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Just Plain Rayong: PTT Rayong 1-0 Port FC

 

Pressure makes diamonds” opined one of our travelling party as we discussed Port’s current situation on the way to the Meccano-esque PTT Stadium. The rest of the suitably lubricated gentleman and additional beer monitor carefully considered this statement until I offered a well thought out counter-argument; “pressure can also make you piss yourself.” Wise words indeed but sadly I was proved right as Port continued their alarming dip in form that has seen them go from top of pile to mid-table mediocrity and possibly something much much worse.

It all started so well with a midweek cup victory against The Scum which many had hoped would propel the team back to some decent form and retake the initiative in the league. None of our rivals had pulled away from the chasing pack and Port could take heart that it wasn’t just us fucking about. Also it was set up as a cracking away day; a bit of beach action followed by an early evening kick off at a decent stadium, so this had expanded from your normal football trip to 2 minivans, an additional car and several others on the Thai coach.

 

 

The highlight of the day was Bang Saray beach; a beautiful spot at a good arm’s length from Pattaya that isn’t too overcrowded and a great place to spend a few hours doing sweet FA. We split into 2 groups; those who wanted to eat in chairs (and sand-phobic) and those who prefer to be a little more horizontal while they dine. Moving between the 2 groups, it was a charming afternoon and really we should have stayed all day there if we had known what “entertainment” was in store for us. On a side note, my afternoon was rudely interrupted by a rogue mussel that made me evacuate the contents of my stomach and get a standing ovation from our group upon leaving the roadside toilet; a touching moment I will never forget.

 

 

The first half was a tepid affair only punctuated by 2 things; Bodin’s (10) behind the halfway line shot that keeper Peerapong (30) tipped onto the crossbar and someone spotting a reasonably attractive woman in the home stand which prompt a group of us to wave furiously at in a desperate effort to get her attention. Oh, Rayong’s Big Scary Bastard Victor (5) missed a tap in from a set piece. The lack of quality from both sides was clearly evident and many of us voted with our feet to nip off for very early beers.

 

“Hello, you!”

 

The second half was not much better; the game’s only moment of quality was the goal. Dennis Murillo (92) was given time and space due to Martin Steuble (15) being out of position and he sent a delicious curling shot into the far top corner over Worawut (36). Jadet, sensing the knives sharpening, sent on Pakorn (7) for the totally ineffective Sumanya (11) and Josimar (30) for the woeful Blackburn (99) and things got a little better. Pakorn’s shot forced a smart save and seconds later the ball was fizzed across the box by no Port player could turn it in. Then Josimar missed our best opportunity, running smartly onto a free kick which he placed the wrong side of the post.

And that was that, Port fell to yet another defeat with a performance of zero merit in a game that was frankly painful to watch. Jadet’s diamond formation offers nothing; Siwakorn (16) is uncomfortable playing to the right, Bodin doesn’t have license to roam in order to effect play and Sumanya, effectively the same player as Suarez, has been playing bollocks for far too long and doesn’t justify a starting place. Players we normally depend on like Dolah (4) and Suarez (5) aren’t performing to their usual standards and the new players seem pretty “meh”. Steuble had been solid but was at fault for the goal, Tanaboon (71) seemed very nervous at centre back and “El Toro” Blackburn put in a 1/10 performance and that’s me being very generous. We might as well have played with an actual bull up front. Credit to Dolah for talking to the fans at the service station after the match and also Watchara (1) who said a very brief hello to me and the missus. We must also call out Go (8) who swerved us when he saw a large group of us in Burger King; not cool and I hope you were gutted you didn’t get your whopper.

By the end of the weekend it was confirmed that Jadet has been relieved of his coaching duties and shunted upstairs, just like the ill-fated Zico experiment, and in comes Choketawee Promrut as coach while Spencer Prior becomes team manager. Again it looks like Madame wants to experiment and keep Jadet around as an insurance policy in case it all goes south, but something, anything needed to be done to stop the rot. New people bring fresh ideas to the table and hopefully there won’t be too much meddling in the background (stop laughing at the back), although 3 senior roles means there are already a lot of cooks ready to spoil the Port broth and Madame and her lackeys are standing right behind them armed with extra ladles.

 

Man of the Match: No One

 

Nope, none of them deserve it. I’m not even going to give it to the fans because all we did was bitch and moan then bugger off to drink outside. The opposition were just as bad and Murillo isn’t getting it for the goal because he was an absolute shithouse with a top knot. It was that bad an afternoon.

 

Port Hoping to Clean Up The Oil Slick: PTT Rayong vs Port FC Match Preview

Port take on PTT Rayong’s Oil Millionaires away this weekend, great to be by the seaside, a great stadium with no running track. This might not be the fun day out at the beach everyone is hoping for. Sometimes you can enjoy a beer sitting out in the sun, sometimes you get hit by a random flying parasol it knocks you out and you end up at A and E. So what’s in store for Port?

Rising Oil Prices

Port managed a draw against what I thought was a decent PTT side at PAT. However their dire early results suggested it was 2 points dropped at home as PTT got off to a woeful start to the season subsiding down to the relegation zone. I had marked this team to go down having another typical yo-yo season. Their marquee signing Jay Emmanuel Thomas showed some skills at PAT but moved about as quickly as a marquee. The JET has moved on after 1 goal from 12 games.

Recently there’s been a surprising rise, PTT have beaten Korat and Samut Prakarn away from home in a run of 4 wins out of their last 5 matches. This is not the time to be playing Rayong. They were not in the FA Cup on Wednesday and they currently sit in 6th place, only 6 points behind Port, after gaining 6 points in their last two games and their mid-season deal with Satan seems to be paying off.

A Tale of Two Victors

At the heart of Rayong’s defence they have Victor Igbenfo(32) from Nigeria via Indonesia and Victor Cardoza from Brazil via Hell, the same man we all loved to hate at Chaing Rai. S.F.D.’s might be more of a worry this weekend, Scary Foreign Defenders may well give Rolando Blackburn a nasty welcome on his first seaside outing in Thailand. PTT also have Saharat(10) a decent attacking midfielder who’s as stick thin as Siwakorn but also has Siwakorn’s work rate what’s more he’s scored 2 in the last 4 matches and made Samut Prakarn’s defenders look decidedly average in the 3-0 implosion at Bang Plee. Dennis Murillo(92) has just returned to Rayong in the transfer window, after he helped PTT to get promotion in 2018 he was booted out for a bigger name at the start of 2019. The return of Dennis has helped Rayong cement their recent discovery of decent form. Rayong are likely to set up with Dennis and Apiwat(9) up front. The Rayong number 9 had a very average start to the seaon, but has scored 3 goals in Rayong’s latest run of wins including a beauty against Prajuap.  Manager Teerasak Poo-on has managed to shit on 4 out of the last 5 teams he’s faced, he will not be too worried about this current Port team.

2 of Cups

Port must be in a better frame of mind after two Muangthong players gifted us a victory in the cup. I normally have a go at Jadet for not changing formations, unfortunately when you don’t change things for 3 years any sort of change comes as a shock to your players.

After looking reasonable at the beginning of the season in this formation Sumanya (11) managed a new level of incompetence. Siwakorn (16) played poorly, looking uncomfortable in his new position. After having everyone in the middle at one point then two players standing next to each other on the wing, I was ready to throw in the towel and say comeback 4-5-1 all is forgiven. If you change formations every now and again then players can work with it, but the team on Wednesday looked out of sorts, the attacking midfield diamond did no one any favours. Back to the drawing board big man, after a hug from Milan.

Struble(15) had a good match working hard throughout the night. The formation proved this team needs to wingers to create standard stock opportunities no fancy diamonds needed here. Nittipong (34) and Strueble fill in well giving other options on the wings in a 4-5-1 but they shouldn’t be played as out and out wingbacks it’s asking them to do too much. Next thing you know we’ll be asking Pakorn to come back and defend. Speaking of Pakorn(7) he proved absolutely nothing new coming on and delivering the killer ball into the box for Teerasil to knee in. We know he can cross, he’s just a lazy player. He reminded everyone of the fact that he’s lazy but we still need him for set pieces and crosses like that. Come back Pakorn, but nothing is forgiven.

