Posts

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

 

Standard team line up pic and that sky

 

It was a game of two halves at PAT Stadium this weekend for the visit of PT Prachuap. Port claimed the victory but it wasn’t pretty at times and needed an inspired substitution to spark the revival in form.

 

Firstly I must applaud the club for being much better organisation this matchday. Granted, the crowd was much smaller than the match against Buriram but they handled the entry, document checks and general accessibility very well this time around. There was even a free gift of hand gel, with the quote “honesty is the best policy” on it which you know is a little weird. Keeping with the weird theme, coach Dusit reached for the lottery ball machine for his line up, selecting Worawut “Baresi” Namvech at left back and leaving 2 specialist full backs on the bench, and sticking with Charyl Chappuis in place of the suspended Suarez.

 

The less said about the first half the better. It was a terrible watch. I brought my other half along and almost felt like apologizing to her. She described it as “watching boys” which I’m not sure if that’s a scathing Chinese put down or just an honest assessment of what we witnessed. The formation, passing and movement in both offensive and defensive phases was woeful. The 3 centre backs played a very stretched defensive line with Dolah crowding out Roller and Pakorn, and on the other side Baresi couldn’t offer any penetration because that’s not his usual position. Chappuis was again ineffective, his best moment was dropping deep to play a lovely 25 yards pass to Bordin but he couldn’t affect anything in the second striker role. Prachuap had the best 2 chances early in the half with 2 fizzing crosses from the right and Bonilla had Port’s best chance but just lobbed over the crossbar.

 

A first half to leave you needng a nap

 

The second half thankfully brought some initiative and energy from Port and they dominated the next 45 minutes. Dusit thankfully recognised the deficiencies from the first half and threw on Patino in place of Chappuis, and clearly instructed Bordin to play more centrally in order to create more chances. I was very critical of Patino playing as a striker against Samut Prakan last week but it’s clear he’s an attacking midfielder and was the catalyst for the victory.

 

Several chances were squandered until the breakthrough in the final 15 minutes. First Roller seized on a loose ball then touched it to Bonilla. He then drove into the box and squared the ball for Bordin to head into an empty net. The Prachuap back line appealed for offside but VAR confirmed the Port winger had managed to just stay onside. A few moments later a Pakorn corner was headed/shouldered into the net by Patino for his first goal for the club and that settled matters. You’ll have noticed I haven’t mentioned anything else about the opposition and that’s on purpose; they didn’t offer much in the second half apart from some shithouse antics from their keeper.

 

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

 

On reflection it’s fair to say Dusit recognised the problem and found the perfect solution for the second half but the initial team selection and the tactics were once again poor. The players selected are unable to do their jobs for a variety of reasons so maybe the task isn’t to try to hammer home a strategy that the players are not comfortable in executing but tinker and find the formation and starting line up that can create a formidable team. Know Port and Thai football in general. I’m not holding my breath but let’s see which team turns up for the visit of Chonburi next weekend.

 

MOTM: Javier Patino

 

Both goalscorers could have won the award but Bordin was part of the first half clusterfuck and Patino was the catalyst which started the revival. Clearly he should be Suarez’s replacement in the event of an injury and childishly earned suspension.

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.

GET THE MORTEIN, THE KILLER WASPS ARE ON THE WAY

 

After the draw away to Samut Prakan last week, I’ll admit to feeling a bit deflated, whilst also quite frustrated with a few of the players. Our first-half had been dire, there’s no other way to put it, and although we were a lot better in the second-half: we threw away a well-earned lead. I get the feeling that this is going to be quite a tightly contested race this season, so to be throwing away so many points early on in the season, there’s only one way to describe it: not good enough.

If you look around the league, there’s no debating that we’d have assembled one of the most expensive wage bills within, and it’s time for certain players to either justify their exorbitant salary, or be moved on. For a team that seems to be wanting to work towards silverware, we sure as hell know how to handicap ourselves at the same time!

Regardless, it’s PT Prachuap that we welcome to PAT Stadium, and I’m hopeful that we can snap out of our funk, whilst welcome back some of our players from injury. Their form has been equally as patchy as ours, though they’ll be much happier with where they are on the table this season, compared to last. Masami Taki seems to have ironed out a lot of the issues that plagued them last season, whilst some smart recruitment has also seen them bring in some handy players, and allow underwhelming performers to depart.

Take note Port management: poor performers CAN be moved on, regardless of how useful/pretty they might be for marketing purposes.

 

Dusit is the right manager for us: it’s time to back him properly

 

WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE

Better organization would be nice. I understand that we have injuries, which means that players that typically don’t play, need to come into the starting-11. That’s not really the issue per se. The issue that I have is how far off the pace they are, when you compare them to the player that they’ve replaced. When it’s a youngster, you can handle that, as they just don’t have the experience. When it’s a seasoned pro, it makes it even worse in my opinion, and that’s when you have to wonder what the plan is moving forwards. We currently have a lot of players that, in my opinion, don’t fit with the way that Dusit [ultimately] wants us to play.

Will he be backed in the mid-season transfer window, and allowed to bin off the under-performing players that don’t fit his plans? That’s my big question at the moment.

There’s no doubting that we play good football at times, and when we’re on: we’re on. But there’s also a genuine lack of consistency in some of the players, and we need to be laying down standards that everyone needs to meet. The club has gone through and sacked head coach after head coach for a while now, so, hmm… maybe it isn’t the head coach that’s the issue!?

This is how we lined up last week:

 

 

Simply put: it didn’t work. The backline was, for the large part, somewhat reliable, but at the key moments: they went missing completely. What played out in the moments leading to Zarifović scoring our hosts opening goal was simply unforgivable. A free header, from what… 7-yards!? The second goal we conceded wasn’t as bad, albeit it wasn’t good defending either, but it was easier to accept than gifting a player the ‘freedom of the province’ to nod home.

