What a strange division League Two has turned out to be this season. Yesterday again most of the result were turned on their heads as teams at the top slipped up while at the bottom both Torquay and Northampton picked up three points.
That made Pompey`s convincing 4-1 win at Dagenham and Redbridge was all the more important but the manner of the victory perhaps more so. Pompey bossed the game throughout and the stats show they had nineteen shots on target which roughly equates to the whole of Richie Barker`s term in charge.
A goal up through Danny Hollands in four minutes, he had already hit the post with a corner they continued to pour forward and is was no surprise when Michael Drennan in for the injured Wes Fogden made in two after twenty one minutes. Pompey took their foot off the gas as half time approached allowing Abu Ogogo to pull one back an perhaps the Daggers were unlucky not to go in level.
The second half though saw Pompey reassert themselves and Drennan with an unstoppable drive and Jed Wallace late on gave the blues their best win of the season. Back to back away wins for the first time in three years and Pompey move up to sixteenth and are all but safe. However with the bottom two winning they are still only five points above the line BUT there are eight teams below them and seven of those would have to overtake Pompey to send them into the abyss. A win next week over Bristol Rovers would just about seal it – Rover have the worst away record on the division with just one win.
The feelgood factor is back and I expect a near full house at Fratton Park and another great atmosphere for the visit of the Pirates, who incidentally will be the last club in the football league to play at God`s green acre in the twenty first century.
For the first time in their history Pompey kicked off at 3:07 as football remembered the ninety six Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough twenty five years ago. Of course that was the same day that Pompey caretaker boss Andy Awford made his full league debut at Crystal Palace in a 2-0 defeat. As Awfs said in the week after the game it was when he realised there is more to life than football as reports of the disaster came in.
Was Richie to blame?
Fans can make the difference as was proved last week against Hartlepool when the crowd were yelling their heads off at kick off and the team responded by starting so positively. That had been their failing under Barker but whose fault was it manager, crowd or team?
Strangely Pompey`s two ex bosses this season faced each other yesterday as Crawley travelled to MK Dons and it was Guy who smiling as surprisingly it was Crawley to ran out 2-0 winners.
Made quite a splash!!
There is no doubt that any Pompey fan will pick the victory over Spurs at Wembley 4 years and two day ago as their greatest game. I heard a story the other night of one fan who was on holiday in the Dominican Republic. With no television coverage he managed to find internet link to a commentary on the game at half time. When the second goal went in he ran and jumped in the pool totally soaking a group of Spurs fans who had been chortling all day how they would murder Pompey!
Pride in the Trust – One year on
It has been a tough year but it was even tougher getting to that position. Iain McInnes gave the News a detailed account of the day the trial was heard by Mr Justice Peter Smith and how close it came to the club being liquidated.
The strangest fact that he did divulge was that Hilary Stonefrost QC for Portpin was herself a Pompey fan!!
But I must agree with Iain that although the last year has been an absolute disaster on the pitch off it the club has gone from strength to strength – we have a football club, we have our own ground, we will have a training ground in the process of being constructed. We are financially secure and debt free – with exception of the football debts – and we are ahead of our payment repayment on those. That list is quite something to be proud of and is the type of stability every fan was looking for when they put up their £1,000 or more.
Many things have been written during the week to mark the anniversary but I particularly liked the final paragraph of an article on ‘hereisthecity` which summed up the situation very nicely – ‘Portsmouth certainly have a long and hard fight on their hands if they are ever to reach the heights of years gone by, but if there was ever a fanbase due a good bit of fortune it`s that of Portsmouth football club.`
Tigers is a nickname not a club name
Hull City will always be Hull City to me after FA rejected the name change. Perhaps Cardiff can play in blue again?
For the last few weeks I have been reading about the great goals scored by Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored in years he was here but where is he now? We all know that the Yaks attitude was never he greatest attribute and that meant despite his goals he failed to win over the fans.
Well he spent the last season in China with Guangzhou R&F now aged just thirty one and now he has moved to Qatar side Al Rayyan. Waste of a career you decide.