Stingless Wasps Eventually Swatted: Port 2-0 Prachuap Jim’s Take

 

 

Arriving at the game yesterday I was met by the sight of a large pile of tickets on offer at a desk just inside the club shop. Having offered my season ticket, I was informed that these were for sale and season tickets were collected elsewhere. Not a good sign for the possibility of a sell out. So, it proved as just 936 people made it to the PAT yesterday. The club hadn’t helped itself by hardly pushing the availability of tickets to walk ups. However, this is a deeper problem that currently affects all of Thai football and is going to take a lot of effort to turn round. These are difficult times for Thai football.

 

No problems getting in even with a 25% limit.

 

When the team was announced there ensued some head scratching. At the back Worawut  Baresi (24) came in for Jaturapat (15) (who is away playing for the u23 national side).  While Bonilla (9) had recovered enough to take over up front from Patino (30). With three centre backs, three central midfielders, various possible formations were put forward but nobody expected to see a straight replacement at left back, as the team to lined up with a back four.  Sadly it was an experiment into the funky that didn’t work. There are strengths and weaknesses to Baresi’s game that make him prime for cult hero status (at centre back), sadly they don’t make him an effective fullback and most of Prachuap’s success, especially early on, came due to attacking him and exploiting the space on the left they found. That their succession of unmet crosses count as highlights of the first half, says a lot about a non event served up before the break.

 

Me…..a left back?!?!

 

Port were as wasteful and disjointed going forward, as last week at Samut Prakan Dons before halftime. Without Suarez (5) available to pull the strings we looked devoid of a spark. Chappius (6) asked to play in a more advanced role huffed and puffed but created little. In fact those in attendance who enjoy knocking him were the only people to take anything from the first half. Not that they can be called boo boys, as the atmosphere in the ground was again close to non existent and a few boos would have at least stood a chance of kicking starting the occasion in the stands.  It took till just before half time for Port to create a moment of note, as Go (8)’s long ball found Bonilla on the edge of the box. He did well having brought the ball down to create the opportunity to send a chip goalward over keeper Khanchai, who had advanced and having failed to get near Nelson, succeeded in leaving his goal unprotected, sadly the shot was just a little to powerfully struck and sailed just over the cross bar clipping the netting, tricking a few in Zone B into thinking it had gone in. A couple of minutes late Baresi, showing he’d clearly done some research on this leftback job he’d been given, decided to try something you only see in Roberto Carlos youtube clips. Taking a shot from all of 35 yards, sadly it was more of a risk to the travelling Prachuap fans than the goal.  Things were really getting going on the field now (in that something to mention was occurring, not that it had become a good game), as there was still time for Melo to send a tame shot on target into the arms of Worawut (36).

 

The rather pleasant sky was about the biggest highlight of an uneventful first half

 

Not that many of Sandpit regulars saw. Having absconded the stands, minutes before to precure refreshments though the fencing around the training pitch, as once again there was nothing on offer within the ground complex and seemingly no means of passing out. However, Port fans and sellers are nothing if not resourceful and there was a good selection on offer and despite the barrier between customers and sellers, it seemed demand was met quickly. After a dog of a first half, a second helping of one of Thailands soda water producers alternative products certainly appealed but l headed back in. Having missed a couple of mins, the crowd had already been stirred into greater life than at any point in the first half as a Bordin (10) dribble from inside his own half resulted in a shot from the edge of the area, that Khanchai could only parry, luckily for him it was just out of reach of the on rushing Patino and Prachuap escaped. Patino who had come on for Chappius was to play an influential role, as once again Port arrived for the second half of a game playing at a far higher level than before the break. Moments later a Pakorn (7) cross was nodded back across goal by Bonilla and just out of reach of Patino and Siwakorn (16). Shortly after than Bonilla was picked out by a quick free kick by Bordin and found the side netting. Port were well and truly on top.

 

Then in the 78th minute we had our Thai league required VAR moment. As a Bonilla chipped cross was sent over a diving defender and keeper into the middle of the six yard box for Bordin to head into the unguarded net.  Somehow the linesman raises his flag, the only conceivable reason is that Patino, not interfering with play, had strayed momentarily into an offside position during the build up. Still VAR will surely clear this up instantly. The only problem being the officials seemed to have no interest in using the technology available to them. How in a league that seems to have decided to strike out on its own and have VAR cancel yellow cards for elbows, are they not checking moments like this by default and quickly? It all took too long but eventually the check was made and the goal given.

 

One nil Port, lets celebrate (after a lengthy delay).

 

There after Port were able to coast home. There was time for a Pakorn corner to be headed home by Patino. A well deserved reward for the substitute, who had linked well with those behind him and Bonilla in the second half and played a massive part in the game swinging Port’s way.  In the last few minutes chances were wasted at both ends. However 2-0 felt like a fair reflection of the match. Prachuap never really got going. On the field there’s very little that looks hugely wrong with them but equally there’s very little that doesn’t leave you thinking they’ll be down in the relegation battle come the end of the season. A battle they hopefully win, so we can enjoy more of their likeable fans and  trips to one of the leagues better awaydays. For Port again it was a case of play like the second half for 90mins and we’ll be ok, play like the first half more and we’re more likely to be joining them in the basement than win anything.

 

2-0; Patino and Rochela

 

Coming up are an FA Cup tie on Wednesday v MBF Amphawa. A chance to give a few of the squad players a run out before next weekends home game against Chonburi.

 

Man of the Match – Phillip Roler (33)

When Port were shakey in the first half, he dug us out of trouble a few times and was barking his dissatisfaction at those responsible. Whilst he was again marauded up and down the right side for the entire match. There can’t be a right back that comes close to him in the league currently.

Special mention to Patino for his goal and massive influence in the second half and Dusit for making the change but nobody was getting close to Roller.

 

Roller: We knew he was good but not this good.

James Clarke

James Clarke

Originally from England, James first came to Thailand in 2010 to escape big cities and spend time on beaches away from crowds. He now divides his time between living in Bangkok and wishing he was living in Bangkok.

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