Chiang Mai Hole, I’ll Have Another Ordinary Port Please: Port FC 3-1 Chiang Mai FC

Let me take you back a little. The cup final last year. Thai Port had completed the best season in the league I’d ever seen. We’d spent a record amount of money in pre-season and elbowed our way in amongst the consistent clubs of Thailand. You know, the big 2 and a half. The ones with all the money and shite fans. The league in Thailand has been dominated for a decade. I could be forgiven for thinking this might be a peak.

We’d risen quick enough to bring on the bends. I’d seen Port relegated. Twice. I’d seen us top the league after 7 games only to finish the season in a relegation dog fight. I’m sure there is a good joke about a hooker’s knickers and a yo-yo in there somewhere but this is PAT not Patpong. I’d seen expensive players flop and I’d seen us muddle wonderfully through 7 seasons without any silverware. I wasn’t complaining. It was a blast. Its a rollercoaster I’m glad to have jumped upon and I don’t ever want to get off. But every rollercoaster tops out at some point and what goes up must come down. Third place never felt so good.

So when stinking hot favourites Buriram took the field to surely batter Chiang Rai in the FA Cup final last October, I was a little excited. If Buriram could do the business then Thai Port was on its way to the earliest qualifying round of the Asian Champions League. A nothing game in world football and yet the biggest game we could ever have. A process we were not likely to get through or shine in. But a soggy foot on the ladder of something higher. One last upward push before the inevitable plunge.  An achievement which wasn’t likely to be repeated if history was anything to go by. Of course Chiang Rai won that FA  cup final 3-2 and crushed my puny little meekest of dreams. Third in the league now felt like last again after our greatest season in a decade. Third was our greatest hope. We could never actually win the league.

How things have changed in six months. Thai Port put away Chiang Mai on Wednesday racking up another largely comfortable home win that sees them 6 points clear on top of the table. I’m going to write that again for the craic. Thai Port are six points clear on top of the table. The performance may not have hit peak rollercoaster technique but it was a solid professional win on a rainy night not in Stoke. It was the type of consistent performance I have not come to expect over the past 7 seasons. The sort of ordinary win that makes you realise there is now a new ordinary at PAT stadium. An ordinary that forces Bangkok United to sit back and counter. The type of ordinary where scoring only two goals in a game is now below average per game for this season. An extraordinary ordinary where we don’t ever lose at home.

The past is the past, tonight was another solid showing and who doesn’t love when it Siwakorn scores but what does the future hold? The next game comes almost half way through this season and will be are hardest test to date. Can we truly unseat the dominant force in Thai football?

In the last six months things have changed. The medium term future stewardship of the club has been settled, the squad has been slightly improved and we have kept a manager for long enough for him to take advantage of our staff nutritionist. All in all we are on the up. We are now once again in a position to qualify for the Asian Champions League. A tournament that may come to rival it’s European counterpart in the decades to come. We may be on the cusp of even higher highs. Things always change. My advice? Throw your hands up and rejoice but don’t look down.

 

Man of the Match: Boskovic

 

 

He has become an embodiment of the consistency Thai Port need to be at this season. Pitched in with a killer, patient through ball and a penalty all of his own making. That’ll do.

 

Brian Blanchfield

Brian Blanchfield

Originally from Ireland, Brian is a long-time Bangkok resident and Port FC fan. Lest his loyalty be in any doubt, in 2015 he achieved the rare feat of attending every single Port FC game, home and away!

More Posts

0replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *