Date: 2nd December 2017 at 7:13pm
Written by:

Pompey 2 Northampton Town 0

Yesterday in the Checkatrade Trophy Pompey saw off Northampton Town with goals from Gareth Evans and Stuart O`Keefe.

Played in front of just 10% of the regular crowd this meaningless game was described by some as dreadful at least until Pompey scored the second goal just before the hour when the home team decided to have shooting practice against Cobblers keeper David Cornell.

Cornell of course had a loan spell at Pompey from Swansea in March 2015 but never made the first team.

Interestingly Kenny Jackett elected to leave Ben Close from the eighteen presumably rested. He included Academy players Matt Casey and Bradley Lethbridge on the bench.

The win means Pompey progress to the last sixteen.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup (Talbot 69); O`Keefe, Rose; Evans (c), Chaplin, Lowe (Kennedy 88); Main
Goals: Evans 41, O`Keefe 58
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, May, Bennett, Lethbridge
Referee: Tom Nield
Attendance: 1,780 (128 away fans)

Hall of fame

The new boys have been named but for the first time a woman has been included in the list chosen by the committee.

The incumbents to be inducted in March Alan Rogers, Mark Hateley, Mick Kennedy and Gemma Hillier are included while there is a posthumous award for Alex Wilson.

Rogers was of course a player who helped Pompey escape the Fourth Division back in 1980. A deceptive left winger I will always remember the problems he gave England right back Phil Neal at Anfield in October that year.

Mick Kennedy was the captain of the side that reached the pinnacle of English football in 1987 and was feared by opponents.

Mark Hateley was a centre forward who Bobby Campbell signed from Coventry for £190,000. By the end of the season he had scored twenty-five goals played for England and been sold to AC Milan for a fee close to £1m.

Alex Wilson was a long serving full back in the 50s and 60s. He also was capped by Scotland once against Finland. Alex passed away in 2010 and you can read my tribute here.

Gemma Hillier is a player I have only heard of by reputation but she has spent seventeen years at Pompey Ladies making nearly 300 appearances and scoring close to one hundred goals and this nomination should be applauded by all Pompey fans.

Next week

Charlton Athletic will wear a special one-off commemorative strip, designed by the club`s kit supplier hummel, for their Back at The Valley celebration match on December 9th against Portsmouth.

December 5th 1992 will always hold a special place in the hearts of all Charlton supporters. After a seven-year exile away from The Valley, the Addicks played their first match back at home and toasted it by beating Portsmouth 1-0 Rob Lee scoring the only goal years before his England days in 1994-8.

This will be 106th meeting of the two clubs and Pompey have a 44% win percentage. Pompey`s last visit to the Valley was back in 2006 when a Lua Lua goal put the Blues top of the Premier League!

Pompey will be backed by nearly 4,000 in South East London.

Were you there?

Number three in the series features an FA Cup tie in January 1986 with Aston Villa the visitors to Fratton Park. I was there ?.were you?

Stay in your seat

I am always a great believer in staying in your place until the referee blows the final whistle and that has often meant that particularly recently I have to sit through some pretty awful finales.

Older fans will remember way back in 1984 just before Christmas Pompey entertained Oxford United in a top of the table clash and with the ninety minutes up Pompey were trailing to a Kevin Brock goal on 68 minutes. It heavy rain more than a few fans had headed for the exits. Enter Santa Claus who decided to run onto the pitch and delay the proceedings. After he had been sent packing Alan Biley took over and with two towering headers he sealed the three points.

Earlier in the week in the Capital city I was reminded of that day not once but twice. On Monday night in the west London derby Brentford were 2-0 up entering four minutes of injury time but allowed QPR to score twice to nick a point they hardly deserved – to me both goals had a hint of offside about them too.

And then to prove lightning does strike twice on the other side of the River Thames Charlton were also 2-0 as the board went up for extra minutes and Ricky Holmes inspired the home side to net twice and pinch a point from Peterborough United.

After the QPR comeback boss Ian Holloway was very vociferous in his criticism of fans who had left early making the point fans should stay until the end or not bother coming at all.

The Oxford game will feature in the ‘Were you there?` section in a couple of weeks time.

Fifty years ago yesterday…

Pompey entertained Blackpool in a Division Two clash and the crowd was the largest for a league game since the first game of the 1958/59 season when 40,000 saw the defeat by West Ham.

The reason why 35,000 were there was the fact that Pompey were top of the League and the Tangerines second and this was a date all fans had had ringed in their diaries for weeks.

Unlike a number of big Pompey occasions in that era the game lived up to the hype and the atmosphere was incredible. Goals from Ray Pointer, Cliff Portwood and sub Mike Travers sealed a 3-1 win. Sadly, though Nick Jennings picked up a bad injury and would miss a large past of the remainder of the season. With a small squad that absence would lead to Pompey`s promotion challenge falling away due to poor away form.