Likely Seaside Set Up

Rattanai (17)

Nittipong(34) Todsapol (6) Dolah(4)Streuble(15)

Go(8)

Pakorn(7) Suarez(5) Siwakorn(16) Bodin(10)

Blackburn(99)

As Port and many Importz head down to the seaside this Saturday I just hope the oilmen’s wells will run dry and Port will be celebrating Blackburning up the beach front.

Honest Prediction

PTT Rayong 1-1 Port

PTT Rayong vs Port FC 5.45 p.m. Saturday 20th July. The match is live on True Sports 2 , HD 2 and True 4U. If you can’t make it to Rayong, please support our sponsors The Sportsman who will be showing the game on a big screen.

Know Your Enemy: Ariel Strikes

 

With a catch-up game between Chiang Mai and Chainat scheduled for Wednesday, I decided to delay my run-down of gameweek 9’s results. Unfortunately that means my memory of almost two-week old games is less than crystal clear, but I’ll do my best!

 

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Victor Immature: Port FC 1-1 PTT Rayong

 

 

There’s an old Irish saying that goes…An Irishman has an abiding sense of tragedy which sustains him through temporary periods of joy. Hmm, it sounds like that Irishman might be a Port FC supporter. The 13th place PTT Rayong were the visitors on St. Pats Day at St. PAT stadium. Ever since the Rayong side was promoted I have wondered aloud whether PTT stands for Pretenders to the T1 Throne or just Pretty Terrible Team?

(90 minutes before kickoff) Why the forlorn looks on supporter faces? Has the Madame re-signed Vincent to a multi year contract? No, rather it’s a ban on beer sales until kick off because it’s election day.
(60 minutes before kickoff) the forlorn aren’t so forlorn anymore. Did you know a popcorn cup can be used for more than just popcorn? Who knew?
(Kick off)…a near sell out again. The atmosphere is electric. The big change in the home side line up is #19 Pinkong filling in for an injured Sumanya. Right from the opening minute the pace is lively. Wait a darn minute! Could someone please tell #99 for PTT Rayong he’s in the wrong sport? Middle linebackers belong in American football. Yikes, J. Emmanuel Thomas or J.E.T. is one big dude.
(20′) Port strike first as Suarez delivers a lovely ball to Siwakorn in the box and he steers it over to Kevin who drills it home. 1-0.
(22′) one of the story lines of this match was how would the injury depleted Port defence handle the Rayong attacks. Pinkong thwarted the first probe by the middle linebacker, uh sorry, Centre Forward J.E.T. much to the applause of the near sell out crowd.
(33′) The newly acquired J.E.T. delivered a gorgeous advance ball (a jet) to blondie #9 Apiwat Pengprakone. He split the defence of Dolah and Nittipong and blasted it high to an open net. One for the highlight reels.1-1. Great support in the away stands. Rayong supporters are loud and proud. Good to have them up in T1.
(44′)…J.E.T. delivers another advancer to #7 Rodriguez but Worawat makes a great save.
(HT)…it’s a mad dash for the exits as the election beer ban has been lifted. I vote for more beer!
(45′) Bodin subs in for Pinkong and he makes an immediate impact. He and Siwakorn and Suarez penetrate the Rayong defence several times but keeper Ruenin was easily Rayong’s MOTM.
(53′) Port attack and attack again but nothing to show for it. #5 Victor is his usually pesty self.
(60′) Siwakorn header? No.
(68′) Go shot on goal? Sorry.
(74′) Nitti blasts one? High.
(77′) Siwakorn is subbed off for Arthit to give the Port attack more firepower. The Rayong keeper has the luck of the Irish on this St. Pats Day.
(85′) I count 7 scoring chances for Port in the last 20 minutes. Wow. The match ends in a 1-1 draw. Port deserved three points in a very entertaining St. Pats Day clash. Port are in 3rd place, just one point away from top o’the league. In closing, I have some good ole Irish advice for Rayong’s #5….Never iron a four-leaf clover, Victor, because you don’t want to press your luck.

 

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Kevin Deeromram

Many candidates but I’ll go with Kevin. Dangerous all match.

