The Fratton Faithful Awards 2013
The winners and losers of this campaign.
At this time of year I usually ask readers and messageboard users to vote on various categories about the best and worst of the season just gone.
However, after such a poor response last time and the want to get through everything about this past season as soon as possible, I have decided to give out these awards myself this time round. Hopefully next season will be much more positive and there will be an appetite to get involved again.
So, here are the winners and losers of the 2012/2013 season.
Player Of The Season
There were few contenders for this award as you'd expect after such a poor season but a few individuals stood out. Ricardo Rocha was his calm self more often than not whilst Gabor Gyepes went about his business quietly but consistently.
However, the defensive pair made too many mistakes during the entire season and so the obvious choice is the man who, despite scoring an own goal on his debut, turned around his patchy early form to emerge as Pompey's "captain fantastic" because of his dominant midfield performances and unrelenting effort. Step forward, Johannes Ertl.
WINNER: JOHNNY ERTL
Worst Player Of The Season
Unlike the previous award, there were many names up for this one. After a lengthy discussion with other Pompey fans about the subject on the way back from Shrewsbury last weekend the list was narrowed down to three.
Firstly, Lee Williamson arrived at Fratton Park having been one of the league's best players last season for Sheffield United and yet he showed little of that. In his defence, he was often played out of position by Michael Appleton and was often injured.
The runner-up may surprise you but Pompey's former captain Brian Howard only takes the silver medal. Having had a huge reputation coming from Reading, Pompey fans were not expecting a slow player who often strutted around the pitch doing nothing apart from giving the ball away or moaning at the referee.
But the winner is another player with a big reputation having been promoted from League One with Charlton and Norwich. Darel Russell couldn't pass, couldn't tackle, couldn't shoot and was always sluggish on the ball. It is saying a lot when Aaron Mokoena could have done a better job than him in centre midfield and thus, Russell is fully deserving of this award.
WINNER: DAREL RUSSELL
Goal Of The Season
This was a difficult one to judge as Pompey didn't score many goals this season and when they did many of them were tap-ins or scrappy close range efforts.
There were a couple of beautiful free kicks scored by Luke Rodgers at Crawley and Liam Walker at Scunthorpe but my favourite was Jake Jervis's instinctive curler at Tranmere from a difficult angle. That goal silenced the home fans still celebrating after taking the lead and ended up earning Pompey a point against the league leaders at the time.
WINNER: JAKE JERVIS VS TRANMERE (A)
Best Home Match
The opening home game against Bournemouth saw a big crowd excited about the season ahead as they witnessed an entertaining draw in the August heat. So much for optimism...
Personally, I really enjoyed the 2-1 win over Coventry. Two good teams giving everything and there was no shortage of quality or incident, especially when Simon Eastwood saved an early penalty.
Still, there was only one clear winner and that was the final home game of the season. The Trust had bought the club out of administration, the Football League had confirmed that the points deduction would be imposed this season and a near-full Fratton Park saw a rampant Pompey side destroy Sheffield United. Dave Kitson's terrible performance was the tip of what was a perfect day for Portsmouth.
WINNER: PORTSMOUTH 3 SHEFFIELD UNITED 0
Worst Home Match
There were too many bad performances at Fratton Park for me to count but there are a few that stick in the mind. Losing 3-1 to rock bottom Hartlepool was a new low but the first half against Yeovil was even worse, with fans screaming "You're not fit to wear the shirt!" during half-time after going in 2-0 behind.
However, the 3-2 defeat to Colchester was not only the worst performance I've seen at Fratton Park this season but maybe in all of my years (albeit not as many as some) of watching Portsmouth. It is no exaggeration when I say the U's could have been 7-1 up if they knew how to finish and whilst the second half may have been better, but it was far below what any Pompey fan would expect of their team.
WINNER: PORTSMOUTH 2 COLCHESTER UNITED 3
Best Away Match
On a personal level, I immensely enjoyed the opening match of the season at Plymouth. Both sets of supporters were united after the troubles of both teams and despite a 3-0 defeat there was a sense of pride whilst watching the academy play against professionals.
Strangely enough, I also enjoyed the midweek trip to Scunthorpe. It was a dull match on the pitch but there was a sense of unity between the Pompey fans who shared a special commitment or insanity as they bothered to travel to Yorkshire on a wet Tuesday night to watch two terrible teams. I'll never forget the bizarre "He only comes halfway!" song directed at Scunny keeper Sam Slocombe amongst other jibes.
Pompey only won three away games all season. The victories at Yeovil and Crawley were fun for different reasons but that win at Crewe, after 24 matches without victory, was one of those "I was there" moments as players and fans celebrated as if Pompey had won the FA Cup all over again!
WINNER: CREWE 1 PORTSMOUTH 2
Worst Away Match
There are so, so many choices here! A case could be made for the 3-0 surrender job at Notts County back in September, the 5-0 capitulation at Swindon on New Year's Day and even the goalless bore draw at Hartlepool where absolutely nothing happened.
However, travelling to one of the worst towns on earth on a freezing afternoon in the northwest to lose to a terrible team without having an attempt at goal worth mentioning takes some beating. I seriously hope I never, ever have to visit Oldham again.
WINNER: OLDHAM 1 PORTSMOUTH 0
Best Away Fans At Fratton Park
Bournemouth may have predictably taken the most fans to Fratton Park but Stevenage were arguably the most entertaining with their constant singing and a "gay wave" much like Southampton's.
However, it is rare that the home fans are outsung at Fratton Park but Swindon fans managed to achieve that feat on a terrible Tuesday night for the Blues. Their support matched their team's performance that evening.
WINNER: SWINDON FANS
Highlight Of The Season
After all the doom and gloom of this wretched campaign, Wednesday, April 10th 2013 may well be one of the most important days in the history of Portsmouth Football Club.
After a long, hard battle that never seemed to end the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust finally agreed a deal to buy Portsmouth Football Club and rid itself of the individuals that had destroyed the club both financially and in reputation.
Only time will tell if the fans' takeover works and there is still much hard work to be done. But it was a huge relief to know that our football club was still alive and now has an opportunity to grow and one day return to its former glories.
And knowing that was the best result Pompey has had all season.
WINNER: A NEW BEGINNING
Source: Fratton Faithful
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