Our players out wide were nullified in the first-half, but came to life in the second, so there’s no cause for concern for us there. The same can be said about the Go-Siv tandem, that may not be all that spectacular, but is able to get the job done time and time again. It was the attacking-third where we had issues, and I’ll allow you to put 2+2 together to see where a lot of the issues stemmed from. We lacked the vision that Suarez offers, and his ability to unlock opposition defences with a well-weighted through ball, and that was a major problem for us. Bordin and Pakorn weren’t getting a steady supply so to speak, which made their jobs a lot tougher, and we didn’t seem to have that ‘killer instinct’ within the 18-yard box either.

I think Patiño made some good runs over the course of the game, and if he can just become a ‘touch and shoot’ style of striker, and not one that HAS to take his man on, then he’ll score a lot more goals for us. He had a couple of chances to get a shot away, but overdid things, and the chance fizzled away.

 

This is how I’d like us to line up on Sunday:

 

 

Honestly, I’d prefer us to play a different system, but we just don’t have the squad for it at the moment. To me, this isn’t the style Dusit prefers either, having watched him rather extensively in his recent spells at Trat and Bangkok Glass. Having also spoken to players who player for and against his teams in the past, they’ve said as much to me as well. I’d only really ever seen him use a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 in the past few years, bar a few games, though I’m sure that over the course of his career, he’s used other formations. For me, I like that style of football, and I’d really like him to be given the freedom to make a number of ‘biggish’ moves in the mid-season window.

Regardless, the changes I made were Worawut, Jaturapat, Dolah, and Charyl dropping out of the XI, with Rattanai, Worawut Baresi, Thitathorn, and Nattawut coming in. The only forced change in there would be Jaturapat dropping out, with him currently in Mongolia with the Thai Under 23 national team. The other changes are all based on form, or lack of, and I won’t go into detail on it. I’d even be willing to start Nurul instead of Nattawut if necessary, I just think that Nattawut would be of more use to us in a central position.

If you allow Roller to bomb up and down the right-hand side in support of Pakorn, and ask Thitathorn to stay back a bit more to allow Bordin the freedom to “cheat” a little defensively so that we can use him as a quick outlet, I think we’re in a much better place come Sunday night.

Whilst I hope that Bonilla will be back soon, I don’t want us to rush him, and the same can be said about Kevin too. I was delighted to see them both pictured training the other day, and whilst I’m eager to see Kevin back in the line-up, but we have to do it at the right time, or we’re going to see him back on the physios table almost instantaneously. Getting him back would be a real “win” for us, and almost like a new signing in a way. Jaturapat has done well in his absence, so I wouldn’t be against us playing Kevin on the left-wing if I’m honest. Unfortunately, that affects Bordin, and so on. A nice headache for Dusit to have regardless!

 

 

A sight for sore eyes! Kev is back in training, as is Nelson, Tanaboon, and Adisorn.

 

A QUICK LOOK AT OUR OPPOSITION

I’ve only watched our opposition for the full 90-minutes twice this season, against the Scum on Matchday 1, and against Khonkaen United a week later, with the only footage of them I’ve seen since being the highlight packages that come out on YouTube. There’s plenty to like about the way that they play, but with that being said: they’re definitely a team we SHOULD beat. Ultimately, that means nothing, and these are the games that we typically find a way to somehow lose. It’s the curse of being a Port fan! They’re not a free-scoring side anymore, unlike their ‘heyday’ in 2018 when they had Lonsana Doumbouya and Jonatan Ferreira Reis on their books. With Reis currently stinking the joint up in Thai League 2 at Muangkan, it seems that they moved on from the temperamental Brazilian at the right time. What they would do to have Doumbouya back though!

As I said in my season preview of PT Prachuap, I think their current ‘key man’ is central-defender Adnan Orahovac, who does a fantastic job marshalling the backline. Whilst they’ve only kept two cleansheets [so far] this season, they’re also not conceding as many goals as they did last season, with them currently on track to concede 41-42 goals this season if they concede at the same rate for the remaining 22 games. That’s an improvement of 5-6 goals, and when you consider that Orahovac missed the first-leg last season, you then see his importance to the backline in my opinion.

If Patiño can just be a pest and distract him for the 90-minutes, that’ll help us quite a lot.

 

IN CONCLUSION

I apologize if this preview came across as somewhat negative, and that wasn’t my intention. I’ve seen quite a lot this season from the lads that I’ve enjoyed, whilst there’s also things that they’ve done that have frustrated me. The frustration is due to knowing how talented they are, and being disappointed that they’re not performing to the level that we all know they’re capable of. It’s like when your father says to you “I’m not mad son: just disappointed.”

With that being said, I’m going to go out on a limb, and predict a 2-NIL win for us on the weekend. With the attendance still being capped at 25%, you’ll have to act fast to snap up a ticket, and comply with all the restrictions in place. If you want an enjoyable alternative, I really can’t recommend a trip to The Sportsman [on Sukhumvit 13] to watch the game enough, with them showing the game on a big screen.

And, as always: SUSU TARUA!

 

A throwback image from a game in 2015, which was shared by the Humans of Thai Port page.

 

Fans can attend the game, with capacity limited to 25%. Season ticket holders can collect their tickets from 1300 on matchday. The match will be shown live on NNU5 and AISPLAY (possibly limited to AIS network users) at 1800 on Sunday 24th October 2021. If you don’t have a ticket, the best way to watch with fellow Port fans is to head to The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 who will show the match on a big screen.

Port and Ref Prach Things Up. Match Report Prachuap 1 -3 Port.

 

 

 

This winning thing appears to be a habit as Port made it two wins in a row, emerging from last nights trip to Prachuap with a 3-1 victory. Whilst it was once again basement dwellers that were beaten this was a higher stand of opposition than the Rayong side faced at the weekend. Although they were weakened by the continued absence of William aka Thin Bill. Port meanwhile made 5 changes and seemed to approach the game with a different style to the normal 4-3-3.