 

Gas Panic? Port FC vs. PTT Rayong Preview

 

The question following that fantastic Friday night trip to Chonburi is: shouldn´t we all just stay at home the rest of the season instead of diluting our glass of football with lesser experiences? Especially with Sunday being the first election day, and hence, a dry day in all of Thailand. Well, I for one am banking on the hawkers around the PAT figuring out that the polls close at about the same time the game kicks off and that therefore they should stay open for business. If you want to be sure, going to the shop before the weekend and getting a few cans to bring with you wouldn´t hurt though. But, with Pakorn (7) having a whole night of long shots to make up for after missing Chonburi due to injury, some throats in and around the Sandpit may be better off sticking with tea anyway.

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Slumdogs vs Millionaires: Port Face PTT Rayong in Friendly

 

Port continue their pre-season schedule this Saturday when they travel down the coast to face newly-promoted PTT Rayong (aka The Oil Millionaires). PTT won T2 last season (ably assisted by former Port striker Josimar Rodrigues) and have had a very impressive transfer window, bringing in experienced T1 figures in Victor Cardozo, Ariel Rodriguez and Victor Igbonefo, as well as a surprise signing in former Arsenal striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Time will tell whether they’re a Prachuap or an Air Force, but Saturday’s game should be a good indicator.

The game takes place at the PTT Stadium and kicks off at 17:00, with admission free.

 

Kim Sung “WON” It: Port FC 5-0 PTT Rayong, FA Cup 2nd Round

 

 

FA Cup 2nd round (32 teams) Wednesday 4th July

Port started this cup match with pretty much a full strength team. Worawut (36) stepped in for Rattanai (17), probably just to give Rattanai a rest. The one notable absence was Pakorn (7), maybe he was injured, maybe being rested. I’m sure he would have enjoyed being told he was too precious too risk in this match. The rest of the Port set up was familiar to us all. There was no Sergio Suarez (5) as he’s out injured due to return against Air Force.

 

Starting Line Up

 

We have seen this before Adisorn (13) as a defensive midfielder. Kim (8) looking very happy to be pushing up in an attacking midfield role creating chances, passing to the wings and enjoying some rare time in the opponent’s penalty area.

PTT Rayong currently sit joint top of T2 with two other teams on 34 points. One of those teams is Trat F.C. who they play on Saturday. So you could forgive PTT for prioritising Saturday’s match over the Cup.

Port started the game well, looking to get forward. PTT occasionally ventured forward but looked like a team ready to soak up the pressure then occasionally counter attack. The pressure took its toll as Port opened the scoring with a goal from Kim, yes Kim. Kevin (97) floated a great ball in from the left finding a diving Kim in the six yard box. Not the most graceful of players, Kim seemed to half dive half fall over. Low marks for technical merit, but a goal buried in the back of the net and that’s what counts. Kim had a great game finding space in the lackluster Rayong defence. With Adisorn  darting about the midfield Kim looked like a player on day release from prison, happy to be the midfield impresario he dreams of being while carrying out his defensive duties. He’s a bit slow at times. I’m not sure he’s got 90 minutes in him running about in the Bangkok heat. As this is the case he will idle around the midfield a bit too much, but when he needs to make a run he can turn on the pace. Del tells me he’s been on top form for the last 10 games, I’m not so sure but I’m struggling to think of a bad game he’s had for a long time.

 

Port Take Control

On the half hour mark that man again Kim set Nurul (31) free on the edge of the area to only for him to be dragged down in the box, enter the Dragan. Boskovic (23) slotted home the penalty to put Port two up. Have penalty duties switched after Rochela’s miss at the weekend or are they alternating the penalties? It will be interesting to see who picks up the ball for the next spot kick. Now Port finally started to look at ease with the game and attacked with a bit more conviction. Five minutes later chasing a long ball Boskovic muscled his way past a Rayong defender to be confronted by the Rayong keeper ten yards outside his box. The keeper had decided to charge out with roughly the same forethought and sound planning as the charge of the light brigade. Bosko knocked it past him towards the corner then set up a wide open Siwakorn (16). It was such a tap in even the goal shy Siwakorn felt a bit reluctant to celebrate it and just congratulated Boskovic on the pass. Fast forward five minutes it was Nurul sliding the ball into Boskovic to tap it in from 4 yards out.

