The Field of Broken Dreams: Bangkok Utd vs. Port FC Preview

 

Mission Impossible, or another rung climbed on the ladder of redemption? Saturday’s away trip to the far-flung Thammasat Stadium could make or break our fluctuating season and the portents are not good (and now we’ve got them in the Cup!). Prior to that stirring, toe-to-toe, 1-1 home draw on a mournful, emotionally charged night in May, Port had lost eight consecutive games to their cross-town rivals, with a negative goal deficit of 5-26.  In fact, the last time Port beat Utd in a League match was June 6th 2010. Port were pretty good back then, beating Buriram 2-1 in the Toyota League Cup Final and making it to the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup, losing to Al Qadsia of Kuwait 3-0 on aggregate. I was following Port in those days and this is the best squad I have seen at the club in those intervening 9 years, in spite of some mid-season hiccups.

With results largely going our way at the weekend, Port have a wonderful opportunity to stake a claim for at least second place and an AFC spot once more. It will be difficult, but, as Sir Winston Churchill once opined, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Dear Reader, which are you?

The Angels have had their wings clipped in recent times, losing to Prachuap and Chonburi, with draws against Nakhon Ratchasima and relegation haunted Suphanburi. With Port on a high after three consecutive wins, surely there is no better time to grab our first win on the road against them. What do we have to fear?

 

 

Nelson Bonilla (11), if he is fit, for a start. His haul of 16 goals this season is only bettered by Lonsana Doumbouya of Trat and he has nasty habit of scoring against Port. Even if we can keep him quiet, we do need to score ourselves and even our best attempts have been regularly thwarted by Danish/Filipino Michael Falkesgaard (1), probably the best goalkeeper in the league. Sanrawat Dechmitr (29) has also been a constant thorn in our side in recent games, but his temperament is suspect, as witnessed in his petulant sending off at Port, so maybe a good winding-up might see him get his marching orders again. This would be helpful, as he tends to make them tick. And of course there’s ex-MTU rightback Tristan Do (7). The only problem with winding up figures of hate at the Thammasat Stadium is that they will never actually hear you, its cavernous depth making it one of the worst away stadiums for both view and atmosphere. A far cry from the up-close, eardrum-bashing abuse they get at Port.

 

 

Port will be without Sumanya (11) for the next three weeks, which is a pity as he was beginning to show some form, as well as finding the net. Given Port’s recent form, it is unlikely that many changes will be made but with Pakorn (7) possibly still unavailable, Choke will have an interesting tactical decision to make. Will he be bold and adopt an attacking line-up (1) or prompt for caution (2)? I might have included Adisorn but am not sure what has happened to him during my long absence.

 

Option 1

 

 

Option 2

 

 

Whichever of these fascinating permutations he goes with, I am going to, for once Sir Winston, be the optimist, and predict a 2-1 Port win. You have to, don’t cha!

 


 

The match will be shown live on True4U and True Sports HD2 at 19:00 on Saturday 24 August, 2019. For those who can’t make it to Thammasat Stadium, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound. Don’t forget to wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount on drinks.

 

Peter Hockley

Peter Hockley

Peter 'Hockers' Hockley is currently the School Librarian at St Andrews International School, Sathorn and has lived in Thailand since 1992. He has followed Port home and away since 2010, with unbridled devotion and his famous woolly hat. He is a co-founder member of the Sivakorn (is a football genius) Appreciation Society (SAS). At present, the Society boasts a membership of, well, two. Peter has written travel articles for The Nation and Sawaddi magazine, and once had a letter published in Charles Buchan's Football Monthly which won him 5 guineas.

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