Portsmouth Season Review 2011/2012: November

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 28 May 2012

November may have started well for Pompey, but it would end on the most sourest of notes as it was all about to come crashing down.

The month began with a goalless draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in a game that Pompey probably should have won on the balance of play.

Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray were still in charge as Steve Cotterill returned to Fratton Park with his new team, Nottingham Forest and they got their hides well and truly tanned.

Hayden Mullins hit the crossbar with a long range effort but the rebound fell kindly to Erik Huseklepp who scored right before the break. Dave Kitson headed in a second on the 77th minute and Huseklepp bagged a second late on in a match that Forest "dominated" according to Pompey's former boss.

After that match the manager's job was finally given to an unknown quantity in Michael Appleton. At 35-years-old and with no experience in management, the former West Brom assistant's appointment was met with much scrutiny.

Before Appy's first game in charge, there were a few news stories related to Portsmouth Football Club that broke throughout the week.

Milan Mandaric and Harry Redknapp were charged with tax evasion, although both were found "not guilty" after a farce of a trial. The dispute of moneys owed to Tottenham regarding Asmir Begovic's failed transfer in 2010 was finally resolved.

However, the big news was that Vladimir Antonov's bank, Bankas Snoras had gone into administration with the Pompey owner quizzed about a mysteriously missing £200 million from the bank.

Before the worst news was to come, Michael Appleton had the task of guiding his team to victory in his first match as Pompey manager at Vicarage Road, but it couldn't have been any worse.

Michael Kightly scored after just 47 seconds with a deflected effort and Marvin Sordell volleyed in a corner as the away day woes continues despite the change in management.

That misery was compounded when, the following week, Vladimir Antonov was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and although he was granted bail, his assets were frozen.

Michael Appleton knew he had to strengthen his squad and so used his West Brom connections to bring in Baggies duo George Thorne and Joe Mattock who both made their debuts against Leicester at Fratton Park.

After a drab first half, David Norris' deflected strike gave Appy's team the lead but predictably the returning David Nugent equalised with a shot from outside the box as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The month would end with some terrible news as Convers Sports Initiatives went into administration, meaning Portsmouth Football Club no longer had any cash.

Andrew Andronikou was appointed administrator as Balram Chainrai moved to secure the club as an asset against CSI. Whilst Portsmouth FC hadn't gone into administration, you always felt that it was going to happen eventually.

And how right we all turned out to be...

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