 

Written in the Stars

With the 4th goal going in on the 44th minute the planets were aligning and this game was decided. You got the feeling if games could end by mutual consent both sides would have been happy just to call it a day and prepare for the weekend’s fixtures. But they can’t, this is the game we have chosen to play and watch, the cross we have to bear. We all had 45 unnecessary minutes to go through.

 

Raining on Kim’s Parade

God himself decided to test the patience of the fans and the players as the heavens opened at half time. Fans took a sort of shelter under Zone C. Tim and Achim argued about the exact phrasing of a question about our 4th goal scorer “Who’s got 4th?”, or “Who’s got number 4?” or was it “Who did get number 4?”. Sheltering fans were treated to a new Thai Port version of Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on first” sketch.

 

A Second Half of Two Halves

After watching the first half from up top in Zone C (a change is as good as a break), I wandered to Zone B with my plastic raincoat on. The Port faithful now divided into two halves. Half of the fans were soaked and half of the fans were less wet but starting to sweat. The bogged down pitch saw periods of play where 22 footballers looked around thinking, “I hope he doesn’t get injured we need him to play well at the weekend”.

 

Playing it Safe

Nitipong was subbed off for Chakrit (9) which looked more like a preventative measure, maybe he got a knock, but more likely he was being saved because we have no decent back up at right back. In a similar vein Nurul was subbed off for Terens (28). Hard working as ever Terens finally had a bit more time to shine on Wednesday night but failed to light up PAT. A couple of average crosses and a shot at the keeper were all he had to show for half an hour of hard work.

Port did have more chances, throughout the evening Bodin’s work in midfield was good, but his finishing was shocking. Speaking of shocking shooting, Arthit Butjinda (29) was subbed on for Siwakorn, he came on and missed two gilt-edged opportunities. At one point Boskovic was talking to him in the box shrugging as if to say, “What was that? I just put that on a plate for you?” he then tapped him on the back by way of encouragement, but his body language was saying, “Maybe this shooting lark isn’t for you, maybe you’d be good at defending, or maybe squash is your game?”.

 

Game Set and Man of the Match

With 10 minutes to go Boskovic jinked through two defenders then unselfishly tapped the ball to Kim. Kim then thumped the ball past the keeper from point blank range to add an emphatic fun-filled full stop to the night with a fully deserved brace of goals. Man of the Match: Kim Sunghwan

 

Full Time Port 5-0 PTT Rayong

PTT Rayong largely happy they had no injuries. The group of 15 die-hard away fans drenched but banging away on the drums all night really deserved a goal for their troubles. Port’s solid defence made sure they didn’t get one, but they were duly saluted by the remaining Port fans of Zone C and B. Port advance to the last 16.

In the post-match conference the PTT manager praised Port for the team’s all round ability and wished us well in the Cup. He did go on to add the squad he put out was a mix of some first team players and some “kids he was giving a chance”.

Elsewhere in the FA Cup things went largely to form. The “favourites” were displaced in a few games with Pattaya, Ubon, and Sukhothai losing to Bankhai, Naraa and Nakorn Pathom respectively. However these three sides were no doubt a lot more focused on the hard work of grinding out three points at the weekend to save their season, rather than the old tradition of putting out a decent team the FA Cup.

 

Everybody Loves Rayong: Port FC vs. PTT Rayong, 4 July 2018

 

After the comfortable 5-1 win over amateur minnows Thamuang FC in Port’s first FA Cup game of 2018, Port face a rather trickier assignment in the last 32. PTT Rayong sit atop T2, and have just signed a Brazilian striker who has knocked in 2 goals in his first month with the club. You might remember him, he’s called Josimar! Whilst Josi and The Oil Millionaires are looking pretty slick at the moment, having eased past Ubon Kids City (yes, really) 2-0, there are a couple of reasons they will not be relishing their trip to PAT Stadium.

