A look back at a previous encounter with Birmingham, of course our FA cup quarter final opponents this weekend – back to 98/99 we go and St Andrews.
Not one of the most memorable games by any means, in fact far from it – it is not a game many would probably remember, or want to remember for that either?
It remains a fixture that was somewhat memorable to me though for a few reasons, but ultimately it actually turns out, by the most bizarre of coincidences, to take on a very interesting twist…
As always at the time we were a struggling, financially and footballing, 1st division outfit looking relegation squarely in the face – that was the norm for most years though, right? Not too dissimilar to us now really, bar a league higher, a little worse off points wise and certainly worse off financially!
The game itself, well I basically remember very little about it to be honest…
Much like these days, well most days really, our away form was ‘poor’ to say the least, so when we took an early 4th minute lead through ‘Corporal Punishment’ Guy Whittingham – oh for a super Guy now eh! – I do not think that many would have expected us to hold on to it…and hold on we did not, Dele Adebola (26) got Birmingham level before half time.
A point would do, right?
Wrong, the Brummies ran away with it in the 2nd half, Nicky Forster (50) and another from Adebola (60) put the home side in complete control with Bryan Hughes (84) wrapping things up late on to ensure they won 4-1 and secured the double over us that season as a result.
So, why was this chosen as a ‘previous encounter?’
To be honest the main reason is a personal reason, then again is this not the point of these types of article?
The ‘Devon Blues’ were meant to make this journey all those years ago – I was geared up for it but as Ken, the driver, was taken ill this was scrapped on the morning of the game…
Ken had picked up food poising from the ‘fried brunch’, from food he cooked on our way back from a journey earlier that week. We had done a Tuesday night game at Sunderland, crashing in the van – probably around 5 of us, this journey is another classic that I WILL share sometime! On the way back something he cooked disagreed with him, thankfully, probably as most of us felt too rough, we did not really have anything so that is probably why I, and others, were spared.
To this day I have still NEVER made it to St Andrews, something I have always wanted to do – it seems to be something of a ‘jinxed’ ground for me as there always seems to be some reason why I cannot do it, maybe it is a sign I am not meant to?
The chances are that my only chance, bar future cup ties, of getting to St Andrews is a cup replay this time round – do I want this though? HELL NO I want to finish the job at Fratton!
Do you know what the most bizarre of coincidences about this game is though?
When the quarter final comes round this game would have actually taken place exactly 11-years to the day, as this mauling occurred on 6th March 1999…
Lets hope – and if there is a God, apologies to anyone I ‘might’ have offended with this comment, he will see us through – it is the home fans celebrating again this Saturday, and of course as this is us we could be laughing all the way to Wembley!
PLAY UP POMPEY!