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It’s a Shame About Rayong: PTT 1-3 Port FC (Friendly)

 

Port won their fourth friendly in a row against PTT Rayong. The first half was played at a competitive pace with reasonable strength sides. The second saw a string of substitutions from both sides and was effectively a training exercise.

For the first time this pre-season Port started with a 4-4-2. Jadet maybe looking for a way to include Tana and Kaluderovic in the starting team. Maybe it’s a plan for a more attacking set up he wants to use in home games or when we need a result.

Starting line up was:

Weera (surprise start for the third choice keeper)

Nitipong Rochela Dolah Panpanpong

Pakorn, Suarez, Piyachaat Ekkapoom

Tana, Kaluderovic (I think I’ll call him Kalu from now on, that’s what the players were shouting today.)

Port dominated the 1st half, lots of chances. Port looked good as they should do against T2 opposition. Convincing as they were Port did miss Siwakorn in midfield and Meechok at right back both out injured. Tana starting is a good sign last game he only got five minutes at the end of the match.

The first half saw Pakorn getting forward and causing trouble for PTT. In the 4-4-2 Suarez held back a bit more than in previous games, but was still making runs into the box. Tana shot wide twice early on with Port looking to get first blood. Then Ekkapoom got a bit of space and played a decent ball across for Pakorn to knock in Port’s first goal.

For the second Pakorn made a good run wrestling past two defenders to get the ball to Ekkapoom who then tipped the ball across for Kalu to score.

PTT applied some pressure and got a debatable penalty there was contact, not a nailed on pen but a fair call.  A fairly soft spot kick was tucked away on the left, Weera went to his right.  2-1 to Port  a fair reflection of the first half. Tana and Kalu were OK up front for a first outing. Ekkpoom was involved in most of the attacking play, but he is still making too many unforced errors.

The second half saw a ton of substitutions from both sides. It was difficult to keep up with who was where. I kept asking Tom “who’s that bloke again?” Half the players had different numbers it was a mess. Most notably Worawut was back in goal for Port, he looked at home.

The revolving door substitutions broke up play for most of the second half. At the beginning of the second PTT had a bit more of the game forcing two corners in quick succession. They were unable to capitalise on the pressure they created their best chance hitting the woodwork.

On the 60 minute mark a mass of substitutes came on for PTT, 10 minutes later Port did the same thing. I’d say Port had the run of the game but only just. On 79 minutes the PTT keeper was unable to hold on to a decent shot and Gengki was on hand to turn in the ball from five yards out. The game finished 3-1

Notable points for Port in the second half.

Pinyo came on and played about 25 minutes. He looked good on the left wing, setting up a good shot for Asdrubal which he skyed, then minutes later skyed a shot of his own. If his is capable on the left wing and is back to 80% fitness I think we should try him there.

Marahao is still around he was his usual full pace self dancing round defenders. Being around this close to the beginning of the season suggests maybe he is there in case someone else pulls out of the squad because of injury. Possibly Asdrubal, but his injury is meant to be just a minor one. I think he’s around in case someone has a serious problem.

Speaking of Asdrubal he played his first game. He was ok for a player making his first pre-season appearance. Worryingly he did occasionally hold on to his leg and didn’t look 100%. People are saying it’s a small problem, but it’s not good for one of our foreign players injured before the season even starts.

The only two players that stayed around for most of the game were Pakorn and Piyachaat Srimarueang (38). It’s no surprise to see Pakorn on for 80% of the game but Piyachat is a bit more surprising. It looks like Piyachat might be edging out other midfield players for a starting place. Tatchanon also had another good game in central midfield.

This week’s new signing “Mr. Nirun”, the other half Thai half Swedish Port player came on and he played central defence. So at least we know where he plays now even if we don’t know his second name.

Another win for Port is always good to see. There are still some questions around this squad. If Siwakorn and Meechok are back on the first day of the season we should be in good shape to get a result against Ratchaburi at PAT Stadium.

 

MATCH REPORT: Port FC 3 – 1 Sukhothai

 

Port ran out 3-1 winners against Sukhothai in Thursday’s friendly at PAT Stadium. Port went 1-0 down early on, but equalized before half time and put in an excellent second half performance to secure a comfortable win.