Which had little time to become apparent before Port put the ball in the net. As one of the changes, Boli (94) got on to the end of a Pakorn (7) corner and headed home. Sadly, the referee had blown for a foul by the scorer on Prachuap’s Filiposyan (16), who as the saying goes went down rather easily for a big man, after what appeared to be the merest of touches from the (non) scorer.  The process would be repeated in the 6th minute as Prachuap keeper Natthapong’s (13) hospital pass to Adul (25) was nicked by Suarez (5) on the edge of the box who squared for Boli to send the ball goalwards. Sadly it would be the officials in the VAR room who would deny Boli this time, as no matter how many angles and lines they looked at, they all showed he was a matter of inches ahead of Suarez at the moment the ball was played.However, the Ivorian would enjoy his most productive appearance in a Port shirt since signing from Ratchaburi, looking somewhere close to the player who bagged 8 goals in 13 league appearance for the Dragons. Seemingly enjoying a more fluid system that saw him and Bonilla (99), often playing more centrally with one dropping deeper into spaces normally occupied by Suarez. Who at times played as a more traditional central midfielder.

After that spell of initial Port dominance, Prachuap grew into the contest and would create a series of half chances of their own, the best of which saw an unmarked Saranyoo(87) just fail to get a touch on a deflected shot with the  goal at his mercy. Prachuap’s right wing back was a pugnacious irritant for the 72 minutes he lasted on the field, at the forefront of what appeared to be a tactic to rough certain Port players and generally break the game up while the scores where level. However, the deadlock wouldn’t last long, as from the resultant corner Port broke with Go (8) sending a well weighted long ball down the left flank for Bonilla, who once gain turned provider and crossed for the on rushing Boli to send a diving header home. Leaving the officials with absolutely no means of denying him the opening goal for a third time. The official in charge was Natee Choosuwan, who last took change of a Port game, for Burriram in 2019, putting a sterling performance to get the Thundercastle a 3-1 win.

 

Third times a charm, Boli gives Port the lead

He would have a hand Port’s second of the night, just after the half hour, as he awarded a freekick (rightly) for Suarez being brought down on the edge of the Prachuap area. Just one of a succession of fouls, as he seemed to be the primary target of the previously mentioned targeted fouling. Pakorn  stepped up and with Port forming their own wall in front of the defensive one, which may have impeded its positioning before disintegrating just as the winger struck the ball or perhaps its was just a wonderful freekick that was going in anyway, sent the ball into the top corner.

 

Pakorn makes it 2-0

 

 

As is traditional when Port go 2-0 up they set about making things uncomfortable. As the second halfs better chances generally came the hosts way, first Chutipon (6) would rattle the woodwork. Then a loose pass from Go was collected by Willian Mota (30), who’s though ball allowed Pumin (9) to poke the ball past the advancing Rattanai (18) and make it 2-1. A trick Mota nearly repeated moment later this time it was Chutipon on the end but Rattanai collected at the second attempt. With the risk of an equalizer leading to Oud engaging in some touchline self flagellation growing by the minute, the match was settled by a comic goal, thankfully the way of Port. As Natthapong raced out to clear Suarez’s ball into pace for substitute Adisak (9), just getting there first, only to succeed in blasting his clearance on to the boot of the striker and back into his net.

 

An “instinctive” finish by Adisak to wrap things up

This weekend Port face Bangkok United at home, the game will have fans in attendance capped at 25% of capacity, at the time of writing there is no word on how tickets will be allocated, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear.

 

 

Man of the Match.

Its not often you score 3 and don’t get man of the match but Boli is technically only credited with one. Pakorn’s freekick was a thing of beauty and nearly get him over the line. Kannerin had a good game covering for the suspended Siwakorn, to the point that one member of the Sandpits Sivisgod cult referred to  him as “the next Siwakorn” – praise doesn’t come much higher. However once again most of the good things that happened for Port had Suarez heavily involved.

 

(Less) BAD VS. (Close to) WORSE: PORT FC VS. PRACHUAP PREVIEW

Port travel to Prachuap for this evenings fixture, well given that I’m writing this at lunchtime on match day, you’d hope they’d already travelled. Maybe even been rewarded with a night by the sea by the club, for ending a run of six games without a win last time out against Rayong. The game will be part of the first round to allow fans to attend since the most recent restart, with stadiums, allowed 25% of their capacity to be used. Good news for this weekends home match v Bangkok United.

Tonight’s host find themselves in what increasingly looks like a three way battle to escape the last relegation spot along with Suphanburi and Sukhothai. A relegation battle which is looking like a disaster for those of us who like a beach based football away weekends, with Rayong and Trat’s plight looking beyond salvation, the possible of Prachuap joining them would be somewhat of a disaster. Sadly the T2 promotion race offers absolutely nothing in the way of possible coastal replacements.

 

Prachuap Form

Since the league returned at the start of February, they’ve managed 11 points from 7 games. A repeat of which from their remaining 7 fixture would almost certainly be enough to stave off relegation. The highlight of which was a 1-0 home win over Chiangrai United. The Killer Wasp’s sole victory against top 7 teams this season, against whom their record is 1 win 2 loses and 7 defeats so far. Scoring in just 3 of those 10 games. Although that does include their visit to (not) the PAT, as Port emerged victorious 2-1 in a home game played at the Leo Stadium, way back in the floodlight failure period of this protracted season. The last week of February saw a bit of a dip with a 4-0 defeat to the Samut Prakan Dons, followed by back to 1-1 draws with Ratchaburi and Police. The match v Ratchaburi being particularly remarkable, set for 4 minutes of second half injury time, it saw penalties scored in the 98th and 103rd minutes. As you may have guessed the wonder of VAR arrived to once again improve everyone’s match experience, first giving one of its ball to hand penalties to Prachuap converted by Mota (30). There was still time for Ratchaburi to earn a penalty of their own, with Roller’s spot kick saved by Nattapong (13), resulting in a joyous pile on of Prachuap players. Sadly for them, Filiposyan(16) had entered the penalty area before the penalty was taken and given that it was he who hacked the rebounding ball clear, there was no option other than a retake. Converted by Langsil, some 13 minutes after the scheduled end of the game.

