Port Devoured by Pigs: Police Tero FC 4-2 Port FC

 

“There you go. Givin’ a f**k when it ain’t your turn” Detective Bunk, The Wire

 

Confidence was high going into Sunday evening’s clash at the Boonyachida stadium. Police Tero had seemingly become the latest “struggling” club to dispose of their coach* after a slow start and despite some shows of defensive frailty in the second half against Air Force, Port had put in a great showing of free-flowing football during their 3-1 victory.

(* = I had a chance meeting with a member of Tero staff the other day who confirmed Scott Cooper has returned home due to a legitimate family emergency and should be back in the Tero dugout by the end of this month.)

My journey there was relatively straightforward, a number 29 bus from Chatuchak Park along the main road and I soon found myself near the Police Sports and Social Club. Luckily another Port fan was on the bus so seeing him get up was my cue to get off. A quick walk over the bridge and a somewhat pleasant walk through the serene and leafy Police complex, I was at the stadium. Tim and Tom hadn’t been so lucky with their Grab Taxi – in spite of that app using GPS, they had instead taken a somewhat more scenic tour of Lak Si district.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tero’s Sandpit Equivalent….Let’s call it the Bacon Mixer, was soon filling up with Port fans. Thumbs up to Tero for a nicer selection of food outlets, including a burger van, a Pad Thai van and another van selling fries in a variety of flavours. However, beers still needed to purchased from enterprising Port fans with their pickup trucks outside the stadium. A Police Tero drink tent did open up selling Chang….so I continued walking around the block to the Port trucks selling LEO. A rather Orwellian sign reminded us that “POLICE (TERO) ARE EVERYWHERE!” One thing noticeable from the Tero fans was the popularity of their man from Myanmar, with many “AUNG THU 10” shirts on show. Rain did briefly threaten, and when I say briefly it was literally a minute. Luckily it never returned as umbrellas were being confiscated from us when we entered the away end.

Pre-match talk had been around whether Jadet would bring Dolah back into the defence, the midfield trio of Adison, Siwakorn and Kim had looked impressive against Air Force but Jadet instead opted to swap Suarez for Adisorn and makeshift centre back Athibordee was going to keep his place.

 

 

A noticeable change as the teams emerged was Port’s yellow kit. Despite Grand Sport giving us a home shirt (orange/blue), away shirt (black) and a third shirt (purple), all of the above were deemed to be potential clashes with Tero’s red and black, so a new yellow shirt was quickly scrambled from the GS catalogue and scatter gunned with our various sponsor labels. At the rate we’re acquiring new shirts, they will soon need to double the floorspace at the club shop.

Port didn’t start too badly, an early concern was Kim being clattered and moving even more gingerly than usual. At one stage Port were applying more pressure and forced quite a few consecutive corners. Pakorn looked in no danger of repeating previous heroics from corners with each one being gobbled up by their centre backs or not even beating the first man. On the 26th minute, and perhaps slightly against the run of play the Police took the lead. A nice give and go from Aung Thu to their winger Mongkol was returned back into the Port box, N’Dri scuffed his shot/pass and fell over, but the loose ball fell nicely to the Burmese striker to tuck away their opening goal.

Port were back on the offensive when Suarez’s long shot was spilled by their keeper, Pakorn was quickly onto the rebound but it hit the underside of the crossbar. Tero were next to test the woodwork when a free kick into the box was headed against the bar by Chiang Rai loanee Mongkol. Tero then doubled their lead when a deep cross into the box which found captain Michael N’Dri in acres of space at the back post. He had all the time in the world to measure the flight of the ball, write out a few speeding tickets and then volley in, without even needing to take an extra touch to control the ball.

At this stage Port’s performance had been slightly drunk and disorderly, worthy of a night in the cells to calm down at worst. Hopefully Madame was going to post bail and Jadet would come pick them up from the station but instead Port were about to be found guilty of more serious crimes and transferred instead to the Bangkok Hilton for the second half, where they were going to be having severe issues holding onto the soap…

Police Tero started the second half very much like they had ended the first and added a third goal on 52 minutes when N’dri laid the ball back to Aung Thu in the box, he held off a somewhat half-hearted citizen’s arrest from Suarez to navigate his shot past a group of yellow shirts into the corner. Three minutes later the humiliation was completed as the Keystone Cops defending struck again. That man Aung Thu began running at Ports defence, who in turn began flocking towards him like he had some kind of gravitational pull, only to leave N’dri in plenty of space to collect a pass from our Burmese oppressor and curl a fourth goal past Worawut into the bottom corner. At 4-0 Police Tero had quite literally “fired up the Quattro” and it was certainly Ashes to Ashes as far as Port getting a share of the spoils.

