Date: 30th August 2014 at 8:17pm
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Back Page – Match Report

Maybe, just maybe I thought on the way to the game and on the way home my thoughts had turned to certainly not yet. The game at times seemed a throwback to last season`s low points and Awfs needs to ensure that we do not get too many more performances like that. The first half at Oxford was poor and yesterday seemed more of the same. A win would have put Pompey top but those thought need to be put ice.

We have a number of tough away coming up with Burton and Southend for starters. We needa settled side with consistence performances and after a good start we have gone off the boil. C`mon Andy, sort it out quick. There is no need to panic but Danny Hollands is not the player he was last season, Ricky Holmes was too lightweight in the centre of midfield and perhaps three at the back was one too many but Newport are a big team and aerial power was needed to combat that. Too many of the boys in blue had off days and the crowd also seemed to just expect something to happen rather than attempt to raise their side.

County boss Justin Edinburgh out thought Awfs his old team mate in the tactics department and Pompey could just not get going. They only really created two chances and Ryan Taylor and Craig Westcarr both failed to hit the target.

Referee Lee Collins had a game to forget and lost control totally towards the end. I think he showed ten yellow cards with six for Newport who face a fine for that. The farce of goal-scorer Sandell rolling over and over in mock agony will have earned that.

We must not get too down hearted it was just a bad day at the office, wasn’t it?

Pompey (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson, Chorley (c); Wallace, Dunne, Holmes (Storey 72), Hollands (Atangana 78), Shorey (Barcham 85); Taylor, Westcarr
Booked: Dunne, Chorley, Devera, Wallace.
Subs not used: Brezovan, Butler, Ertl, Awford
Attendance: 16,191 (641 away fans)


It was good to watch the celebrations last weekend marking the 50th anniversary of Match of the Day. Some would say that in the modern day of non-stop live football that the show is now outdated but remember when it started things were totally different – the only live game then was the FA Cup final.

It was good to hear the familiar voice of Barry Davies brought out of retirement at 76 to mark the event. He was given the London derby between Crystal Palace and West Ham to cover along with graphics from yesteryear. One point that was missed though was the fact that the third West Ham goal scored by Carlton Cole would have been disallowed back all those years ago as two players were stood in offside positions and in the line of sight of Julian Speroni the Palace keeper.

It also reminded me of the first Pompey player to score on MOTD, the late Cliff Portwood who when I met him was proud of that fact. Pompey did not feature often in the early days but occasionally with their excellent pitch at Fratton Park in bad weather the cameras would turn up.


Last week we wrote ‘the only sad fact is that he (James Alexander Gordon) never got to read East Fife 4, Forfar 5.` Well dedmans asked when did that happen having mis-read me.

Well I have checked and it has never happened but on 22 April 1964 it finished Forfar 5 East Fife 4 but of course that was pre JAG’s days. The two clubs have met 158 times so it took some checking. All part of the service!

Cider and Roast Beef

Next week sees another two away trips. This week though they are grounds that we have only visited once in the past.

Tuesday sees a trip to Somerset and a chance for a cider in Yeovil before the JPT clash with Town. On the only previous trip to Huish Park, Pompey won 2-1 in October 2012 with Izale McLeod and Gabor Gyepes the scorers. Perhaps surprisingly with all the recent changes at Fratton Park there are two survivors of that side still in the squad, Adam Webster and Johnny Ertl.

Then on Sunday lunchtime (7 September at 12:15) you can sit down with your roast beef and watch Pompey take on Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium in a table topping clash on Sky Sports. Pompey won on their only previous trip to the Brewers Staffordshire home almost exactly a year ago by 2-1; Ricky Holmes and Simon Ferry netting.

Of course the other link between Yeovil and Burton is that they have only recently joined the league after distinguished times in non-league football both having reached the FA Trophy final for instance – Yeovil winning 2002.

Twenty six years ago today I saw Pompey win in the top flight for the time, coming from behind to beat West Ham with a late penalty from Kevin Dillon.

Word puzzles

Why will you all have a go at word association etc. but not comment on football matters? Should I stop writing this every week and just post a Sudoku puzzle for you?

The site editor Rug is concerned to know why you the reader are still visiting Vital Pompey in large number but are just too shy to post a comment. We want to hear from you so that we can develop the site that you want – either by answering your questions or by any other method.

So come register and tell us what you think. These are interesting times now for Pompey fans on the pitch rather than off it, so let`s put those crosswords away and talk football.

Colour Supplement – Ed`s Blue veins Part 2

Last week Ed told us how he grew up and today he continues the story through to hi first game –

It was not all plain-sailing at home as I was a bit of a rebel, getting into trouble at school etc. At the end of one season, during the summer months, builders moved into Fratton Park. I and four others decided to climb over the blue gates and play with the builders` equipment. I decided to take a wheelbarrow full of sand and went under the north stand. To my horror the door opened and in walked a policeman shining his torch. All my mates scarpered and I was on my own. He took me not to the police station but to my house. In those days two whacks of my dad`s leather belt was the punishment!

By now I was playing football at every opportunity. As there was no television in our house until another ten years we would stay out till ten o`clock at night down “the lanes” at the back of Fratton Park, using a lamp-post as floodlights.

Aged eleven I was now earning some money doing a paper-round for Goddings on the corner of the Apsley Road entrance. On Sundays I dreaded delivering to Eddie Lever (Portsmouth FC manager at that time) who lived in Goldsmith Avenue as he would have every Sunday newspaper that was ever printed – a very difficult task as his letterbox was right at the bottom of the door!

By now I was collecting autographs. On the day before the match I would get all my annuals, Charles Buchan’s, etc. fixing paper clips and rubber bands on all the relevant pages, putting them in my paper-round bag for the next day. During the week before the game my fellow autograph hunters would put out feelers as to where the opponents would be staying and which station they would use.

The hotels were usually on Southsea seafront and some would even train on the Common. The bush telegraph was always accurate. The match day, straight after the whistle went at the end of the game, three or four of us would cycle to either Fratton or Portsmouth & Southsea Stations and wait on the platform for the players to arrive. I still have the autographs of these great players like Stanley Matthews (Blackpool), Jackie Milburn (Newcastle), Nat Lofthouse (Bolton) etc. Happy days!!

I was getting desperate to go a game rather than stacking bikes and handing out teas. The last game of the 1949/50 season was approaching and I pleaded to be allowed to go. Eventually my uncle agreed and we took our places at the front of the old Fratton End stand……

Ed insisted that the story of the game will follow in the next instalment. He has also promised a look at some of his old photos and a few of his treasured autographs. Can`t wait.