Pompey gave an all action display yesterday afternoon which ended in a comfortable 1-0 victory and a vital three points in the bank.
Awfs made a couple of changes from the side than won at Newport one enforced as Adam Webster replaced the injured Daniel Alfie and fir again Simon Ferry was preferred to Johnny Ertl . Hartlepool had to make a late change with keeper Scott Flinders suffering from a migraine and Andy Rafferty stepped in for his first start of the season, he was to play a key role in the opening minutes.
Fans have moaned all season that Pompey always start slowly and then pick up late in the game here they could have been two up in the first four minutes. After just eighty seconds Sherlock Holmes floated a free kick beyond the far post and Ryan Taylor` header was saved by Rafferty leaving Webster with the simple chance to roll the ball home for his first Pompey goal.
On Pompey`s next attack Wes Fogden playing in the hole behind lone striker Taylor was scythed down in the box and referee Andy D`Urso pointed to the spot. Taylor is the penalty taker these days and he stepped up but Rafferty had the advantage of seeing the effort at Newport last week and he guessed right and Holmes put the loose ball over the bar.
From then on Pompey controlled the game for long periods and worked tirelessly to harry the Pool players and win the ball back. Fogden, Danny Hollands and Holmes were among those who constantly won the approval of their baying army of fans.
The wall of noise that Awfs demanded was there a plenty and when the game went quiet the fans ensured it was anything but – flags were draped all around the ground including one from the Director`s box reading Bally`s spirit lives on or something like that. Flags hanging from Director`s boxes whatever next? Fans owning the club?
With Northampton winning at Accrington Pompey are still only five points above the drop zone but now they are one of ten clubs separate by five points. Who goes down with Torquay is anyone guess?
Pompey playing like they did yesterday would be in the play offs at least not down with the dead men.
Glen Johnson crosses and Younes Kaboul knocks it home. Now that is a real flashback for Pompey fans to November 20wfs 08 and the visit of AC Milan at Fratton Park. But wait that was not what I am talking about as it was at Anfield last Sunday only this time the two ex-Pompey stars were on different sides and Younes back heeled the ball into his own net to give Liverpool the lead against Spurs.
A crucial goal and result as Liverpool close in on the title and hopefully make Pompey £1m richer!! Which goal is worth the most?
Dig it man!
The pitch is to be dug up in the summer and a new green acre laid, with new drainage beneath. That is where the problem lays as the pipes underneath the raised pitch are blocked, or broken and that is why certain areas of the pitch are worse than others. The pitch is in a worse condition than I can ever remember it and that goes right back to Duggie`s days. Those who have looked at the old film that Cornypomp found of the 1929 FA Cup Quarter Final with West Ham at Fratton Park. The pitch then appeared awful, mind you in those days players wore hobnail boots not carpet slippers and the ball weighed a ton
Why not sell off the old pitch to fans? Been done in the past and raised a bit of money. Fancy a clod of mud on the mantelpiece?
Extensive work is to be the ground in order to get the capacity back over 20,000 and to greatly enhance the disabled fans facilities which is very good news.
All our yesterdays
The date yesterday was of course 5 April and that of course is a great day in Pompey`s history.
In 1898 the club was formed at a meeting of local businessmen held the High Street Old Portsmouth. They agreed to buy a market garden off of Goldsmith Avenue for £4,950 which would become Fratton Park! The rest of course is history!
In 1952 when England beat Scotland at Hampden Park the entire Pompey half-back line of Jimmy Scoular, Jack Froggatt and Jimmy Dickinson played for their respective countries.
In 1992 all roads led to Highbury N5 as Pompey took on the mighty Liverpool in the FA Cup semi final and came so close to beating the Reds as after Darren Anderton put the Blues ahead a young defender called Andy Awford would concede a free kick and Ronnie Whelan equalise – should he have been on the pitch most fans said after scything down Mark Chamberlain early on, a tackle that led to the winger being carried off.
In 2008 it was North West London where we found ourselves and Wembley the venue for our next semi final and this time West Brom were beaten by a Kanu goal and the cup final beckoned – six years ago that is all!
Thanks to all the fans who enjoyed last week`s piece on where I think it went wrong. I could have written so much more but cut it short.
Someone I have known for some time asked me are you eastneydave? He had been reading for many years and did not realise it was me. Morning Ian!! Enjoy life in Romsey.
PUP – Andy Awford`s blue and white army