Date: 22nd October 2011 at 6:34pm
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Pompey started with a bang, fizzled out and then eventually reignited themselves and scored two second half goals to win a strange game with Doncaster Rovers at Fratton Park yesterday afternoon.

Pompey did what you must not do in football and scored too early. A long clearance from Stephen Henderson was allowed to drop by the Doncaster defence and Luke Varney was on it in a flash to roll the ball past veteran keeper Neil Sullivan. The crowd sat back and waited for more to come but the visitors refused to fold and gradually they started to climb back into the game with some neat passing football. Pompey did not help themselves with some loose control in midfield constantly giving the ball back to the opposition.

It was no surprise when Simon Gillett showed a sharp edge to beat Henderson from outside the box after a neat set piece from a corner just before the half hour. The second half started in a similar vein to the end of the first and it was not until half way through the period that Liam Lawrence managed to cleverly head a cross back into the middle and Dave Kitson, who had run all day, bundled the ball home despite protests from the Donny defenders that he was offside. Seven minutes later Erik broke away and laid in on a plate for Varney to score his second.

So back to back wins for the caretaker duo but rumours were rife that Pompey owners were in Norway hunting the signature of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the new boss. The baby faced assassin is currently manager of Molde and his appointment would be more than a calculated risk but of course he did learn under the master in Sir Alex Ferguson.

With Donny in Town it is usually one for the Osmond fans who seem to live in droves in the vicinity of the Toast offices, to relish! But Pompey fans were far from excited at the prospect and again only 12,779 turned up. I expect the gate next time out will be bigger as Steve Cotterill brings his new charges from the Forest on November 5th.

New Toast member

We recruited a new member to the Toast team this week. Local Eastney boy, Eddie is another veteran fan who has some wonderful stories to tell. Let me give you a taster.

He has a huge collection of autographs from all the stars of the fifties including legends such as Sir Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney. These were collected when he lived in Carisbrooke Road right next to the ground. They are all on Charles Buchan`s football monthlys too – now they are worth a few bob!! As a lad Eddie would mind bikes parked in his house by fans for 3d each!! Good little earner that and quite a few fans.

Add to that the number of ‘interesting` away trips and the fact that he went to see every England game World Cup campaign in 1966 including the final and I think we have another interesting capture. Of course Eddie, like most members of the team is not aware they have joined I just pour stories out of them on a Friday night over a pint or three and write them up for you!!

Closed shop

So a number of Premier League foreign owners want to close the door to other less fortunate clubs joining their elite clique. It was announced last week that the move which would require the backing of fourteen of the twenty clubs was being suggested by those with most to lose if their acquisition fall from grace.

In the US of A of course franchises of NFL, NBA or NHL clubs do not have that fear but sadly gents that will never happen in this country! The English game is all about fairness and not money, clubs will from time to time come from relative obscurity and challenge the powers of the game – Swansea, Blackpool, Barnsley and Swindon to name just a few.

There are five post war winners of the English League Championship currently in the Championship and one of them had the temerity to win the FA Cup just three short years ago. This tradition will never be allowed to die by the football fans of our country.

Southern Soccer

Last week we left this series at the end of the 1973/74 season where the cameras were unable to locate Fratton Park. However the highlight of that season would have been to watch the FA Cup fifth round tie that finished Southampton 0 Wrexham 1 or possibly Brighton 2 Bristol Rovers 8 – the smash and grab partnership of Bannister and Warboys scoring seven of those goals.

During the next season 1974/75 Pompey and Southampton were in the same division but Southern Television chose not to show either game for some strange reason. Pompey featured twice a 2-1 win over Oxford United and a 3-0 defeat to Norwich (Martin Peters was among the scorers). The game between Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday on 28 December 1974 also featured the first commentary of Martin Tyler who of course is now thirty seven years later the main man on Sky Sports. For the record Wednesday won 1-0!

The following year Southern did show the derby game at the Dell which we lost 4-0 and home defeats to Oxford 2-0 and West Brom 1-0. Older fans will remember that both Oxford goals were scored by a certain Mick Tait. Pompey were relegated at the end of the season.

The next three seasons were certainly not the best in the club`s history as they almost went out of business and the slipped without a trace into the fourth division. The TV cameras were thankfully very rare visitors to Fratton and in fact in those three years Pompey did not score one goal of Television!! The two games featured were the 1-0 defeat to Wrexham on 4 February 1978 and the goalless draw with Wimbledon played 14 April 1979. the two games were selected because of the standard of the opposition who both won promotion at the end of the season.

Next week in our final part we look at the eighties and a few interesting stats to boot.

Goal of the month

Last week we gave you Chix’s tip to watch the Ashley Harris goal for the Academy side. I know some did and well it is no surprise to tell you that it won the September award!! Well done Ashley and thanks for the tip Chix!

This week Pompey prepare for the Derby game – it is at Pride Park next Saturday!

PUP