Players to Watch.

 

Thin Bill and his little shorts, still striking fear into defenders across Thailand.

To be honest, I’ve not seen a whole heap of Prachuap this season and given the limited time I’ve got to write this preview, I’ll not be diving deep into the youtube highlights. So in classic style its based on a couple of games, one of which is their last match against Port and some outdated opinions from past seasons.
Hence the obvious starting point Wiliam (10) aka Thin Bill the former Chiangrai player. A well know menace to Thai defences, he did miss the last match but if he plays whoever gets the nod in Port’s problem left back role can expect a tough evening. He’s performances appear to have maintained the level of past seasons to the point, l recently saw Prachuap described as William plus 10 others. Fellow Brazilian forward Willian Mota (30) has managed a respectable 12 goals so this season.
Which means the Brazilian striking due have managed 18 out of a total of 27. The next best is Chutipon (6) who is the only other player to score more than once.
Keeping duties have recently been taken over by Nattapong (13), the one game he’s missed since getting his first start, saw the Wasp’s concede 4, while he has conceded once in each of his 3 league starts. However, the real reason for mentioning him is he A) wears a Petr Cech style scum cap and following on from yesterday’s report he is the only keeper to wear 13 to face Port so far this season.
We next come to their pair of hulking centrebacks the earlier mentioned Uzbekian Atyom Fliposyan (16), who signed for Prachuap when they joined T1 in 2018, returning in January this year having departed before the start of this season for Indonesia. Alongside him is Montenegrin Adan Orahovac (22). What you get from these to is classic physical centre back play, such that you couldn’t rule out them continuing their partnership beyond football making a career in low budget action movies credited as henchman 4 and 5.

 

Port

Siwakorn (16) and Bordin (10) picked up yellow cards against Rayong. While Dolah (4) has served his and is available for a return. Will we rotate ahead of the bigger challenge of Bangkok United at the weekend? Should we, given the lack of form shown by some? Do those who offer their opinion and influence on team selection even take these things into account? I’d personally start Suarez (5) and Go (8) on the bench for a bit of a rest and start Nattawut (45) and Kanarin (31).

The match kick off at 1900 Thai time and is being broadcast on T Sports and 1 play. As well as being shown by The Sportsman on Sukhumvit soi 13.

Sticky Reis vs Fried Chickens: PT Prachuap FC 2-1 Port FC

 

Thai domestic football returned after its annual midseason unnecessary bullshit break, with Port making the journey south to take on Prachuap. The good news, Prachuap aren’t going anywhere soon. The bad news nor are Port, as we were defeated 2-1 in a match that had that a familiar feel of Port defeats that have come before.

The hope was that the tail end of the season would see Port put together a run of victories that would push for an ACL place, either via catching and surpassing Bangkok United for second place or the somewhat less assured route of Buriram adding cup success, to the now seemingly inevitable league title and a third ACL spot being awarded on league position. On last night’s evidence it is Prachuap who will have a greater interested in this battle. Bangkok United, had by the time we kicked off, already won the Rangsit derby 3-2, giving them a 9 point cushion. Come the final whistle it would remain intact, while victory for the Killer Wasp and the forces of footballing evil Legoland branch, means that Port remain in third spot on goal difference (or whatever FAI are using this week) over the lizards, with Prachuap now a mere point behind.

Thailand’s finest stadium khazi

That Prachuap are where they are says a lot about the state of Thai football, this isn’t a team that does more that be well organised and exploit the ability of its front men. The sum is considerably greater than its parts. In essence they are the opposite of Port. Find the right players for your system and play to their strengths. No square pegs in round holes, you want a target man you go and sign a Guianese SFS, who is about the biggest and scariest in the league, rather than signing the leagues top scorer and asking him to morph into a targetman, when its clearly the last thing he is. It seems a simple ideology yet it’s well beyond the brains trust at the PAT, along with most other clubs in Thailand. Prachuap do it wonderful and should be applauded, with owners and managers across the land looking to replicating it. Least we forget that this collection of journeymen Thais and unheralded foreigners were tipped by every preseason prediction article I read to make a swift return to the second tier. That they won’t and if they keep doing their thing will be a fixture in league one is great news, not only because it is a victory for an underdog but also because it means the opportunity to return to this excellent small Thai seaside resort. The ground is neat, well positioned in town, the home fans are noisy, passionate and friendly, to the point of visiting the away end for a prematch love in (who amongst couldn’t enjoy Ming and a 6ft killer Wasp having a dance). They buck the trend of over charging visitors with tickets at 100TBH. It also has the finest away end toilet l’ve seen in the league. Its not perfect our stand had a massive scoreboard in front of it (good thinking stadium design people, might I suggest the back of the stand next time). It also features a running track, which wasn’t quite wide enough to obscure the calamity at the far end that unfolded just a minute into the game.

Port had kicked off and looked ok for a good 50 seconds, when the ball was given away and a hopeful ball forward was collected by Kevin. Whilst Jonathan Reis(10) was pursuing, it should have been a simple back pass, however it was woefully underhit. Allowing Reis to nip in, the advancing Worawut manages to get to something on the attempted shot but only succeeds in playing back into Reis, off whom the ball rebounded into the goal. Not an ideal start but still plenty of time to turn things round. Except it was to be one of those nights where Port never really got going. Inside the first 7 minutes Prachuap would add two decent shots from outside the box, it amounted to more threat on goal that Port would offer over the entire evening.