Firstly, they may top T2, but securing promotion is far from a formality. Both Nongbua Pitchaya and Trat are level on points with them, with Chiang Mai just one back. For a team like PTT Rayong who have been knocking on the promotion door for years, it would seem like the cups really ought to take second priority, particularly when they’re facing one of the form teams in the country on Wednesday, while promotion rivals Trat FC pay them a visit on Saturday. Secondly, Port are at home. No one wants to play Port at home.

 

PTT Rayong

Players to Watch

 

It’s usually pretty tricky to come by good information on teams outside T1, but PTT have got a few players worthy of note.

Top of the list is of course Port’s top scorer in 2017, Josimar (77). The Brazilian who led Port’s attack last season was not without his critics, but there can be little doubt that he is a T1-standard striker. Fortunately, Port’s back line know very well what they’re up against and will be prepared for their teammate’s fired-up return to PAT Stadium. They will know a lot less about his striking partner, though. Dennis Murrillo (11) has spent some time in T1 with Chiang Rai and Osotspa, scoring 9 goals in 27 games, but has really found his feet in T2. He top-scored for The Oil Millionaires in 2017 and has 11 so far this season, and is another one Port would do well not to take lightly.

 

 

The midfield looks rather less threatening. Journeymen thirty-somethings’ to a man, including third Brazilian Wellington Bruno (86) who is the stand-out man. Wellington had one excellent season in T1 with Chiang Rai, but with just a single goal to his name in 2018, it appears his best days are behind him.

 

 

The Oil Millionaires have a useful looking ASEAN player, though. Ryuji Utomo (5) is an Indonesian-Japanese defender, and seems to be the resident hard man, having picked up 4 yellow cards and currently being suspended from league action for a straight red. Then again his Wikipedia page says he likes to read books, so you never know. Along with Koravit Namwiset (27), who was a Thai national team regular under Zico, and former Buriram full-back Anawin Jujeen (6), PTT have a defence that wouldn’t be at all out of place in T1.

 

 

Form

Including their 2-0 win over Ubon Kids City, PTT have won three, drawn two and lost one in their last six. Rather more interesting than their last 6 games, though, is who they face next. Co-leaders Trat FC travel to PTT Stadium on Saturday. It certainly isn’t outside the realms of possibility that key men could be rested with this clash in mind.

 

Port FC

Suarez Injured

 

Port, however, are expected to field another strong lineup. Top-scoring Sergio Suarez (5) is unfortunately unavailable having picked up a knock last week, but Kim Sung Hwan (8), who will miss the T1 visit of Sukhothai having picked up his eighth yellow card against Ubon, will be available for the cup tie. Looking at the surely unnecessary caution that was taken to secure victory against Thamuang, I expect that Port will field a near full-strength XI.

The search for a system that works without Suarez goes on, with the most recent attempt – sticking Nurul (31) up front – being very unconvincing indeed. Whilst Nurul’s pace does undoubtedly cause problems for the opposition, he would be of much more use out wide, while Bodin (10) looks better suited to playing through the middle. In the last round of the cup Arthit (29) started alongside Boskovic (23) up top and notched two assists, although his all-around performance didn’t impress Port’s traveling support. Option three is bringing in Adisorn (13) and pushing Kim further forward. Against a pretty mediocre looking midfield this is certainly an idea worth considering.

Whatever Jadet goes with, Port will be heavy favourites to advance to the last 16. Let’s just make sure we go in to this clash thinking that that’s the case!

 

Predicted Starting XI

 

 

 


 

As with most cup games we’re not quite sure which ones will be on TV, but you can be sure that if it’s on and you can’t make it to PAT Stadium for 19:00, 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.

 

Josi’s Back! Port to Face PTT Rayong in Chang FA Cup

 

The draw for round 2 (last 32) of the Chang FA Cup has been made, and Port have been drawn at home to T2 side PTT Rayong. This means a reunion with 2017 top scorer and Sandpit favourite Josimar Rodrigues, who joined PTT in the June transfer window. PTT currently lie 3rd in T2, 2 points off the top spot with a game in hand, so Port won’t be taking the game lightly and we can expect Jadet to put out – or at least be told to put out – a strong XI for the game.

