Stevenage 3 Pompey 0
Pompey believe in never making things easy for themselves and yesterday was a day that they will certainly want to forget.
It started badly when two players key to their recent upsurge in form, Kal Naismith and Kyle Bennett were ruled out through injury. Boss Paul Cook opted to change his system and switch to a 3-5-2 bringing in Tom Davies and Noel Hunt.
As soon as the game started things were obviously not right and despite Carl Baker hitting the woodwork Pompey found themselves two down at the break and within seconds of the restart it became three.
Cookie tried to change things sending on Nicke Kabamba for his debut and birthday boy Gary Roberts for Baker and Hunt and then Conor Chaplin for Eoin Doyle but things only got worse as Christian Burgess was sent off for a second yellow and then to rub salt into the wounds Chaplin missed a late penalty!
The only good news was that apart from Stevenage none of the chasing won and Pompey remain safely in third position. This MUST be a blip and having a week off now should help get the side back in some shape to cross the line in the final eight games.
Pompey (3-5-2): Forde; T.Davies, Burgess, Clarke; Evans, Baker (Roberts 64), M.Doyle (c), Rose, Stevens; Hunt (Kabamba 64), E.Doyle (Chaplin 73)
Sent off: Burgess (two yellow cards)
Booked: Stevens, Burgess, Baker
Subs not used: O`Brien, Talbot, Linganzi, Lowe
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 4,185 (1,390 Pompey fans)
After the game Paul Cook heaped praise on the opposition : ‘No arguments, Stevenage were excellent today, by far the better team, the result is what it is and we wish them well for the rest of the season.cIt was nothing to do with Naismith and Bennett, we are a strong club and a strong squad, it wasn`t our day today. I am sure Darren will take great pride in how his team played. It wasn`t a good day, Stevenage deserve all the plaudits.`
Don`t leave us!
West Sussex Gazette shared a view which most League Two clubs would concur. ‘Talking of clubs with a history of mismanagement Portsmouth came to the checkatrade last week and boosted the gate to a healthy 5,300 thanks to their impressive travelling blue army. The result was a disappointment and I just felt we showed them far too much respect and let them play. Let`s hope they stay in League Two as I`m sure our owners would appreciate another Pompey pay day next season, just like us fans would appreciate another day out to Fratton Park.`
Pompey versus the Rest of the World is the theme of the next History Day to be held at Fratton Park on Sunday, April 9 (11am-3pm).
The popular twice-yearly event – organised by the Pompey History Society – will focus on Blues matches against teams from all four corners of the globe.
These date back to the turn of the last century – when the club played a friendly in Paris in 1904 and a tour of Austria and Prussia in 1907 – right through to the more recent exploits in the UEFA Cup. There will also be an extensive section about Pompey`s tour of South America in 1951.
The free event also hosts the club`s programme and memorabilia fair, and will take place in the Victory Lounge. There are also chances for fans to buy a tour of Fratton Park on the day at a family-friendly price. For the history day only, tours will cost £10 for adults with accompanied juniors (17 and under) going for free. Tours run at 11.00am, 11.30, 12.00pm, 1.00 and 1.30.
Former Pompey forward Dave Taylor has died at the age of 76.
An inside forward, Taylor began his career at Gillingham and played two games for Portsmouth before moving to Yeovil in 1960.
Taylor, who played for the Glovers between 1960 and 1969, scored 284 goals in 436 matches for the club, placing him second only to Johnny Hayward in the all-time list.
It was at Yeovil that he made his name as a lethal finisher as he notched more than 30 goals a season on average in his nine years at the club. Taylor also played at Bath City and Cheltenham before retiring from the game.
Who is sending out this info?
I noticed on the Grimsby website before Tuesday night`s match a guide to travelling to Pompey.
It read ‘ Town fans will be housed on one side of the Milton End (on the North Stand side) where around 2,000 seats are allocated. 200 tickets have already been sold ahead of the game.
The entrance for Town fans is on Eastern Road.
There is a ticket booth outside the away entrance and tickets need to be purchased from here in advance.
Unfortunately there is no beer served in the away section of the stadium. The Good Companion pub is recommended for Town fans, which is on the main A2030 about a five minute walk away from the ground. It is a large pub serving real ales and had a good mix of home and away support. The Brewers Arms is also popular with away fans. ‘
Hardly a useful guide as we all know the entrance for away fans is nowhere near the Eastern Road, the ticket booth is in the car park and the Brewers Arms is shut. Someone needs to put this right!
On the subject of Grimsby fans I and many other felt they were a credit to their club and helped make Tuesday a memorable night.
Newport County AFC visit Fratton Park next Saturday and it their reformed format have won on all three trips to God`s green acre without conceding a goal.
A look back over the complete record of the fixture shows thirty-two fixtures spread over nearly one hundred years. The games however have come in batches broken by long breaks.
The two clubs joined the Football League in 1920 and County did the double over Pompey in the first season. In those days without a fixtures computer you played the two games back to back and on 23 October 1920 County 1-0 at Somerton Park and then on 30 October repeated their triumph 2-0 at Fratton Park. These back to back games continued for four years until Pompey were promoted in 1924.
They would not meet again until 1949 when Pompey on their way to the League Championship would clash with County in the FA Cup at the fifth round stage. A record crowd of 48,581 squeezed into Fratton Park to watch Pompey edge the game 3-2 with Len Phillips (2) and Jack Froggatt on the score sheet.
The two clubs would meet again in Division Three as Pompey won the championship (61/62) and then again in 1977 when they were drawn together in the League Cup with Pompey winning 5-4 on aggregate.
In 1978 both clubs were in Division Four and in October 1979 they would meet three times! County doing the double in the league and Pompey getting some revenge in the FA Cup when Terry Brisley netted in the fourth minute. Both Fratton Park encounters attracted gates of 20,000. At the end of that season both clubs would win promotion and the rivalries would recommence in Division Three.
Mid-table ennui can take its toll on players and managers – see here Silkeborg’s Dennis Flinta inexplicably trying to chip the ball clear while facing his own goal on the edge of the six-yard box. Baffling decision.
I will return to old Pompey games next week – if you know of any on Youtube send me the details.