Port started with Weera (1) in goal, Rochela (22) and Dolah (40) in central defence and Meechok (20) and Panpanpong (19) as full backs. Siwakorn (16) and Piyachat (28) operated in central midfield, with Suarez (4) tucking in behind striker Asdrubal(24). Both Genki (18) and Nitipong (34) were surprise selections on the wing, although Jadet is of course still experimenting with his team.

Sukhothai looked lively going forward in the early stages, but new signing Elias Dolah showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with this season with with some strong, fearless challenges in the air and on the ground. It was surprising, then, when Sukothai took the lead from a corner. Dolah was beaten – for the only time in the half – to a near post header, and the ball flashed past Weera into the Port goal.

Port responded with a sustained assault on the Sukothai goal. Genki, who is rumoured to be leaving the club when a suitable replacement can be found, missed three chances that he would have expected to do better with. If we was trying to convince Jadet to keep hold of him in 2017, he wasn’t going about it the right way.

Asdrubal, making his first appearance for Port, looked strong on the ball despite his diminutive stature. He turned a hopeful punt up the right wing in to an attack by out-muscling the opposing defenders and playing a smart pass inside when it looked like he had nowhere to go. He didn’t make the most of a good shooting chance from the edge of the area, but we’ll let him off as the playing surface was problematic for everyone.

Port looked a little lop-sided at times, with most of the good play coming through the middle of the park or the right hand side. Meechok got forward well from right back and made some dangerous overlapping runs past Nitipong, but on the left hand side Panpanpong and Genki showed little in the way of attacking intent.

Port’s equalizer came just before half time from a set-piece. Piyachat whipped a dangerous ball in, and Dolah stuck out a long leg to divert the ball goalwards. The ‘keeper managed to block the shot,but Dolah was on hand to bundle the ball in to the net and draw Port level.

 

An auspicious full moon over the PAT

 

As we’re used to seeing in friendlies, there were several changes made at half time, from both Port and Sukhothai. Worawut (36) came on for Weera in goal, and in defence Todsapol (6) and Piyachart (23) replaced Dolah and Panpanpong. New young signing Tatchanon (27) replaced Piyachat in the centre of midfield, while Pakorn (9) and Ekkapoom (8) took over from Nitipong and Genki on the wings. Maranhao (29), no longer a Port player but still training with the club, came on for Asdrubal in attack. Rochela, Meechok, Siwakorn and Suarez stayed out for the second period, but were all substituted later in the half.

Port’s left hand side looked much improved in the second period. Piyachart offered much more going forward than the more defensively-minded Panpanpong, and Ekkapoom played in his usual energetic and direct style.

It was to be Maranhao and Pakorn who would really turn the game in Port’s favour, though. Pakorn, looking slightly more slender than last season, was a constant menace down the right. He curled in a couple of fantastic shots which missed by just a few inches, and provided a trademark cross which Maranhao narrowly failed to connect with.

On the hour mark, though, Maranhao put Port in to the lead. He made a clever run in behind the defence, collected a through ball from midfield and side-footed a composed finish in to the bottom corner. Maranhao saluted the fans behind the goal,who were pleased to see him rediscover his early-2016 form. He may not be playing for us next season, but we wish him all the best wherever he goes.

Maranhao turned provider for Pakorn in the 78th minute. He twisted, turned and beat his defender on the left before showing excellent awareness to find Pakorn, who was in space on the right hand side. Pakorn powered his shot past the Sukhothai ‘keeper in to the bottom left corner, getting the goal that his second half performance deserved.

The pace dropped in the final 10 minutes, but Port comfortably held on for a well-deserved 3-1 win. Sukhothai finished 8th in the TPL last season and knocked Port out of the FA Cup with a convincing 4-0 win. Although this was only a friendly, a comfortable win represents a step in the right direction for a Port side aiming for a top half finish this season.

Lineups

1st half

Weera, Meechok, Rochela, Dolah, Pinkong, Siwakorn, Piyachat, Suarez, Genki, Nitipong, Asdrubal

2nd half

Worawut, Meechok (Pakasit, 76), Todsapol, Rochela (Anisong, 81), Piyachart, Tatchanon, Siwakorn (Siwapong, 72), Suarez (Wuttichai, 67), Ekkapoom, Pakorn, Maranhao