 

Great place for a scoreboard

 

As the half wore on Port would come to have the majority of possession but it was always lacking an sense of any cutting edge. Generally, the same trick. Our wide players, Pakorn and the returning Nurul would get the ball and be supported by the full backs, at which point it would be utterly predictable, balls failed to beat the first defender or were easily cleared by the centre backs due to the lack of a target man. I can’t blame Boskovic for not getting on the end of any of the service he was offered, its hit and hope as often as not and he’s just not the type of player to feed off that sort of service. Not once do l recall a ball into space for him. On one occasion he managed to get the ball at his feet, he beat 3 defenders before his attempted pass resulted in a scramble and no attempt on goal. Nurul at least tried to create something different with the occasional dribble and was on his return was subjected to endless fouls the ref had little interest in stopping. Seldom did we try and create though the middle, on the two occasions someone went crazy and didn’t just pop the ball out wide, penalty shouts resulted. The first when Suarez burst though only to be tugged back and the second in first half injury time when Nurul made the most of contact by the keeper, both were deemed offside, having seen the Nurul call it looked an error from the officials.

The second half started in the same manner. Then after 57 mins Kevin fired a ball to the box and having drifted inside Nurul collects and has a shot blocked. It rebounds and is fired into the goal in a bit of a scramble, from my vantage point at the far end and judging from the celebrations, I thought he had fired his second attempt into the net. The official league website has awarded the goal to Boskovic but from my viewing of the highlights appears to be former Port player Piyachart Tamaphan (99) with a bizarre attempted clearance towards goal (and maybe the merest of contact with Bosko). However it went in, it was a scrappy goal and hardly validation for the “tactics” on show. A more reasonable team would at this point dig in and make sure they take at least a point for a match away against a team close to them in the league. So it was no surprise when five minutes later Reis had put the Wasps ahead again. Cutting in from the right flank unchallenged he shoots from the middle, his first effort blocked the ball falls to him again and he curls it past Worawut into the top corner. This attacking using the middle and taking the odd shot from range thing really seems to work.

Port then pushed the full backs even further forward (yep I know I told you’d seen this one before at the start), leaving the now seemingly back two of Rochela (22) and Dolah (4) ever more exposed. Prachuap brought Doubouya(21) who instantly set about causing havoc, I can only presume he wasn’t fully fit as 90 mins of his muscular battling would surely have seen the margin of victory increase. He had the ball in the back of the net in the 83rd minute only for it ruled out for offside, it wasn’t. Nobody should be more grateful than, the otherwise excellent, Dolah who had been picking up the Guinean before leaving him to drift to the near post and play him onside. And then it ended. As meekly and limply as Port in attack though out the match. See you all at the PAT for Chainat, it can’t be any worse than this or the last time we played them…can it?

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Nurul

The guy who signed off the away end toilets was getting a place on the podium till the 78th minute. At which point Anon (20) surpassed him. Doumbouya had since coming on been involved in a war both physical and verbal with any Port player in his vicinity. With 12 minutes to go he attempted to break past the Port midfield only to be met by a perfect body check from the former Leicester man. Not only did he flatten the Scariest SFS he remained on his feet. For that alone he should be applauded. However he offered far more than the once again invisible Siwakorn who he replaced. The only other Port player to excel where the centre backs and Kim. That said there was only one contender for the award, Nurul. His running caused more issues for Prachuap than the combined output of his teammates. He won endless free kicks, got in the faces of the opposition, deserved a penalty and wound up the home fans, including giving a few thousand people flack as he walked off. Its great to have the little fella back.

 

Panta Devils Welcome Khlong Toey Army: PT Prachuap FC vs Port FC Preview

 

Football’s coming home. After an enforced absence of 5 weeks, during which the Thai Under 23 team forcibly argued the case for not having a Thai football season at all to allow maximum preparation time for yet even more abject early departures, Port are back in action, although home ground on this occasion is more likely to be the Sportsman Pub.

This is another trip that I had carefully planned out in my head: back from East Timor, suitably reinvigorated by a thrilling home game against Buriram, then winding my way down south, via Hua Hin, for a glorious football weekend at the seaside. The season had gone on for so long without a hint of a change that we thought maybe, just maybe, this time there would be no disruption. It was not to be, so my deckchair will be replaced by a bar-stool, no doubt amongst other frustrated adventurers.

In reading several articles analysing the Thai U’23’s early exit, amongst the reasons given was, ‘lack of preparation time’. This does not bode well for future disruptions. Complaints were also made, and they may have a point, about the lack of decent Thai strikers at T1 level. Most teams, even outside the top six, opt for SFS’s (no need to explain), thereby limiting the development of local goal poachers. No doubt the FAT, in their ‘wisdom’, will come up with the perfect, inexplicable solution.

I had thought that the Thai Football Association was pretty unique when it came to bizarre, last minute, administrative decisions. That was until last week.

‘The Copa Libertadores second-leg game between Santos of Brazil and Independiente of Argentina was abandoned after police clashed with the home (Santos) crowd – who had been told only 12 hours before kick-off that rather than being level on aggregate they were actually 3-0 down.’ (BBC News)

This was, apparently, the result of an offence involving a suspended player three (yes, 3) years previously. Anyway, it was enough to spark off riots during which the police employed batons and percussion grenades to keep the enraged Santos fans at bay. Eventually, the game was abandoned with Independiente going through to the next round. It would be fascinating, and not a little scary, to imagine the scenes at PAT if a similar decision was made before a deciding game against Muang Thong. ‘Blood in the Sandpit’ the headlines ring out.

Port are finally back in competitive action on Wednesday with a tricky trip to Prachuap. The Killer Wasps have made a rapid rise from Regional League 2 since their founding in 2011 and, after a slight mid-season blip, have maintained their early season form to sit just 4 points behind Port in 5th place.

