Pompey slipped to home defeat number eleven yesterday and their third in a week when poor defending allowed fellow strugglers Colchester United to ease to a 3-2 win.
A goal down in 98 seconds after a Dan Butler slip let a cross come in the box which was easily converted by an unmarked Gavin Massey they struck back on five minutes when Ged Wallace flicked home a Butler corner via the underside of the crossbar.
But hopes that the spirit in the side was back were dashed when debutant number 48 this season Sam Sodje floored Freddie Sears in the box. The ex-West Ham youngster sent Simon Eastwood the wrong way from the spot and minutes later Massey hit a shot against Ricardo Rocha that looped up and over a stranded Eastwood.
That was almost the last involvement for Rocha as minutes later he limped off to be replaced by Gabor Gyepes. The change made little difference with Colchester finishing the half well on top.
Half time saw fans discussing how their side could get more involved in the middle of the park and create more opening for the strikeforce of David Connolly and James Keane who were hardly in the game. It was Connolly however who made way at half time for Liam Walker with a lightweight looking Ashley Harris moved up front.
Pompey played a lot better in the second period but again could create little and the pressure was only sporadic when the crowd longed for a siege of the U`s goal. The best move of the half started by a surging Johnny Ertl and finished by Keane brought more respectability to the scoreline but an equaliser was never really likely. It was Keene’s first Pompey goal 2,828 days after making his debut.
The crowd to their credit never got on the back of their side. They know all is lost this season and League Two is now inevitable but the club is in their hearts forever and they will not yield. To prove that point the gate was also the best of a three match week at 11,132.
What price a ticket?
Ken Malley from the Trust asks how much do you think you should pay at Fratton Park?
The Tony Goodall Fans’ Conference is gathering supporters’ thoughts on how ticket prices should be pitched next season. There have been several interesting suggestions already, some simple like “keep them the same” and some complicated.
How do we best juggle the need to bring in as much money as possible with the need to make it affordable for all? How do we encourage youngsters to games? They are, after all, our future. How do we fill the ‘Park`?
Any thoughts you have on season tickets, matchday tickets or prices for kids, we want to know. Send your thoughts to email@example.com
Bidding for the women`s super league
The future of women`s football is buoyant for Portsmouth Football Club Ladies who are looking to step up to the new national super league division. Due to the success of the Women`s Super League Div 1, the Football Association is creating a further division and is accepting bids from clubs across the country, but only 10 teams that meet the rigorous selection criteria will be accepted; Portsmouth are confident they can rise to the mark.
Crowned champions of the FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division last season for the first time, has seen the club climb the ranks, recognising their hard work and commitment to the sport. The ladies of Portsmouth have a vision to enter the super league in 2014 season and are seeking support from business and the community.
David Coyle, Chairman of Portsmouth Women`s Football Club, said: “It`s an exciting time for women`s football in the UK with the creation of the new super league division and a brilliant opportunity for our team to progress in the league tables and represent Portsmouth on a national platform.”
With the support of the University of Chichester, the football club is developing a high profile bid to enter the FA women`s super league before the spring deadline. In the wake of London 2012 and the coverage that women`s football achieved, there has been an increase in interest and backing for the sport. A business visioning session has being facilitated by the university with the aim of bringing businesses and organisations together to look at how they can help support and develop Portsmouth Football Club Ladies and indeed women`s football across the region.
Following the latest adjournment of the court case to decide the value of Fratton Park, which will ultimately ratify the PST community take over the club, PST Chairman Ashley Brown remains confident the bid will succeed.
On Wednesday it was decided to adjourn the latest scheduled hearing on January 31 for a fortnight, until Thursday February 14.
‘It was disappointing the hearing was postponed again, but there were very good reasons for it. We feel it is a positive development, in spite of the frustration at a further delay, as our bid is very close to being completed,’ said Ashley.
‘In the past four weeks we have been working with a number of parties, including the Football League, the PFA, our property partner Stuart Robinson and Portsmouth City Council to finalise the deal.
‘What we propose to do, namely buy Fratton Park from Day One based on a re-worked business plan, will be better for the club’s long-term prosperity, but putting this new deal together has taken time, hence the adjournments.
‘We are particularly grateful for the support of our high net worth individual fan investors, who were responsible for underwriting the club’s trading position at a critical time last autumn. Without them, the club would have almost certainly been liquidated by now.’
And Ashley urged fans to continue to convert their pledges. ‘The one way our bid can be guaranteed to fail is if the fans who have so generously supported what we are trying to do withdraw their support at this critical point.
‘We have been gratified by the faith shown in us by the fans who have backed our bid and raised up to £2m in the process, but it would be a timely boost to our bid if those fans who have yet to convert their pledges were to do so.
‘The simple fact is that every additional penny converted now strengthens our hand and, more importantly, the prospects for the club going forward. Your money is totally safe in an escrow account and will only be used in the event of the takeover going ahead, which we all hope will happen,’ he said.
The High Court has also extended the club’s administration by a further six months (a legal requirement), but Ashley told fans not to worry about it.
Laugh at Guy
I had to laugh at Guy in the week when asked about trialist Alassane N`Diaye he replied ‘We`ve asked him to come in and train with us. He showed that he`s played football at a decent level for Palace. You can tell he`s a footballer.`
Guy of course is new to the media arena but the line ‘You can tell he`s a footballer` was a classic and one in years to come he will laugh at.
Back the kids
Isle of Wight youngster Dan Butler certainly looks to have a bright future in front of him and some promising performances behind him. I accept he was to blame for the late Hartlepool third goal last Saturday and he did not have the best of first halves yesterday but he must and will learn from those mistakes and he has a more than useful left foot. For a player on debut to be entrusted with the deadball situations was testament to the faith the management have in Dan.
Dan had a spell on loan at Havant & Waterlooville and was twice voted player of the month; that really shows the value of the loan system that previous boss, Appy, used to the club`s advantage. Guy has said that the left back slot is there for Dan to lose and he has in fact stepped above Adam Webster in the pecking order, which again shows the lad`s progress.
Fans need to have patience with these young stars of the future and not try and knock them at every mistake. After all they are the future of Portsmouth Football Club whether they stay or are sold for huge fees to bigger clubs. Assets have to be protected and Pompey have few enough of those at the moment.
One player who did not arrive at the Park on deadline day was MIllwall winger Therry Racon. The Lions were prepared to tear up his contract to enable the French born 28 year old to join Pompey. Racon had in the past played over one hundred games for Charlton.
Millwall Chief Executive, Andy Ambler, told the press ‘We looked at the option of cancelling his contract but Therry wasn’t keen to do that at the moment. Nobody was forcing him out of the door.` Does anybody blame him?
We visit fellow strugglers Scunthorpe on Tuesday and then on Saturday we make the short trip to form side Bournemouth.
On the Toast front we take an exclusive look at Sepp Blatter`s plans for neutral ballboys and we hope to catch up with Peter Odemwinge and ask him ‘how he managed to find Loftus Road?` Any other big stories of the week like new Pompey signings will also feature no doubt.