Date: 31st March 2008 at 1:01pm
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In the run up to the Semi-Final there are a few extra slices of Toast this week featuring all you need to know about the game and what you have told the Toast team it means to you.

Still need a ticket

Those queuing for tickets on Wednesday morning will be pleased to know that the club will be organised for a change. All the booths will be open and stewards will use tickers to count those in the queue to make sure that if you are allowed to queue there will be a ticket waiting for you.

Remember though it is Season Ticket Holders only – good luck.

The man in charge

Howard Webb – was expected to be in charge of the Final but this appointment rules that out.

Webb at the aged of 36 is young for such an experienced referee. The Rotherham born Police Sergeant was in charge of last seasons Carling Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal – issuing 3 red cards – is on the FIFA list and short listed to be England representative at Euro 08. He refereed yesterday’s Merseyside derby.

Like all of the men in black, Webb is not popular with all fans however he will rise in your opinions when I tell you that his first two red cards were given to Southampton players!! His card count this season is down on his previous stats. In 34 games he has issued 109 yellow and only 2 red cards.

Opposition player to watch

Roman Bednar – 25 last week – was signed on loan from Hearts on 31 August 2007 and soon became a Baggies hero. The tall Czech striker scored the late, late winner in the comeback win over Colchester United on Saturday.

Injury prevented Bednar from making his debut until November but in only sixteen league starts he has now amassed thirteen goals. Some record that, in a team that score goals for fun but lacks consistency.

What it means to me #1

It is safe to say that there are no fans on this site that have seen Pompey play at Wembley before. The ‘Knowing me, Knowing you’ feature has highlighted just how many fans see watching Pompey at Wembley as their ultimate ambition. So Toast thought let’s ask fans what it means to them and the answers are pouring in.

We start with the views of our Landlord pompeyrug – make sure your tissues are at the ready!!

‘Going to Wembley to watch Pompey play means the absolute world to me. Just a few years back if anyone had told me I would be able to go to Wembley to watch Pompey I probably would not have believed them. Clearly it has always been a dream, but a dream was all I ever thought it would be!

Apart from my family and friends nothing means more to me in this world than Pompey, I love the club so to be able to be a part of this Wembley event when so many others sadly cannot will be something I will treasure for the remainder of my days – lets just hope we get the outcome we all so dearly want…

I genuinely do feel that I deserve to be there, so rightfully will be, so I am overcome that I can be, the worry that I would not, is now forgotten. The sorrow I feel for those that cannot go is something that I am feeling a lot but what can you do?

No matter where we are I have absolutely no doubt that Pompey fans will be full of pride when 3pm, sorry how silly of me of course the ‘traditional’ 12.15pm kick off comes around on Saturday – I would not be surprised if a few tears were shed by many, hopefully many more will flow at full time – tears of joy of course!’

On the other side of the story though we have PompeyMillhouse28 who will watch the game under the threat of shelling, outside Basra in Iraq. To Millhouse and other Pompey fans dotted around the world in combat zones the semi-final will come as a welcome distraction. Hopefully it will help morale and it would be nice to have a flag draped at Wembley with Pompey – Basra or something similar proudly emblazoned on it. Keep safe boys and girls.

Pompeygray from far off Australia said in a recent post – ‘Unbelievable – the passion the pride, the wanting to all be together for the big event, this really wants me to be over there next Saturday, and I am only 12,000 miles away – blast. I will tell you something though, regardless of not acquiring a ticket, should we make the Final I will fly from Australia just to experience being in Portsmouth should we win the big one. It will cost me a lot of money, especially after buying rounds in celebration, but it could be the chance of a lifetime. My Dad witnessed 1939 so I want to walk up to his grave with Blue flowers and say Dad we did it again…bloody hell I’ve now got tears in my eyes already…..`

My wife has similar sentiments in wishing her father, who first took her to Fratton Park as a young girl, was still here to experience the Wembley day out.

To prove what it meant to those there in 1939, I remember back a year or so ago when I met a chap in Southsea who seeing I was a Pompey fan reached in his pocket and pulled out his bus pass. Inside was a small folded piece of paper, which he opened and it was a 1939 Cup Final ticket. He told me he was 94 and had carried it with him ever since. That is what it meant to the fans of 39!!

Official Programme

The official FA programme for next Saturday will cost £6. Food and drink are also expensive within the stadium. At last season’s FA Cup Final, fans organised a boycott of the eating establishments with a burger alleged to cost in the region of £8. So be warned if planning to eat in the stadium. There are many eating establishments in Wembley High Street.

Happy Birthday

Semi final day, 5th April 2008, will mark the 110th anniversary of the formation of Portsmouth Football Club!!

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.

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8 Replies to “Semi Final Toast #1”

  • in 1939 my mother queued from 5 o’c in the morning to get two cup final tickets at Fratton Park. Unfortunately i broke my leg and was unable to go, so my uncle took my place with my father. Bitter disappointment for a 14yr old!! but all was forgotten when Pompey won, and i followed the coach that evening as Jimmy Guthrie and his team paraded the cup through the town, I shall remember that to my dying day. Unfortunately i live in Worksop now, and at my advanced years it is too far to go to see a repeat, but hope I am tempted. Play up Pompey!! I have followed them all my life.

    Incidently, it is stated that the semi final date is the 110th anniversary of the club. But I can remember watching Pompey beat Arsenal 4-1 on their 50th anniversary at Fratton Park, but that game i seem to remember was in October 1948. What is correct?

  • The club were formed on 5th April 1898. The first ever game at Fratton Park was a friendly with Southampton which was won 2-0 on 5th September 1899. The first competitive game I think was against Croydon also won 2-0. The board decided to celebrate the 50th Anniversary with the Arsenal game for some reason. Unfortunately Vernon Stokes not around anymore to ask why but I guess because it was an attractive game. Guys I think now we have a member older than me. Welcome Colsue!!

  • yep indeed wlecome aboard colsue it was good to read your tale of the last final we made, it was just sad that you had to miss out. hopefully we will make the final again, and if we do if it is humanly possible for you to go you will be able to?

  • In this run up to the semi final, i just remember how decimated i was after the semi-final defeat at Villa Park.
    I only had to travel back to Oxford that night, but it was the longest journey i had been on.
    We were so close to beating the mighty Liverpool, and only our inability to convert penalties, and Macca hitting the bar stopped us from going to the final.
    We really pushed the mighty ‘pool that night and those two games were far better than the walkover at Wembley.
    I have waited for so long for this moment it feel like Xmas, and rhe lads i travel with feel the same, all those texts and e-mails, plus the calls about this game, our wives think we are mad, but dont begrudge us this chance to see Pompey at Wembley, i reckon i will be like Elton when the teams come out, because MY POMPEY ARE GOING TO WEMBLEY, get in there!!
    This our chance to put this right, although the players wont draw inspiration from it, if we get behind the team like we did at Highbury and Villa Park, there will be no excuses for our lack of passion and heart.

  • Great stuff Dave and Rug! Lets all give the lads a cheer from the Boys (and girls) serving abroad. The anticipation is building nicely now!

  • Dave, when I went to Wembley to watch England, I’m sure I remember the food always being sold as ‘meal deals’. So, that £8 is for Burger, chips and a drink, still expensive, but not as bad.

  • Great stuff fellas .. I look forward to seeing a few more ‘what it means to me… I’ll do mine too…

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