As Tom quite rightly pointed out in his preview for the reverse fixture, their main threat will come from the trio of Jonatan Reis (10), Lonsana Doumbouya (21) and Amorn Thammanarm (17) who have, incredibly, shared 39 of the 45 goals Prachuap have scored this season; Reis topping the list on an impressive 20 goals. I make no apologies for highlighting them again. Given this, the battle between this trio and our centre-backs and holding defensive midfielders will be crucial, which is why, fitness levels willing, I might go for a back three.

 

 

If Port have a fully fit squad available, although Nurul is probably still a doubt, I would fancy Anon and Siwakorn to get amongst them while Dolah and Captain Rochela, joined by Todsapol, will have to be at their most alert. I might go for this slightly defensive starting line-up, although Nitipong and Kevin offer options going forwards on the wings.

 

 

Pakorn, Bodin and Nurul (if fit) options for a quick change from the bench.

This is the first of our last 8 games which will determine if the joyful optimism at the start of the season was justified. In reality, the highest we can probably achieve is third place, which, in normal circumstances would see us just miss out on the AFC Cup qualifying place. However, I believe there is a possibility that should Buriram, champions elect, also win the FA Cup, the qualifying place that would earn, will be given to us. I stand to be corrected but, if true, what better incentive could there be for a rousing season finale?

In assessing those games, home wins against Chainat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Suphanburi and Chonburi have to be a given, while away wins at Navy and Pattaya are eminently do-able. That leaves the two difficult away matches at Prachuap and Chiang Rai, where I think we will drop points. Being eternally optimistic, we can look to get 18 points out of our final games. Obviously, the games against Prachuap and Chiang Rai (6 points adrift) will be vital, with both rivals for that third slot. However, it is in our hands, let’s grab it!

For those nerdy train-spotter types who like to anxiously fixate on the possible outcome of these things, like me, here is a quick guide to the 3rd place contenders run-in, assuming, of course, that Bangkok Utd do not implode. Chiang Rai could negate all of this by winning the FA Cup but their heavy game load in both Cups definitely puts them at a disadvantage.

 

Port

Muang Thong

PT Prachuap

Chiang Rai

Prachuap (A)

Chonburi (H)

Port (H)

Buriram (A)

Chainat (H)

BEC Tero (A)

Chiang Rai (A)

Prachuap (H)

Chiang Rai (A)

Ratchaburi (A)

Chonburi (H)

Port (H)

Nakhon Ratchasima (H)

Buriram (H)

Navy (A)

Bangkok Glass (A)

Suphanburi (H)

Chainat (A)

Nakhon Ratchasima (A)

Navy (H)

Navy (A)

Sukothai (A)

Chainat (H)

Ubon (H)

Chonburi (H)

Pattaya (H)

Suphanburi (H)

Nakhon Ratchasima (A)

Pattaya (A)

Bangkok Utd (H)

BEC Tero (A)

Chonburi (A)

 

A note on the main heading: The Panta Devil (I have added the plural, as I assume there are more than one of them) is/are the official Prachuap fan group who often provide information and welcomes for visiting fans. Quite what a Panta Devil is and its association with Killer Wasps I have yet to determine. But, if you are going to Prachuap and see a Panta Devil, please say hello. A rudimentary google search came up with the disturbing image at the top of the page.

For those of us who actually work for a living and cannot afford the luxury of a midweek trip to the beach, the game will be shown live in The Sportsman Pub on Sukhumvit Soi 13 at 8.00 p.m. Wear your Port shirt for discounted food and drinks.
Ta Rua!

 

PT Prachuap FC v Port FC

Wednesday 5 September 20:00

 

Prachuap Khiri Can’t: Port FC 1-0 PT Prachuap FC

 

 

After a run of three defeats in a row, Port got their season back on track with a hard-fought win over the high-flying Killer Wasps of Prachuap. It wasn’t pretty – Port rode their luck on several occasions and could’ve had no complaints if PT had sneaked a draw or even a win – and it wasn’t enough to hide the fact that Port’s chronic weaknesses are still present, but when you’re on a run like that, grinding out an ugly 1-0 is exactly what is required.


Before the game I had the honour of spending some time with Thailand’s No1 Expat Football Fan (The Big Chilli), Peter ‘Hockers’ Hockley. It is a measure of the man’s humility and modesty that he is still happy to spend time with us lesser mortals in the Sandpit, and to impart his footballing knowledge to those who sit at his feet, and I think I speak for all of us when I say how privileged we felt to be able to bask in the glow of his magnificence.

 

“Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

 

After the Adoration of St Hockers we had a football match to watch, and a very important one at that. With Port on a run of three defeats, the season – and Mme Pang’s expensive project – was in danger of going up in smoke, and coach Jadet staring down the barrel of a very stylish, limited edition diamond-encrusted gun (assuming Central Embassy has a firearms boutique). A win was required, and the Spherical Supremo (c Tom Earls) went back to his side’s last win (against Air Force) for inspiration, with Kim (8) taking the Suarez role in midfield. Otherwise it was as-you-were, Jadet keeping faith with the likes of Pakorn (7) & Boskovic (23) despite neither of them offering much in those last three matches. Jadet’s loyalty to certain players may well prove to be his undoing this season.

Port almost got off to a dream start on 3 minutes when a Pakorn (now sporting a Beatles-style moptop) free kick forced a spectacular save from the Wasps’ keeper (makes a change from beekeepers I guess). Despite the ball dropping at least 2 feet behind the goalline, the referee inexplicably awarded a goal kick, much to the Midfield Monk’s rage.

As is often the case (ie every bloody week) Port failed to turn their early pressure into goals and Prachuap got into the game. Whilst they’re a very fit, physical, well-organised side, they’re somewhat lacking in creativity, their sole tactic being to get the ball forward to foreign strikers Reis (big, skillful) and Doumbouya (very big, rubbish). Doumbouya was competing for and winning every aerial ball that was flung in his direction (Boskovic please take note), but thankfully he is a real 50p Head and his headers were flying off in all directions apart from Port’s goal. The big Frenchman’s diving is even worse than his heading as he showed on 20 minutes, earning not even a glance of derision from the ref for his efforts.

