What did I say pre-match? Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely sure what way it would go – I did think there would be a winner – but did eventually stick my neck out and say Pompey would sneak it at Charlton…and we did.
It was meant to be a joyous occasion for Charlton as they marked their 25th anniversary of a return to the Valley. However, as eastneydave pointed out, Pompey spoilt the Addicks’ day by gaining revenge from a defeat in South London a quarter of a century ago, so a dish best served cold, literally, as it was a chilly one.
Charlton Athletic 0 Pompey 1
Pompey picked up a great win at the Valley in South East London yesterday as they gate crashed Charlton’s silver anniversary celebrations of their return home. Charlton had their best crowd of the season which was bolstered by almost 4,000 from the South coast.
Brett Pitman returned from injury and replaced Curtis Main in the starting line-up. That left Ben Close, Dion Donohue, Oli Hawkins and Kal Naismith on the treatment table.
It was a solid performance for the Blues that earned them the valuable three points and Kenny Jackett added in his post match interviews that there was no weak link in his side. Luke McGee made a couple of decent stops but home keeper Amos excelled that by saving a Pitman penalty at full stretch.
The winning goal came after Pompey had been given a free kick out wide on the right. Gareth Evans floated the kick over and as Stuart O’Keefe closed in Josh Magennis deflected the ball into his own net.
The win moved Pompey to within just three points of the play-offs and they have now gone twenty-one games without a draw in all competitions winning five of the last six.
It is 25 years since Pompey were the first opposition when Charlton moved back to the Valley after a seven year absence. They lost that day 1-0 so revenge was a quarter of a century coming.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe, Rose; Evans, Chaplin (Bennett 46), Lowe; Pitman (c)
Goals: Magennis 47 (og)
Booked: Evans, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Casey, May, Kennedy, Main
Referee: Andrew Madley
Attendance: 16,361 (3,870 Pompey fans)
Report originally featured in Sunday Chimes.
So, five wins in six, moving to within three points of sixth placed Charlton – albeit having played a game more – could the Blues genuinely challenge for the play-offs this season? Well, a victory over Bury next weekend – which would be expected at Fratton Park – and we go into Christmas well placed, we cannot have asked for much more than that to be fair.
PLAY UP POMPEY
2017-18 Prediction League – December
Bury (h) Saturday 16th December 2017 – click here.
Shrewsbury (a) Saturday 23rd December 2017 – click here.
Wimbledon (h) Tuesday 26th December 2017 – click here.
Northampton (h) Saturday 30th December 2017 – click here.