Date: 19th November 2011 at 8:09pm
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There was to be no Appy start for Pompey under new boss Michael Appleton at Vicarage Road yesterday afternoon after Watford ran out easy 2-0 winners.

The Appy baptism came ten years to day since the injury that ended his promising career – perhaps it is a date November that he should tear out of his 2012 diary now. It was perhaps typical of Pompey`s season so far that one good performance is followed by a poor one and strangely with a new boss watching they failed to turn up until the closing minutes when they finally tested Hornets keeper Loach.

Appy would have been disappointed that skipper Liam Lawrence was not fit enough to light up the Hertfordshire skies as he had done the Portsmouth Christmas illuminations two days beforehand. That meant just one change from the win over Forest with Joel Ward in for Abdul Razak.

Pompey were a goal down in the second minute and never looked like recovering and the second on the stroke of half time effectively finished the game. So a day that started with eyes looking up ended with fans looking over shoulders from the depths of eighteenth position. The only good news they would have good from that glimpse is that the bottom three are now some five points adrift but things can change very quickly in this division.

Appy told reporters after the game ‘I think we got a bit bullied at times and didn’t show enough quality or composure’. Worrying signs when they should have been motivated to give a grandstand display. He did say that he had learnt a lot too and hopefully our novice boss has the nous to act and change the fortunes before Leicester come to town next Saturday.

Peace breaks out

Some good news this week was the settlement of the Asmir Begovic affair with Spurs. The feud was ‘settled` before it went to arbitration and had lasted nearly two years.

With it hopefully went the last of Daniel Azougy`s brokered deals which have cost the club so dearly in recent times. Why was he allowed to step foot in Fratton Park?

Leeds policing

I am glad to hear the news this week that our old friend Ken Malley of the Football Supporters Federation has acted quickly after they received numerous complaints over zealous stewarding and police filming at the Leeds game last month.

Ken has ensured that Hampshire Police will brief all forces that Pompey visit in the future will be told “There have been recent issues around the overt use of police filming of Portsmouth supporters in seated areas of the stadium. It has been perceived by certain sections as not being proportionate and intrusive. Formal complaint has been raised to police via the FSF (Football Supporters Federation).” That is once again good work by the FSF and Ken in particular. It is vital in this day and age that fans know their rights and the FSF and the Trust are helping to ensure that.

Season ticket deals

The announcement this week about Half Season tickets has awakened existing holders who now need assurances over how they will get their money back.

Chief Executive David Lampitt told the News ‘We are actually looking at it in terms of taking care of our season ticket holders next season as well.

I am quite comfortable in saying it is our intention there will be cheaper season ticket prices in areas of the ground.`

‘Then there is the extra early bird period, which will be an exclusive period for full-season ticket holders to renew at a discounted rate compared to half-season ticket holders. We wanted to do a few extra things, specifically for them, to thank them for their on-going loyalty. It has been a difficult balancing act but this is another step in the right direction as a club.’

That is very welcome David but we need to hear very soon as to what those deals will be so that Season Ticket holders who went through all the problems of no card payments etc in the close season and still coughed up their money will see that those rewards are tangible.

Any prevarication in the delivery of these promises will put you in danger of alienating your most loyal fans.

Trial by jury

Hampton and Richmond seventeen year old striker Dan Thompson has been on trial at the club this week. It is really good news that the club are beginning to trawl the non-league arena for players are there are some real gems just waiting to be uncovered. The problem is that this particular gem will take some winning from under the noses of a whole host of big clubs, including I gather Liverpool.

We can only hope though eh.

Toast Sandwich

The BBC and other sections of the media have been running a story this week that made the Toast office sit up and pay attention. It concerns what is called ‘the ideal way of eating during these austere times’.

As the BBC put it ‘At just 7.5p a serving, a toast sandwich is the cheapest lunch option, says the Royal Society of Chemistry. What other ultra-economical meals – of a similar order of simplicity – could be revived in these cost-conscious times?’

The Times continues that just because it is very cheap we should not turn our noses up at it. After all the recipe was first published by Mrs Beeton back in 1861. There is a £200 prize from the Chemists Society for anyone who can find a cheaper alternative.

So Toasters how do you like your Toast??

Overnight trips

Last week Eddie told us about an overnight trip to Bury and Toast regular Gandor commented that he was a real hero making such long trips and overnight too.

I related this to Ed the other night and he was shocked because as he said travel was so slow in those days with no motorways and no cross country train services. As he added in the fifties there were a lot of Pompey kids who had never left Portsea Island and these trips were real adventures. There was very little organised transport to away league games and it was only the FA Cup trips that attracted any large followings.

Those trips of course were in the lap of the gods or the balls in the Football Association bag to be precise. Certainly I remember in the sixties twenty thousand plus at White Hart Lane in 1967 and a similar number at Fulham the next season. This was even echoed again in the seventies at Arsenal and Forest.

Back to Ed he has he was no hero but more a pioneer for future travelling fans to the land of Whippets, tripe and flat caps!! Steady Eddie you are certainly not Scott of the Antarctic you know.

See you all next week.