep into injury time, with the scores at 0-0 and a replay looming the thoughts that ‘our name was on the cup’ became even more apparent when Darren Carter blasted into his own net for an own goal to send us through to the quarter finals, where we would meet Manyoo…

The month, an unbeaten one at that ended on a high with us beating Sunderland 1-0 at Fratton thanks to a Jermain Defoe penalty. This game was not pretty at all, but once Kanu came on for the final 20 minutes – the impact player role I felt he should have played more throughout the season – there looked like being only one winner, and thanks mainly to him that proved the case.

7 out of a possible 9pts was a fantastic return, and had we got a little more luck – dare I say finished a little better against Chelski we would have won all 3 league games. We of course also marched on in the FA cup, so 3 wins out of 4 in total was a very good return and made up in some ways for the past couple of months when we had ‘stuttered along’ to be honest.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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