At this stage I hoped Jadet would use the remaining 30 or so minutes to give The Flash some game-time, just by way of giving the fans something to get behind should he finally touch the ball, but alas Bordin and Adisorn were introduced, and later Arthit, returning from his suspension. Bordin did at least manage a shot on target that was easily collected by their keeper.

The rest of the match was slowly fizzling out, N’dri and that man Aung Thu were still having fun every time Tero attacked. Had they added a fifth, a ”Tero Five-O” headline to this report was in the offing.

 

 

Port fans began to make their exit, with injury time approaching Port began applying more pressure to the point that Police Tero’s defence could finally put down their coffee and donuts. Bordin forced a double save from the Tero keeper, the ball fell to Bosko who was fouled and the ref pointed to the spot. El Capitan tucked away the penalty and ran into the net to recover the ball. About 30 minutes ago that would have meant something but at this late stage it was very much what Larry David would call “an empty gesture”. However, during the next attack the ball dropped to Kevin on the edge of the box and he curled one past the Tero keeper to take some of the gloss away from what had been an impressive showing from The Boys In Blue Red. This was pretty much the last kick of the game. As far as todays clash had gone, we fought the law, and the law won.

At fulltime I stayed around to gauge the reaction from the Port faithful. When the vanquished Yellows and Madame were greeted with a Viking clap, that was my breaking point.

So to add some context to my opening Wire quote, it kind of dawned on me that maybe us “farang” fans get more worked up and invested in the results than the Thai fans do. As far as I know, there are no 606 style phone ins where angry fans vent their spleens about bad performances and call for heads to roll. Thinking back to last season, the Zico experiment ended with him doing a lap of honour and receiving bunches of flowers from the Zone C.

 

 

After the match, Port fans were having an impromptu acoustic set with the Tero fans in the Bacon Mixer. Seeing this reaction to a turgid defeat was a bit too much to bear and I made my way back to the bus stop, where I stood waiting amongst plenty of smug looking Police fans. Next time I witness a heavy defeat like this, no more anger, no ranting, just five simple words.

 

 

Sandpit Man of the Match: Aung Thu

I wanted to avoid the tried and tested cliché of “The fans”, for putting up with this tripe and still remaining in high spirits. Certainly no-one in a yellow shirt did anything that left a lasting impact so I will break with tradition and award it a member of the opposition. Aung Thu was a constant menace throughout the game, scored two and also one assist. In this new era of enforced ASEAN quotas for the Thai league, he’s certainly the only one that has stood out so far this year. Meanwhile, our own Terens seems to be mothballed, at least until the cup competitions start.

What’s next for Port?

A tricky couple of fixtures coming up for Port before the Songkran break. Bangkok United visit the PAT on Saturday night, I think they have averaged 4 or more goals against us in the 3 games last season. Next Wednesday, Port make a trip to the Thunder Castle to face league leaders Buriram. A few weeks ago this looked like a potential title deciding, meeting of the top 2 but after their promising start, weaknesses at the back for Port are becoming more exposed. Kim is clearly playing through a lot of pain and Bosko looks like he will be lucky to pass Josimar’s total last season, let alone get anywhere near the 38 he managed for BU last year.

 

Kenny Goodbourn

Kenny Goodbourn

Kenny moved from the Essex Riviera to Thailand in 2013 and lives in Bangkok. He started following Port in 2016. He has a YouTube channel "Straight Outta Bangkok" in which he follows Port around the country and also features other teams from Thailand and beyond.

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2replies
  1. Ralph says:

    Kenny, we can’t win every game – and as a Port fan of 8 years, I’ve witnessed 2 relegation seasons with a lot of depressing results – it’s about MORE than the game and result when watching football in Thailand.
    It’s about a having a good time, having a beer with your mates and watching live football (for a couple of quid!)

    If we get beaten by a better team, suck it up and enjoy the other teams success and share a beer with their fans afterwards.
    No-one died, it’s about having a great day out.

    Reply
  2. David
    David says:

    As the great man Shanks said. “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. They’re wrong…It’s much more important than that “
    Maybe he should have watched Port.

    Reply

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