Port’s dismal run of form under now departed coach Zico had fans who’d spent the first half of the season looking hopefully up at the top 5 of T1 suddenly shifting their gaze downwards towards the table’s sweaty nether regions. With Port adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory the spectre of relegation, whilst not exactly haunting the PAT, was at least getting ready to rattle its ghostly chains in the direction of Khlong Thoey.
Thankfully, Sunday’s 5-goal demolition of in-form Pattaya has seen said wraith packing up his chains and white sheet and heading off to loosen sphincters in Sukhothai & Nakhon Ratchasima instead, and left Port virtually guaranteed their place in T1 next season. Here’s a snapshot of the T1 drop zone, courtesy of our freunde at Thai Fussball:
Of the bottom clubs, the truly lamentable Super Power are already down, and with Honda 10 points off safety with 6 games to play, we can assume they’re down too. Sisaket also look doomed, 7 points off safety with 5 to play. Mathematically one of, but not both clubs can still catch Port by winning all their remaining games – I say not both because they still have to play each other. Even if both clubs could still win all their remaining games, they’d still have to hope Port fail to pick up more than 1 point from their remaining 5 – unlikely, with games against Super Power, Nakhon Ratchasima and Sisaket still to play. Whilst we’re unlikely to shed many tears for Super Power, despite their wonderful support, or Honda (I won’t miss getting vaccinations, hiring a team of sherpas and trekking out to their shithole of a stadium next season – unless someone else moves in of course), Sisaket are always fun to play against, always bring a big crowd, and gave us a very warm welcome when we went there earlier this season, despite us blasting out Rick Astley as we arrived.
So, barring a miracle on a par with the beer purveyors of the PAT turning water into Leo, or the FAT finding some reason to dock us points again (which isn’t beyond the realms of possibility), Port will once again be a T1 club in 2018. Which, with 5 teams going down, will be a very tough season indeed. But let’s cross that bridge when we come to it, and meanwhile enjoy the sight of a rejuvenated team playing out the rest of the season without any pressure.