I Smell A Trat: Port FC vs. Trat FC Preview

 

What was shaping up to be the most straightforward of home fixtures for Port this Wednesday has, after the weekend’s results, taken on a rather different complexion. Whereas Port’s lack of discipline led to a surprising 1-3 surrender against a Sukhothai side they were expected to beat, winless Trat absolutely hammered undefeated Suphanburi 4-0 in one of the shock results of the season so far. With two coaches having already claimed gold and silver in this season’s sack race, Jadet will be uncomfortably aware that if at least one positive result is not delivered in the first week of April, then he could well find himself the final man on the podium.

Trat FC

Players to Watch

 

The man this Trat team is built around had a superb breakout season with Prachuap in 2018, and has continued his fine form for another promoted outfit this season. Lonsona Doumbouya (10) has bagged 4 goals and an assist so far, and there is not a defender in the league that won’t be at least a tad nervous about facing one of the most physical players in Thailand on top form.

On either side of Doumbouya and former Muangthong flop Chenrop (9) up top will be two African wingers who have been around Thai football for quite a few years now. Having played in Thailand since 2006, 34 year old Bireme Diouf (27) is a reliable goal getter, usually brought in by teams fighting for T1 survival. Similarly Adefolarin Durosinmi (40) is in his tenth year in Thai football, having spent most of his time in the lower leagues before getting a couple of gigs for T1 strugglers like Sisaket, Navy and now Trat. These two are far from the most dangerous foreign forwards around, but looking at the form of Port’s full backs, you have to worry about the damage they can do if not marshalled properly.

 

 

Goalkeeper Todsapol Sri-rueng (18) has also really impressed me in recent weeks. He’s kept two consecutive clean sheets, and made some super saves, including one from a penalty, in the 0-0 draw a couple of weeks ago against Korat. He’s also played for Port before, although I doubt if any of our readers will recall a goalkeeper who made a handful of appearances between 2007 and 2008. Speaking of players who barely got a chance at Port, young midfielder Tatchanon Nakarawong (8) has helped turn the tide for Trat this season, who have been undefeated in the two games the youngster has started. He also provided the cross for Doumbouya’s opener last weekend, and will be playing with a mind to showing Jadet what he missed out on.

 

 

Form

 

Trat’s first win of the season last week lifted them out of the relegation zone, having previously drawn 2 and lost 2. Their losses were a mad, thrilling 2-3 against Ratchaburi and a 0-1 to Bangkok United, whilst their draws have come against Chainat and Korat. That win makes theirs a pretty decent start to the season, considering surviving relegation is the goal.

 

Port FC

Grow Up

 

There’s little I have to add to Tim’s withering analysis of last week’s childish capitulation to Sukhothai, although since then Port’s reaction regarding the red card for Sumanya and the treatment of officials more broadly has been quite a surprise. Firstly, Boskovic took to Instagram to write a scathing criticism of Thai officials, quite blatantly implying that the referee in question, as well as others, are not operating on the level. He finished his rebuke with the statement “Remember: football is being played for the fans.” Quite. Maybe certain members of the Port team should think long and hard about that reality next time they physically and verbally intimidate match officials. Boskovic’s early April Fool’s joke was then remarkably followed up by an official complaint by the club, who have backed up their striker in calling in to question Saturday’s officiating.

I’m genuinely bewildered. I watched the incidents in question, there’s no doubt the officials made mistakes in the run up to the red card incident, but that’s no excuse to manhandle the referee. You just can’t do that, and if you do I’m going to have absolutely no sympathy with you when you get yourself sent off. “Remember: football is being played for the fans.” OK, so the officiating wasn’t good (besides the officials’ decisive action against Port players), but was it any worse than the Chiang Rai game? And can Port fans and players not remember games in which such decisions have gone in our favour? I’m not denying the existence of corruption, merely pointing out that you can’t respond to a bad refereeing decision by roughing up referees. More punishment is also needed even when the abuse is just verbal. It’s up to the players to control themselves on the pitch, not for referees to turn in mistake-free performances every week. “Remember: football is being played for the fans.”

Anyway, Port’s childish nonsense last week means Jadet has yet more changes to make to his lineup. Sumanya (11), who has been excellent besides the incident in question, will be missing out, likely meaning that Bodin (10) is finally in line for a start. He’s looked smooth and dangerous from the little we’ve seen of him so far, and starting the Fresh Prince means that Port can return to having something at least resembling a forward line.

 

Predicted Lineup

 

 


 

As always, those who like to support our sponsor The Sportsman are welcome to watch the game there on Wednesday 3rd with the usual big screen, sound and 99 baht Tiger pints on tap. There is also a 10% VIP discount on drinks for those who wear a Port short or mention The Sandpit. Kickoff is at 17:45 on True Sport HD2.

 

Tom Earls

Tom Earls

Having moved to Thailand aged 10, Tom has been playing or watching football in Thailand for more than 18 years. A keen follower of the Thai National Team and an avid fan of Port FC, he is a regular contributor to The Sandpit.

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