The Fratton Faithful Awards 2014

Last updated : 12 May 2014 By Jim Bonner

It's that time of year again, ladies and gents!

It's time to dish out the annual awards for the best and worst of Pompey's season just gone. Some of these awards were dead easy to find a winner for but others, the bad ones in particular, took a lot more deliberation.

But the decisions were made in the end. Here are my winners and losers of 2014:

Player of the Season

Those of you who've read my Pompey player rankings article will know that I've already given this award to Pompey's most consistent player. Trevor Carson may have come close but ultimately it was the winger signed from Barnet who made the biggest impression.


Worst Player of the Season

This one was more tricky than the previous, but having looked at the list again there were three outstanding candidates for this one who played more than a handful of games.

Johnny Ertl was Pompey's best player last season but that was turned on its head during this campaign due to some sluggish and error strewn performances. His only saving grace was that he did put in some solid showings at times.

Had John Sullivan played more games then he may have "won" this award and his performance at York still gives me nightmares. His lack of command in the area, flappable composure and terrible handling may well make him the worst goalkeeper I've seen in a Portsmouth shirt.

Yet that wasn't enough to take this award. The winner is such a liability, so useless in his defensive duties, has an incredible lack of positional awareness and a more-than-questionable disciplinary record. I think Pompey fans would be happy to hear his name mentioned again, if they could pronounce it...


Goal of the Season

My memory isn't very good and I wasn't at Dagenham to witness Michael Drennan's "worldy" so only two goals stick in the mind. The first is Patrick Agyemang's wonderful finish at Oxford which won the "best Johnstone's Paint Trophy goal" or something like that.

However, Jed Wallace's goal at York was a superb solo effort and the only highlight of a truly dismal day. Click here to see it and skip to 0:35 unless you really want to see Sullivan's blunders again!


Best Home Match

There weren't really many candidates here. The 3-0 wins over Morecambe and Rochdale were quite enjoyable and Andy Awford's first home match in charge against Hartlepool saw Fratton Park's atmosphere turned up a notch, it was his second home game that effectively sealed League Two safety.

Bristol Rovers certainly contributed to that game, hitting back twice to make Pompey work hard for their victory but it came eventually and the fans left Fratton Park happy.


Worst Home Match

Where to start!? The beginning would be a good idea given that Pompey were given a harsh introduction to life in League Two by Oxford on the opening day. Limp 2-0 defeats to Chesterfield and Fleetwood were also poor but the winner of this award has to come from Richie Barker's ill-fated tenure.

The bore draw with Burton on a Tuesday night is right up there with one of the worst games of football I've ever seen but gets a reprieve because Pompey didn't lose. The home defeat to Torquay meant losing to the worst team in the entire football league but there was a match even worse than that one.

Pompey's 1-0 defeat to York in a bad tempered match filled with gamesmanship from the visitors and a complete lack of quality from the home side stands out as the worst match and result at Fratton Park this season. A red card for a silly challenge by Ben Chorley just made matters worse as the fans turned on Richie Barker with relegation looking like a very real prospect.


Best Away Match

Having not attended Andy Awford's first victory at Newport or the thrashing of Dagenham & Redbridge on their own patch last month there was only going to be one winner for me.

To come back from 3-0 down and then 4-2 down with just minutes to play in a fairly meaningless game takes some character but somehow Pompey managed to earn a 4-4 draw at Bury. The reaction at Gigg Lane when the fourth went in was ridiculous on a memorable afternoon in Lancashire.


Worst Away Match

There were so many candidates for this one it was difficult to keep track of the amount of dire performances on the road this season, and to think I never thought I'd see a worse showing than that at Bootham Crescent when York made a mockery of Pompey and John Sullivan in particular with a 4-2 win.

But I did around six weeks later when a gutless Portsmouth team were soundly beaten by a mediocre AFC Wimbledon side. It could have been even worse than a 4-0 thrashing had Trevor Carson not saved a penalty and many fans wanted Guy Whittingham's head after that.

More shocking showings could be highlighted due to the amount of late goals conceded or the sheer lack of commitment and quality whilst I still have bad memories of Captain Pugwash from the defeat at Fleetwood.

However, travelling to Rochdale on a Tuesday night to see your team be soundly beaten by a team that never had to get out of second gear was unforgivable and thankfully the board saw sense and binned Barker before it was too late.

It was a toss up between the Wimbledon and Rochdale games but ultimately I couldn't decide which was worse, so they can both have the award.


Best Away Fans At Fratton Park

Despite being in the bottom tier of English football there were still some large followings in the Milton End this season. Oxford, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth brought some impressive numbers but it's not all about the amount of fans you bring.

Personally, I was very impressed by Exeter's travelling support. They were loud throughout the match despite being 3-0 down (and they very nearly celebrated an equaliser in that game) and showed our support how to use drums properly to create a proper atmosphere where all the fans are singing from the same hymn sheet, so kudos to the Grecians.


Moment Of The Season

There weren't many, were there!? For pure comedy the reaction of both Pompey and Wycombe fans when the almighty deluge hit Fratton Park and got the match postponed was priceless, but in terms of season changing moments there is one that stands out.

The announcement of Richie Barker's sacking was greeted by a mass cheer from those associated with Portsmouth and the appointment of Andy Awford ultimately saved the club from relegation to non-league. Had the board not taken the decision to be rid of Barker then Pompey would almost certainly have been a Conference side next season.

It goes to show that Pompey have had a mediocre season when the supposed highlight is a terrible manager getting the boot, but hopefully next season it can be promotion instead!