Samut Smash and Grab: Samut Prakan City FC 2 – 1 Port FC

 

 

Judging by its ramshackle condition, the pet shop opposite the away end of The SAT Stadium has been around a lot longer than Samut Prakan City. Well, we all know SPC is actually Pattaya in disguise, unceremoniously uprooted at the end of last season by a “local businessman” and depriving us of one of our favourite away days. I’m guessing the owner of the pet shop must have been rubbing his hands in glee; specialising in rabbits, it’s the perfect place for irate football fans to pacify themselves after watching their team lose. The “Sea Fangs” (no, I don’t have a clue) are riding high in the league and judging by their performance yesterday many away fans are going to be running to those rabbits.

 

Here Hares Here

 

This includes Port fans, the latest victims of SPC, who watched their team concede 2 goals in the first 10 minutes, miss a penalty and generally play without any cohesive game plan. The absence of Dolah from the back four spoke volumes and, with no striker leading the line, Port suffered their second consecutive defeat and now find themselves in 3rd place in the chasing pack behind Buriram. Our rivals seem to be moving through the gears and grinding out victories while we seem stuck in neutral with no clue how to get out of this rut.

 

Big turnout from the Farang Army

 

Let’s deal with the first half. SPC took the game by the scruff of the neck and on the sixth minute took the lead with a well worked corner. Jakkapan’s near post corner was flicked on by Tapla and Brazilian forward Ibson Melo was at the far post to head it in. Worse was to come a few minutes later when a swift counter attack stretched Rochela and Todsapol out of position and Melo provided the low cross for Yoryoei to tap home. Both goals were clearly rehearsed on the training ground, with the coaching staff looking to disrupt our defensive shape and take advantage of our best defender’s suspension. SPC would have scored a third were it not for Watchara’s instinctive point blank save.

Port huffed and puffed but created only a few chances; Suarez with 2 headers and Bodin screwing his shot wide. Watchara saved at the feet of Melo to keep us in the game and then Suarez had an excellent curling shot saved by Patiwat. Then a lifeline; Suarez is tripped in the box by Sarawut and the ref awards a penalty. Both our regular penalty takers, Rochela and Boskovic, didn’t step up and gave the responsibility to Suarez. His effort was poor, a tame shot straight down the middle of the goal and saved by Patiwat’s legs. A miserable end to a truly wretched half.

The concept of “Toby Time” is well known on the terraces and, with no hope in this Port team, I set off for an ale with some mystical goal-getting juju. Pakorn almost provided this with an audacious long range lob and Bordin tested the keeper from distance. Sarawut then compounded his evening with his second yellow, a reckless challenge on Pakorn. In conclusion, Toby Time can work in other transcendent ways. So with wind in our sails and the opposition down to 10 men surely Port could pull this one back from the brink?

 

 

Errrr no. SPC were happy to play conservatively and Port were limited to long shots and arcing crosses which means headers cannot get any power or placement. Only once did we fashion a chance on the floor which Boskovic, putting in yet another lacklustre performance, prodded wide. Port finally made a breakthrough in the 89th minute; Nurul racing to the byline and squaring the ball for Suarez to smash into the roof of the net at close range. Sadly there was no more momentum after the goal and SPC closed out the 4 minutes of injury time largely untroubled.

So Port find themselves at a crossroads with this latest defeat; teams are starting to suss out our tactics; Go or Siwakorn bring the ball forward then play out wide and try to influence play around the edge of the box. The lack of a striker means opposition centre backs can set their positions with no disruption and just have to deal with balls into the box. Our creative players don’t have an outlet for their final balls and no one wants to play upfront. Sacrificing a defender or a midfielder would have been the obvious thing to do in this match but Jadet decided to bring Kevin on for Panpanpong which is frankly ridiculous. For me the signing of Josimar is good but not enough; he can certainly bang in the goals in T2 but will he do it every game in T1? I’m not so sure but I hope to be proved wrong.

 

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Watchara

Some fine saves to keep us in the match and more fighting spirit than the rest of his teammates combined.

 

Toby Knight

Toby Knight

North Londoner, Arsenal fan and believer in lucky cigars, Toby decamped to Bangkok 2 years ago and happily stumbled upon Port FC last season. The rest, as they say, is history.

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