 

 

Five minutes later Port almost took the lead when Kevin (97) pinged a sublime cross into the heart of the Prachuap area. To the amazement of all of us, Brent McGrath, oops sorry I mean Boskovic, dived into a 50-50 challenge with the keeper and both ended up in a heap, which led to the Benny Hill-esque spectacle of nurses running around on the pitch. All that was missing was Jadet repeatedly slapping an old bald man on the head (and there were plenty of those in Zone B).

The game restarted, and on 32 minutes Port broke the deadlock. A sublime long pass from Kim, having his best game at the PAT so far, found Pakorn on the left, and the Bangkok Beatle skipped past Prachuap’s full-back and laid the ball on a plate for Siwakorn (16), who couldn’t miss from 8 yards out.

As any entomologist will tell you, wasps are at their most dangerous after, er, conceding a goal (I’ve not really thought this through), and Prachuap laid siege to the Port goal for the rest of the half, Reis almost taking out a couple of Sandpit regulars in Zone B with some wild long shots, and Doumbouya being denied by a heroic block from Todsapol (6) after Rattanai (17) spilled a shot he should’ve saved.

The Wasps came out for the second half like they’d caught a whiff of a jam sarnie or a Raspberry Mivvi, and continued to swarm around the Port penalty area as if it was an English pub beer garden in August. Doumbouya tested the Rat on 47 minutes, and then clattered into him a minute later, forcing Jadet to make a tactical change, taking off Todsapol and replacing him with the bigger Dolah (4). It is somewhat bizarre that it took Jadet 50 minutes to notice that Doumbouya is a big bastard – we pointed it out in our match preview two days ago, and it makes you wonder how much research Port’s coaching team do into the opposition.

 

“Deep pan Italian Sausage, extra cheese please”

 

The change made Port look a bit more solid at the back and they started to get back into the game, and on 67 minutes Nitipong (34) nearly raised the roof (if there was a roof) with a 30-yard thunderbastard which was acrobatically tipped over bar by the PT keeper.

Five minutes later it was real brown trouser time in the Port defence, the kind of moment where you can almost believe that some higher force (St Hockers perhaps) had Port in its divine protection. Some nice work down the right by a PT winger found Doumbouya in the box. His low shot beat Rattanai but bounced back off the post to Dolah, whose hurried attempt at a clearance bounced back off the crossbar. Prachuap are probably still wondering how the hell they didn’t score; Dolah is probably apologising to Port’s laundry staff for the state of his shorts.

After this very squeakiest of squeaky bum moments, Port settled back and closed out the rest of the game, and the final whistle was greeted with the kind of exhausted relief you feel when that wasp that got into your office or classroom has finally been guided out through a window or twatted with a rolled up newspaper. No, it wasn’t the kind of swaggering, swashbuckling win we like to see at the PAT, but Prachuap, as their record this season shows, are a very good side. Port’s old weaknesses remain, particularly up front where Boskovic is clearly struggling and needs to be replaced by Arthit ASAP, but the win takes them up to equal 3rd and, with a very winnable away game against struggling Chainat coming up on Wednesday, the season could just be getting back on the rails.

 

Rediscovering that winning feeling

 

The Sandpit Man of the Match: Adisorn

There were a few contenders for the hallowed Sandpit MOTM award. Kim had his best game at the PAT so far, looking fitter and more up for it than he has all season; Rattanai was unbeatable at the back and caught everything that was thrown at him; Rochela looked back to his best; and Siwakorn rounded off an impressive performance with his first goal of the season.

But this week’s award goes to the little man you just can’t keep down, Adisorn (13). His running battle against Reis, who is almost twice as big, was one of the most entertaining features of the game. Adisorn was ironically more wasp-like than any of his opponents, buzzing around them and stinging their ankles and not giving any of them a moment’s peace, and for his efforts he’s this week’s MOTM.

 

Sandpit Songs of the Season: Week 11 – PT Prachuap FC

 

Port face surprise package PT Prachuap FC at the PAT this evening, hoping to end a run of defeats that could see coach Jadet receiving whatever the Thai equivalent of a P45 is. Presumably a pat on the back & a case of Snail White.

Prachuap’s nickname is The Killer Wasps. Quite why you’d want to name your team after the biggest arseholes in the insect world – a creature so shitty it hangs around bins and can’t even respect the sanctity of the pub beer garden – is beyond me; maybe wasps have a more revered status in Thailand.

Understandably given their reputation there are very few songs about wasps, but there is of course a band called W.A.S.P (it stands for We Are Sexual Perverts apparently), so this week we’re going with their most famous song, a tender romantic ballad that hopefully describes what Dragan ‘The Beast’ Boskovic is going to do to their defence. But I doubt it.

 

 

Can Port Kill Prachuap Buzz? Port FC vs. PT Prachuap FC, 21 April 2018

 

KICKOFF HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM 18:00 TO 20:00.

 


 

Port come in to Saturday’s home game against surprise 2018 upstarts Prachuap with manager Jadet Meelarp hanging by a thread. Having lost three on the bounce and seen his side slide from top of the table to seventh in recent weeks, it feels like anything but a win will almost certainly spell the end for the spherical supremo. No fewer than nine T1 managers have been axed in the first ten weeks of the season, so it would certainly be in keeping with the rest of the loopy league to move Jadet back to his comfy chair upstairs and bring in one of the many free agents kicking around.

 

PT Prachuap

 

Hands up who picked Prachuap to be this season’s surprise package… No one? I didn’t think so! A team of bang average players – a couple of excellent foreigners aside – Prachuap have performed to a level far exceeding the sum of their parts so far this season. Bringing in eight players on loan and signing a crop of foreigners with no T1 experience is not usually a recipe for success, but somehow it has worked for The Killer Wasps. How? Let’s see…

 

Players to Watch

 

Unusually, I’m starting my players to watch segment with manager Thawatchai Danrong-Ongtrakul. Why? Well, he used to be a bloody excellent player for one thing, but mostly it’s because the lion’s share of the credit for Prachuap’s rapid rise since 2017 must belong to the former star midfielder. As part of a Thai national team which included Zico (unemployed), Therdsak (unemployed) and Totchtawan (unemployed), Thawatchai could have followed the lead of his former teammates and got a job at a top team with no experience behind him and high expectations.

