Date: 10th November 2007 at 7:33pm
Written by:

The ‘Pedro Mendes’ match – what a day but how torturous it was.

March 11th 2006, one of those days that will forever be etched in the memory of any Pompey fans. What a previous encounter, an encounter when our survival bid was well and truly kick-started.

The ‘Pedro Mendes‘ match will never be forgotten will it. Well, it is a day that I will certainly never forget, even though I actually did not see the game nor did I hear the most part of it, bar the final couple of minutes plus the all important injury time…

It was a great day, but also a horrible day… living where I do and the financial constraints I then faced – they are not as bad now, but still I do not see many games – meant this was one of many games that I missed, not having Pompey World as it then was or being able to play the match through the net on the Quay meant I was restricted to listening to whatever game was on radio 5 live and making do with the online scores and what Soccer Saturday had to offer… it was torture!

Every now and then whatever game was the main commentary on the radio on that day kept crossing to Fortress Fratton for an update but it was never good news, not bad either but not good, it was a must win game. Then on the hour, the words ‘lets cross to Fratton Park’ were spoken, with fingers firmly crossed – tighter than they already were – it was a 25 yard screamer from Mendes that put us ahead, delight would be an understatement but I still had 30 minutes of this torture to go!

Our failure to score a 2nd worried me more and more as the time went on, knowing also that we had not kept a clean sheet in some 3 months made me nervous and when, with less than 10 minutes to go they ‘crossed’ to Fratton again my heart sank… even more so when they said that Richard Dunne had equalised.

A point was not enough, we had to win, we just had to as our plight was that bad – this would have basically been the final nail in the coffin. I had never given up hope, but at Christmas and early in 2006 we looked screwed, but then into injury time and one of the greatest and most important goals Pompey are ever likely to score came…

By this time the commentary had switch permanently to Fratton, Svetoslav Todorov and Lomana LuaLua had gone close, but from 30 yards after an exquisite touch Mendes did it again, beating the then Man City keeper David James who lashed the ball wildly into the crowd as the ball came back out of the net to him as the crowd went wild, along with the players and every single Pompey fan around the world – I went berserk, I really did.

The name Pedro Mendes was well and truly etched into the record books for Pompey and he will never be forgotten for as long as Portsmouth Football Club are going.

Both goals were fantastic, but the 2nd goal was special for so many reasons – we still had a lot of work to do to avoid relegation that season, but that was the moment that I not only knew, not thought, I knew we were destined to not only stay up but our future was going to be a magically one – and so far so good…


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16 Replies to “Pompey 2-1 Man City, 11-03-06”

  • Rug nice perspective on the game. Thought you would write about this one which is why I left it brief in my earlier article. I still believe the Dunne goal was offside but no matter we won and eventually survived.

  • my memories of this game (one of the few games beforw last year that i DO have memories of): i was doing something with a friend, who kept on going on about pompey, and how they were in the relegation zone, and how they had to win the game. he kept recieving text messages about the game, every 5 mins from his grandad…when pompey socre the second goal, he went absoulty mad – i cant remember anything like it – a usually sane guy turned hysterical!

  • Oh man, what a day. I NEVER leave Fratton early… except that day. It was my wife’s birthday and I’d promised to get to the party in London on time which meant getting a certain train from Fratton. I left it as long as I could (I think the game was running late ayway), watching the final minutes of the ninety from the corner of Fratton and North stands. I legged it over the car park and was half-way up Goldsmith Road when I heard the cheers from behind me. Gutted I missed the goal, but it was the best wife’s birthday party I’ve ever had!

  • I was in the Bush (Outback) of Australia and had virtually given up on our Premiership status…an SMX arrived from the U.K. titled ‘YOU LUCKY ********S’…it from an old mate a coach driver that came from Manchester and followed the City. I naturally asumed we had won but no scoreline or the amazing finish was signalled so I had to wait for further updates. I asked him the score and 2-1 with ‘FLUKE LAST MINUTE GOAL’ came back. Little did I know what a goal it was , but it didn’t matter, what was important was that we were in for the fight and not killed off.

  • There’s been a lot written about this game and Pedros goals but one of the most recent I’ve read is in the book ‘Up Pompey’ where Chuck Culpepper (an american sportwriter whose knowledge of football can be written on the back of a fag packet with a marker pen) Describes one ot the reason he ‘chose’ Pompey was because of the roar that came from his TV (in America) when Pedro scored – He didn’t know who Pompey were and had no idea of who Pedro Mendes was but across the other side of the Atlantic he hear a roar that in his 20 odd years of sportswriting had never witnessed … I think that sums up what Pedros goals meant to Pompey Fans … Hope we get another couple this afternoon !

  • ive got to read that book – it sounds like a cracker from what im hearing… i will settle for one mendes special today, i put a cheeky bet on him to score against west ham the other week, but against city is always the more likely so i will again… how great would it be for him to have a stormer today, as he has not really been the same since the ‘animals’ thatcher and barton got him, so it would be good to lay those ghosts to rest today when ‘the real’ pedro mendes returns – the mendes that i feel is world class and cannot be left out of the side…

  • What a shoddy performance in the second half!! we didnt deserve to win that game, lucky we got a draw…is it just me, or were any of the rest of you bloody frustraited!!!!!! if we could string a couple of passes together, we could have got a result! in 1 word “disapointing”

  • just got back. dreadful decisions from HR tonight Im afraid, got it all wrong in terms of attacking options.

  • no, i have to disagree. we destroyed them (in the bits that i saw…which was most of it) and the fact that we didnt get a goal was amazing luck for city. but i cant beleive we went to 4-4-2 with kanu, and no mendes…

  • i was frustrated but this is due quite alot to city, who – as i have said elsewhere – came with a plan, stuck to it and got what they wanted… im not sure i agree with you Gleamer on ‘arry getting things wrong today – so many of us have been crying out for 4-4-2 at home, he plays it and we are still unhappy… not convinced about kanu and benji together tho tbh.

  • o dear, well sorry lads, but were you to there today? because if we were you would of seen a young, fast speed machine on the bench, who must be striving for a gmae, mr dave nugent. harrys got to play him sometime

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