The match will take place on Wednesday 4 July, 19:00.

 

‘Yong, Three and Jingle: Port FC 2-3 PTT Rayong (Friendly)

 

You couldn’t have had a more perfect evening for football. Cool December weather, a stunning red sky over the PAT, and the Sandpit posse clad in santa hats and knocking back festive Leos. Unfortunately Port took the concept of goodwill to all men somewhat too literally and gave their T2 opponents Rayong rather too many presents, in what turned out to be a fairly unremarkable friendly.

 

 

It was a Thai-only affair, with Port’s foreign contingent being given some Christmas time off – although Boskovic was watching from Zone A and I also spotted someone looking suspiciously like Kim Sung Hwan worriedly scrutinising the half-time sausages.

Port kicked off the first half with a largely second string XI, including a couple of unknowns – a tall, balding centre back (no55) who didn’t impress at all, and a youth team player taking over Tana’s 99 shirt, which hopefully means the Moustachioed Assassin is on his way out.

The first half hour was largely uneventful, the only action of note being Rayong’s constant and highly entertaining physical assaults on an increasingly pissed off Wuttichai (14). They’d clearly not done their homework and thought that the best way to stop Port is to stop Wuttichai, when in fact the best way to stop Port is to simply give Wuttichai the ball, stand back and let him get on with things. Foul after foul was committed on the no14, and had it been any other player we’d have been howling in outrage, but in this case we were cheering every one.

 

 

The game finally came to life on the half-hour mark when a cross from the left was nodded past Watchara (66) to give Rayong a deserved lead, and five minutes later a similar move put the visitors 2-0 up. I can’t tell you the exact details as I was busy topping up my Leo. Port almost pulled one back when a trademark Pakorn (7) curler (a free-kick, not a turd, just in case you were wondering) was acrobatically tipped over the bar by the Rayong keeper.

Port started the second half with a stronger side, with Worawut, Todsapol, Nitipong, Siwakorn and Adisorn all joining the side. The impressive Pummared, Pakorn, Meechok and Bodin all stayed on, though depressingly Panpanpong replaced the excellent Yossawat at LB.

Pakorn started the siege of the Rayong goal on 52 minutes when his shot was narrowly tipped over the bar, and then on 10 minutes a lovely through ball put Nurul (31) through on goal only for the balding linesman to raise his flag for offside, which led to him getting considerable abuse from a certain santa hat-clad section of the crowd, which he took in good spirit and engaged in a bit of BANTZ.

 

 

On 60 minutes, a Bodin (15) pass found Nurul who was scythed down from behind and the ref pointed to the spot, Pakorn stepping up to convert. 1-2 and the momentum was now definitely with Port, with both Nitipong (34), Pakorn and Nurul coming close to equalising. Sadly though the next goal went to the visitors, thanks to a lovely 25-yard curler into Worawut’s top corner, and they nearly made it 4 five minutes later but were denied by a brave Worawut (36) block.

Port did pull one back late on, when a Pakorn free-kick picked out Bodin on the edge of the box who fired into the bottom corner, but it was too little too late, and Rayong ran out deserved 3-2 winners.

 

What Did We Learn?

  • Yossawat is an excellent young LB – quicker and stronger than Panpanpong and with a good cross on him, and most importantly he gets back into position quickly when the opposition has possession. He should be Port’s first choice in this position next season
  • Jadet is going to have fun trying to accommodate Pakorn, Nurul and Bodin, all of whom were excellent. Pakorn played as a striker in the second half and looked less comfortable there than he does on the right, but it’s hard to make a case for Nurul playing anywhere else than on the right so the Midfield Monk may find his game time limited next season. Bodin looks like he can comfortably play just about anywhere
  • Over both halves, Pummared was my MOTM and showed that he deserves to stay as backup for Hwan at DM. Calm on the ball, accurate with his passing and reading the game well, he’s a better option than Adisorn’s headless chicken routine
  • Port’s lack of Thai strikers is a concern. Yes, Boskovic will get a hatful of goals with the service he’s going to receive, but if he’s injured or suspended there is literally noone to replace him and Port need to bring in reinforcements in this position ASAP