A doom descended over Fratton Park at five o`clock yesterday afternoon when referee Roger East blew the full time whistle. Pompey conceded early in the game had Ben Chorley sent off early in second period and then created little throughout.
As a result the Blues drop to twenty second in the table with a visit to high flying Rochdale on Tuesday to look forward to and their skipper suspended to boot. The most worrying thing is that Pompey can create very little in the way of goal chances despite having a whole plethora of striker on the pitch. The only two players who impressed were youth products Jack Whatmough and Jed Wallace.
Jack played in front of the back four in the first half and then filled the gap left by Chorley`s absence for the last forty minutes. He is certainly a prospect and a player around the team of the future should be built – whether you can d that in the Conference of course is another question. Jed ran himself into the ground but York were aware of him after his wonder goal at Bootham Crescent back in September and quickly tries to close him down, to Jed`s credit though it did not prevent him trying again.
Afterwards Barker said: ‘I can`t fault the players` efforts. They gave it their all and showed a lot of energy and commitment. The fans could see that, got behind them and stayed with us for 90 minutes. It`s frustrating but we just need something to turn for us.`
Toast says simply ‘hmmm!`
Nigel Worthington has turned his York side into a well organised unit but they are nothing more than that and some of their playacting should have been spotted by an experienced official such as East. This constant rolling about on the floor has always ruined the game and yesterday was no different. The Minsterman`s goal was well worked and Trevor Carson could not be blamed as he was unsighted as Coulson turned quickly and slammed a shot past him in a crowded area.
The win puts York in the playoff spots and shows just how weak the division is in quality, some even suggest the Conference is a better standard! Whatever happens in the last eight games Pompey are in line for lowest ever league finish, which was 7th in Division Four in 1978/79 – no playoffs back then.
Nice to hear from you Mr Coppell!
Pompey Director of Football (unpaid) Steve Coppell has been seen at Pompey games since his appointment but we have not heard from him until this week.
Steve spoke to the News outlining his role and interaction with boss Richie Barker and how they talk every morning. Steve also asked fans to get behind the team as they did when Alan Ball was the boss remembering that famous day at Crystal Palace when he was the Londoners manager.
As the pressure has mounted on Richie some say he has handled himself too well and he was even presenting Sky Sports News on Friday evening – wags will say that should be his next job then!
I was arguing with a so called Man United fan in the week as he put pressure on David Mayes to walk before he was pushed. I reminded him that he had a short memory the last time United lost a very successful Scottish manager (Sir Matt Busby in 1971) they went on a long unsuccessful run sacking manager after manager until they found Alex Ferguson and they nearly made the same mistake there.
Once you find the right man, stick with him!
Gosport off to Wembley
Twelve thousand fans will back the Borough at Wembley this afternoon as they take on Cambridge United in the FA Trophy Final. Ex-Pompey faces have a history in this competition as I have written in the past; could it be Sammy Igoe this time? Or will Richard Money break Hampshire hearts?
Good luck Borough!!
Remember the 96
As a mark of respect and remembrance of the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster all matches in the Premier League, Football League, and Football Conference, matches due to kick-off at 3pm on Saturday, April 12 will kick off seven late. This includes Pompey`s match at Dagenham & Redbridge – will now kick-off at 3:07pm, with the minute before kick-off (3.06pm to 3.07pm) seeing a period of silence observed at all stadia.
I remember that sad day so clearly as I sat in my front room watching Grandstand and the whole story unwound it front of my eyes; just a few short years after the Bradford it was all happening again. So much has happened to football since but to get there so many had to pay with their lives. We shall never forget them.
After this week`s rather irrelevant budget and the reduction of duty on beer by 1p a pint the following notice appeared outside an Eastney Pub – ‘Budget Special – Buy 360 pints, get one free!
Oh and on the subject of pubs the Eastfield Hotel is open again. You need a drink after a game like yesterday.
Take your mind back ten years to 21 March 2004. Pompey 1 Southampton 0 – Yakubu scored the winner and the City celebrated all night after the first Fratton Park victory over the enemy since 1963!
After yesterday we need to remember the good times as holbrook reminded us in his short piece in the week. Admitting being a fan since the war he wants us all to reminisce about the past and pray that they return.
Pray up Pompey