After last Saturday’s lacklustre performance we are back on the road this weekend when we visit Anfield to take on Liverpool.
This is one fixture that any club will fear because of the Reds almost invincible home record over the years.
Whenever I get round to writing these stories two things are certain. Firstly the initial meeting was in the 1927/28 season and secondly if it is an away game Pompey have not won there for years.
Well both of those apply to our visit to Anfield where Pompey have only won once in my lifetime – and then only just. I was still in nappies (not grey then either) when in August 1951 the Blues won 2-0 to secure only their fourth victory on the red side of Stanley Park.
Saturday’s visit will be our twenty-eighth and apart from the four wins we have managed ten draws losing the remaining thirteen.
Pompey’s first visit to Anfield was in October 1927 ended in an 8-2 thrashing with both William Devlin and Gordon Hodgson scoring hat-tricks for the Reds. Hodgson was to repeat the feat five years later in a narrow 4-3 victory.
Either side of Hodgson second treble Pompey managed their only pre-war wins 3-1 in 1932 and 1-0 in 1934. The final game at Anfield before the war finished in a 4-4 draw, so there were plenty of goals about. On resumption of league fixtures Liverpool won 3-0 with Jack Balmer netting the last hat-trick in the fixture.
There were two more Pompey wins in 1948 (3-0) and again in 1951 by 2-0. However after twenty-years in the same division Liverpool were relegated at the end of the 1953/54 season and they were not to meet again until Pompey were also relegated in 1959. There were then four league meeting in the old Division 2 with Pompey remaining unbeaten, however at the end of the two seasons Liverpool were promoted along with Leyton Orient and Pompey relegated to the Third.
There was only one more meeting before the Premier League days and that was in 1987 went Pompey although totally outclassed fought hard before going down by 4-0. Since our promotion back to the top flight we have scored only one goal at Anfield – Lua Lua’s late equaliser in December 2004.
I wrote two weeks about a double header over Christmas with Villa in 1928. Well in 1933 the fixture process turned up an even more bizarre Christmas Day fixture – yes Liverpool away and at Home on Boxing Day. Travel in those days was not anything like it is today and that must have taken a tremendous toll on the teams. To read more on Xmas day games read NinjaTim’s article here.
On 28th October 1980 Pompey travelled to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the 4th round of the League Cup. Pompey were a mid table third division club and Liverpool European Champions so a bit of a mismatch and certainly not a game to put in the diary. But those who went would vehemently disagree with that statement.
Pompey applied initially for a couple of thousand tickets, which Liverpool agreed to and they sold in hours. More were asked for and Liverpool reluctantly agreed again and again until they stopped at 13,000. But there was still demand and on the day a number travelled without tickets or obtained them elsewhere in the ground.
It was a night not one of the approximate 16,000 that made the trip will ever forget. The Anfield Road end opposite the Kop was a sea of blue and white and knee deep in tickertape and the noise incredible. In the Liverpool Echo the next night Liverpool players told how it was the first time they had come out to warm up at home and been booed all the way round the ground.
What a game it was too, although Liverpool took an early lead on the half hour Derek Showers had an effort turn into his own goal by Alan Kennedy in front of the Pompey horde. Pandemonium broke out and although Liverpool were back in front immediately through Kenny Dalglish, the noise did not subside.
The second half saw Pompey pour forward in an effort to equalise, Alan Rogers leading the way giving legend Phil Neal a real roasting down the left wing. But the goal wouldn’t come. Two late goals, one yards offside sealed a totally undeserved 4-1 for the Reds but the Pompey fans set off into the Lancashire night to sing their way home. The Kop left having not even broken into a song, they were in awe of the Pompey fans apparently I was told by a Red’s fan who was on that famous terrace. A night to remember!!
Today’s Flashback Question
Pompey lost 3-1 at home to Liverpool on the last day of the Great Escape season (2005/06), who scored Pompey’s goal – the last of the season?
And a fact: Pompey have never lost at Anfield in December.
How will this Saturday’s game finish? Enter your prediction here.
Written by eastneydave.
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