Wednesday 25th April Kick off 5.45 p.m.
Bloody Chainat Away
Port and Chainat isn’t a local derby, and it isn’t big meeting of ex-powerhouses of Thai football. However it does have a history to it.
Singing in the Rain
My first trip to Chainat saw our most important player our big Korean central defender Wo Hyun sent off for a very soft second yellow card offence. This sending off effectively ended Port’s chances of getting anything from the game. It absolutely pissed it down and the away section has no cover – there is a photo somewhere of people in raincoats and in the rain with the caption “we will support you”, or something like that. Chainat away in the rain has become a reference point, when talking about the worst games/away trips we’ve ever had to endure.
At the Death
My second away visit saw a dour 0-0 being played out at the home of the Hornbills. There wasn’t any trouble between the fans apart from a bit of jeering here and there. We watched 92 minutes of fairly uneventful football with two teams trying not to lose the game, when Watchara popped up unmarked. This is Watchara the old left back, so it wasn’t surprising he wasn’t being marked. What was surprising to everyone, even fellow port players, was Watchara having a glance up at the goal and releasing a rocket into the top corner. Cue crazy Port celebrations with only minutes of the game left to play. Port’s late winner was a complete smash & grab job.
23 July 2014 – Walk on, walk off, smile on, run off
The most heated match was at PAT and saw a disallowed Port goal protested by the Port players. After consulting with the linesman the ref reversed the decision. This incensed the Chainat team thinking the ref was just being persuaded by the intimidating atmosphere of the PAT crowd. After the referee reversed his decision it was time for the Chainat players to protest and they walked off into the dressing room, fully throwing all of their toys out of the pram. After gentle persuasion from the match officials they came back out, to a very hostile PAT reception. As is so often the case the ref. decided to even things up by giving Chainat a very soft penalty. They converted it to go 2-1 up in the 80th minute. Chainat time wasted for 10 minutes, and Port had a player sent off deep into injury time. The usual cheering of the home fans was probably not a good idea in this atmosphere – the Chainat players went over to Zone C, but their aim was more to taunt the beaten home fans joking and laughing at Zone C stands, which sparked off an assortment of plastic cups and random items being thrown at the Chainat players. They quickly stopped laughing and ran off into the away dressing room.
(Editor’s note – although the game was probably held up for around 20 minutes, the ref only added on 6 minutes and then blew up after 4, further enraging the Port fans. He ended up barricaded in his dressing room for 2 hours)
Who was in charge of the Hornbills leading his players off the pitch? A Mr. J. Meelarp. (J. for Jadet). So if anyone knows how things work at Chainat and how to beat Chainat it should be our very own forward planning Fat Cat. After the match Port were fined and netting was put up across Zone C for the first time, and since this game beers have not been allowed inside the stadium. Yet another reason to hate the Hornbills!
Sticks n’ Stones
Rocks were thrown at the Port fans sitting in the away section when Port visited in July 2015. Not by a fan group but a bunch of kids. Considering what happened at PAT everyone saw this as an attempt to redress the balance after their players had stuff thrown at them. Whether they were encouraged to do this by some at Chainat, or just bored kids doing what lots of bored kids do we will never know. With Cheating Chainat’s record we can have a good guess. Later the Chainat owner apologised for not ensuring the safety of away fans. Some of the kids involved were given new bikes, sorry typo, were severely reprimanded by someone.
So that’s the history we have with Chainat – what about this year?
Newly promoted Chainat are now sitting in 16th place with 9 points and have a goal difference of -10. Those numbers are looking pretty worrying. Along with Air Force and Ubon UMT most people are tipping Chainat to go down. With 5 relegation spots this season it’s difficult to disagree with this prediction.
Their top goal scorer is Bireme Diouf (20) with 5 goals. The 33 year old striker from the Ivory Coast did manage to put 2 goals past a decent Chiang Rai team to give Chainat one of their best results of the season so far.
They also have the famous Florent Sinama-Pongolle (10), though this season he’s been proving rather less than the marvelous marquee signing we thought he was – he’s probably just about found his level at the tail end of his career. Turn up with your Liverpool 2004-05 season shirts to get a memento of Liverpool’s greatest ever player who sounds like somewhere to watch films, (oh no wait there was Dave Odean who played for them in the 1954-56 season). Florent’s 2004-05 record, 660 minutes 2 goals. Sinama you’re one in a million, or maybe one in 330 minutes.
More bad news for Chainat: they have their stalwart Korean Central defender Park Jong–Oh (3) out on 4 yellow cards.
Unlikely to be many surprises for Port. Only injuries seem to really change our oversized overseer’s team selection. Saying that Flash (A.K.A. Terens Puhuri) (28) did get a good run out on Saturday. Hopefully we will be using him more than in 20 or 30-minute bursts at the end of games. Prior to Saturday he was being criminally underused. I think the line-up will be pretty much the same as Saturday but with Kim (8) playing a more defensive role. Also I think Dolah (4) may start over Todsapol (6). I’ve always said there’s not much to choose between these two players but Dolah looked good coming on after Todsapol was tiring. There was a story in the Thai Press about Suarez (5) coming back into the squad but he was nowhere to be seen on Saturday. I think we are a better, more balanced team with him, but the last thing Port need to do is rush him back and cause a longer term injury as they have done too often before.
Kevin (97), Rochela (22), Dolah (4) , Nittipong (34)
Nurul (31), Kim (8), Adisorn (13), Siwakorn (16), Pakorn (7)
Subs but likely to see some time on the pitch.
Although Chainat are in the drop zone Port have only managed one away win this season. So sneaking a goal and trying to sit on it might well be the pre-match orders from the portly planner of PAT.
“Port FC – the home of Hockers, Thailand’s Number 1 expat football fan. He’s Thailand’s number one, and he’s one of our own.”
For those not going up to Chainat, the game will be shown at The Sportsman bar on Sukhmvit soi 13. Wear your Port shirt and get 10% discount on selected beers.