Portsmouth Season Review 2011/2012: December
Feature by Jim Bonner
Updated Tuesday, 5th June 2012
A fair end to yet another difficult year.
The last month would provide some comfort for Pompey fans who had been hit by the hammerblow of CSI going into administration thanks to results on the pitch.
The first game of December was at home to relegation strugglers Coventry City. Greg Halford's penalty after some comedy defending from the Cov keeper gave Pompey the lead.
Lukas Jutkiewicz equalised by turning in Richard Ward's cross but Joel Ward's cool finish into the bottom corner gave Michael Appleton his first win as Portsmouth manager.
There was some sad news to come the following week as Len Phillips, Portsmouth's last remaining member of the back-to-back championship winning side sadly passed away at the age of 89.
In yet another show of PR suicide, the club asked for £1,500 to hold the wake for man who made 268 appearances for Pompey and scored 62 goals. Moneyfields offered to host the event for free.
Thankfully, fortunes on the pitch continued to improve as Pompey won their first away game of the season at Burnley. After a scrappy 90 minutes at Turf Moor, David Norris volleyed in a stoppage time winner to send the small travelling contingent bonkers.
This good form would be very helpful going into the next match with arch rivals Southampton. The Scummers arrived at Fratton Park nervous as their table-topping side had suffered a dip in form and most of them still remembered the 4-1 battering they had taken back in 2005.
However, it would be the Pompey fans who were relieved after the match as Joel Ward's late header cancelled out Rickie Lambert's header in what was a dire South Coast derby that will be remembered for the Saints fans' "gay wave" more than anything else.
Blues fans would have been pleased with 7 points from 9 during December but that optimism was soon put back into perspective after a 1-0 defeat at Millwall on Boxing Day thanks to a late, scrappy goal by Danny N'Guessan.
The final game of 2011 would be played at Leicester's King Power Stadium on New Year's Eve. Marko Futacs bagged his first goal for the club with a powerful drive past Kasper Schmeichel but David Nugent yet again equalised against his former club with a header as the game ended in a satisfying 1-1 draw.
That would end a fairly satisfactory month after another difficult year. But if we believed our fortunes were about to change for the better in 2012, we would soon be proved wrong.