Date: 21st January 2012 at 6:46pm
Written by:

Pompey will be sick of Welsh clubs after a week of heartache for two of the clubs sides. Firstly the U18s were beaten by a late Swansea fluke in the FA Youth cup game and then the first team suffer the same fate deep into injury time at Cardiff City yesterday.

It was a game in which Pompey started poorly and yet at one stage could have taken all three points but ended with nothing for their efforts.

It has been a difficult week for the club to say the least and a trip to the high flying Bluebirds with a threadbare squad was hardly what the doctor ordered. 1-0 down after fourteen minutes following a slip by Stephen Henderson the rest of the first half was a struggle and the Pompey keeper redeemed himself by keeping score to one. Then as the interval approached City keeper David Marshall spilled an Erik Huseklepp cross and The Mighty Magyar swooped. Straight after the break the Cardiff defence gifted Pompey the lead when they failed to clear a Liam Lawrence corner and Greg Halford poked home.

The rest sounds like back to the wall stuff and Pompey left Hudson unmarked to equalise and in the last minute of injury time Conway rifled home from thirty yards to settle it.

We must hope the week ahead brings a change in fortunes for OUR club and perhaps some points at London Road, Peterborough next Saturday.

Friend(ly) information

It is not the Toast habit to carry grudges against people but with all the chat this week about referee Kevin Friend we thought we would put the record straight and give you the facts.

Kevin Friend has refereed Pompey matches on six occasions; from those games Pompey have managed just one point. Of the six games two were at Fratton Park the remaining four away from home. Here are the games in chronological order –

1. 22 November 2009 Stoke City away Lost 1-0

Friend awarded Pompey an early penalty but sadly Kevin Prince Boateng missed it. Pompey bossed the game but a late winner from Ricardo Fuller settled it scoring past Jamie Ashdown (who replaced David James at the last minute).

2. 9 February 2010 Sunderland home Drew 1-1

This game sees three sent off; Ricardo Rocha early on after ‘fouling` Darren Bent – the visitors took the lead from the spot kick. In the second half Lee Cattermole is dispatched for two yellow cards and David Mayler shown a straight red for elbowing Steve Finnan only two minutes after coming on – Aruna Dindane equalised last minute

3. 27 March 2010 – Tottenham Hotspur away Lost 2-0

Pompey were heading for relegation but picked up serious injuries to Danny Webber and Hermann Hriedarsson. Pompey finish with ten men having run out of substitutes. The defeat was soon avenged though at Wembley.

4. 15 January 2011 Nottingham Forest away Lost 2-1

Pompey take an early lead against Forest who are unbeaten at home all season. Late goals in the 88th and 94th minute rob Pompey of a hard earned result.

5. 2 April 2011 Reading away lost 2-0

Ricardo Rocha is sent off as the Royals wreck Pompey`s late run to the play-offs. Steve Cotterill is very unhappy with the referee the BBC tells us as Pompey also pick up four yellow cards.

6. 14 January 2012 West Ham United home Lost 1-0

Do I need to go through that all again?

That means the stats look like this – six games no wins – three red cards and sixteen yellow!! The opposition had two red and just five yellow! Look at the bad luck we had in those games too with injuries, late goals etc. You have to feel for Hayden Mullins who has been booked four times by Friend.

Another stat we found while looking through the records is that in all his games at senior level he has NEVER given more than one penalty.

As a further note Kevin did NOT referee the QPR home game in Oct 2010 – that was Gavin Ward – not every game filled with controversy is refereed by the Leicestershire based official.

Sent packing

Did you miss the fact that Norwich had released Richie De Laet from his loan and sent him back to Man Utd? Well if he is available I say, yes please!

Good news

The Mighty Magyar has been signed for a further year – he has a lot to learn but has made a bright start. If you want to know what I mean by ‘a lot to learn` look back to the West Ham game last week when Pompey were down to ten men. Dave Kitson upped his work-rate in an attempt to cover the space vacated by Dave Norris but Marko did not continuing to wait for the ball to be played to him. That is not a criticism merely a comment on the way he played.

Did you know

A season ticket at Bayern Munich costs about £150?

Happy birthday to Toast

Yep Toast is four today!! It all started in January 2008 with a special to mark what would have been Derek Dougan`s seventieth birthday and has been running ever since – well I do give myself a holiday every now and again! This edition is if I can count number 179 and in that time we have covered some momentous occasions in Pompey`s recent history. They include two cup finals, two semi finals, the Community Shield, relegation, administration, points deductions and more very dodgy owners than you can shake a stick at!!

Thanks for your support and all the bits of info that comes my way from time to time. The nice thing is that some of you who commented on edition one – they include pompeyrug, 007, UKTony, storagematt and Chix. What are my favourite stories I was asked recently. The answer is I suppose where I have discovered something that nobody else knew about like the UEFA inquiry into the Fratton Park dressing rooms and how photos had to be taken avoiding the mildew! Or the fact that the pitch was not regulation shape until this season! In fact there are too many to list here. Some stories I have uncovered can never be told! And we had some great foresight too four years ago before the United quarter final I wrote ‘And Pompey have never lost a cup game to United in March.’

So after over a quarter of a million words have been written is it time to retire? Not yet but please keep the stories coming and can someone teach me to type please?

Non league corner

It has been quite a week for a couple of old friends now holidaying in the Conference. Wrexham were so unlucky in their FA Cup replay with Brighton at the Racecourse on Wednesday only going out on penalties after bossing the game for long spells. Did you spot Glen Little among the Welsh sides subs? Earlier in the season we told you how Wrexham were saved from extinction by their fans and are sitting proudly atop of their league.

A similar story across country at Darlington where the fans have raised £50,000 to keep the club alive but there is still a lot of work to do to save the Quakers from disappearing – the club also have only ten players but managed to field a side against Fleetwood yesterday. The other Conference crisis club, Kettering have only nine professionals and could name only two substitutes at Wrexham They understandably lost 4-1 and had a player sent off late on.

Darlo also lost 1-0 but on the plus side a crowd of nearly 6,000 turned up and let`s hope there is a future for the North East club.