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!


Read more

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.

Read more

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.




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



Festive Friendly Football Fun at the PAT This Saturday


Port have announced their latest pre-season friendly, at home to T2 side PTT Rayong on Saturday 23 December at 17:00. Rayong narrowly missed out on promotion to T1 last season finishing 5th, and so should provide a bit more of a test than Tonburi and Chonburi Reserves. They also have possibly the most amusingly-named goalkeeper in Thai football in Bandit Suksa.

For Port fans, the game is a good excuse to gather for a few pre-Christmas Leos (Santa hats obligatory) and hopefully see new signing Dragan Boskovic make his first appearance as a Port player – what better way to celebrate the festive season than by waiting in expectation to catch a glimpse of a large bearded man?


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.