However, with Zico having been sacked by Port, Therdsak being given his marching orders by Chonburi and Totchtawan the latest to have lost his job at Muangthong, Thawatchai has instead been quietly building his reputation with Prachuap. After signing 20 new players in 2017 his team finished third in T2, before miraculously surging to second in the T1 table this season.

Are they likely to stay there? No, but most had them down as mere relegation fodder this season, so they’re doing a darn sight better than they’re supposed to be doing.

Then there are the players. Striking duo Lonsona Doumbouya (21) and Jonatan Reis (10) have rightly grabbed most of the headlines for their performances so far. Towering Frenchman Doumbouya, who has been kicking around at bog-standard European clubs like Tubize, SKN St. Polten and Inverness Caldonian Thistle in recent years, is your classic number 9. Tall, powerful and with a decent finish on him, he will be the player Port’s defence will be most occupied with. Unfortunately that probably means that Brazilian Jonatan Reis will be in acres of space somewhere else. Still on the tall side but much more pacey and skillful, Reis has had lots of joy playing off the bigger man up front, and as a pair they have notched 11 goals and 4 assists thus far in 2018. Reis has a bit of form in Thailand too, having scored 28 goals for almost-relegated T2 side Kasetsart last season.

 

Prachuap’s Songkran photo shoot is a doozy. Here are Doumbouya and Reis starting us off with a pretty cringeworthy stadium snap.

 

Then there is surprise supporting act Amorn Thammanarn (17). This 34 year old left winger has somehow also managed to bang in six goals, although I’m not quite sure how. How can I put this kindly? He’s a fucking nutcase. Amorn started his season off by scoring Prachuap’s opening goal, throwing his head in to a goalmouth scramble and getting a boot in the face for his troubles. As he ran off in wild celebration blood started to pour from his eye, although he wouldn’t have had a clue unless his teammates had calmly but firmly showed him to the touchline. This has typified Amorn’s season so far, giving rather more than the average 110% for his team. Taking part in every game but completing 90 minutes just three times, watch out for this fella, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

 

The props have arrived, and Amorn is determined to do his best ‘There’s Something About Mary’ impression. As always, full marks for effort.

 

Montenegrin centre-half Adnan Orahovac (22) has a name I’m glad I’m typing rather than saying. He will be partnered by Korean Kwon Dae-hee (19). Prachuap have kept just two clean sheets, but big man Orahovac has also chipped in with a goal and three assists, which I assume have come from set-pieces.

 

Kwon and Orahovac take different approaches to looking uncomfortable. That’s why they’re a good partnership.

 

There’s a bit of a Port connection at Prachuap, too. Wanchalerm Yingyong (31) played a grand total of 45 minutes for Port in 2017, but he has become a mainstay in the centre of Prachuap’s midfield this season. Then there’s winger Yai Nilwong (13) who spent 2010 in Khlongtoey, and has chipped in with a goal and three assists. At 33 years old, this Ekkapoomesque (adj: former Port winger who gets in to good positions then arses it up) winger is one of many of Prachuap’s older players, including his 35 year old brother Sompob (3), 36 year old captain Adul (25) and aforementioned 34 year old winger Amorn, who are enjoying a surprise career Renaissance.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. It’s most certainly not Wanchalerm though, who looks like he’s walking the plank. Death at sea may well be favourable to this photoshoot.

 

Form

 

On the whole, far better than expected. Prachuap’s last six games have seen them win four, including a stunning 6-1 upset against Muangthong and a 4-3 thriller against Bangkok Glass, draw one and lose one. Their only defeat came against Ratchaburi, and in the only really encouraging news for Port, that 2-1 loss was Prachuap’s most recent game. Even fat Bill managed to score for The Dragons!

 

Port FC

By a Thread

 

Oh dear, Jadet. Oh, dear. Three games, three defeats and ten goals conceded. Port managers don’t often survive runs of form like that. Saturday will likely be his last chance to turn things around, so what has the weighty wizard got up his sleeve?

Well, he will again be without top-scorer Suarez (5), although Kim (8) returns after serving a one match ban. Despite some highly questionable performances of late, Jadet will surely turn to the Korean in his hour of need, with Kim either being used in a defensive role as he has done for most of the season, or a more offensive role as was trialed against Air Force. Maybe the extra week off has allowed him to get back to something like full fitness!

There are many ways Jadet could go in an attempt to revitalize his team. One option that hasn’t yet been tried from the start is a two man strike force of Arthit (29) and Boskovic (23). A blind man could see that the set-up of the team doesn’t favour Boskovic, and Arthit – who has made some promising cameos – is a more natural number 9 who could give Boskovic the kind of service he has so far been lacking. If nothing else, it’s worth a try!

Terens (28) must also have moved in to contention for a start, although it is unlikely that Jadet will drop either Pakorn (7) or Nurul (31).

There’s also the possibility that Jadet will revisit the system he tried from the start against Buriram, with Dolah (4), Todsapol (6) and Rochela (22) as a back three. It worked pretty well, with Dolah being taken off with Port at 1-1 against the champs, so Jadet could reasonably give it another go.

 

Predicted Lineup

 

 


 

The match will be shown live on True Sport 2 at 20:00 on Saturday 21 April, 2018. For those who can’t make it to PAT Stadium, The Sportsman on Sukhumvit 13 will show the match on a big screen with sound. We’re already booked in, so head upstairs and we should be easy to find. Don’t forget to wear your Port shirt for a 10% discount on drinks.