Date: 25th January 2014 at 5:50pm
Written by:

Pompey made their first visit to play Morecambe at the Globe Arena – not Highbury as we mentioned last week which is the home of neighbours Fleetwood (more errors in Toast!!) – yesterday. An impressive 846 fans made the near 600 mile round trip and saw their side twice toss away a lead before having to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw.

Twice Jake Jervis gave Pompey the lead in the first half but the Shrimpers came back both times and the blues had to thank Trevor Carson for a great save from an Amond penalty. The decision to award that kick appears to be controversial. Sadly though Carson was to blame for the second equaliser, allowing a long range shot from sub Jack Redshaw to squirm under his body.

A point at least but it should have been three and the agony is prolonged. Tuesday at Wycombe is the next challenge and a game points need to be picked up. Not time to panic yet but if points are thrown away too regularly it soon will be.

My most memorable game

When last week Pompey Half Pint talked about his favourite game being the meeting with Arsenal in 1971 I thought great!! Just find a report copy and paste and there is half of next week`s Toast done. Well a cunning plan but only one problem could only find one report and that seemed a little strange to say the least but I thought on and decided I would share it with you and let you decide.

The article formed part of a fortieth anniversary celebration of the Gunners` double winning back in 1971 and appeared on the Vital Arsenal site back in 2011. Here is the extract –

Arsenal drew Second Division Portsmouth in the 4th Round in front of 45,000 at Fratton Park. The Gunners would have to overcome adversity- not for the first time in the cup run, when they trailed their hosts to an early David Munks goal. Arsenal dug in but found Pompey to be resolute and stubborn. But with ten minutes remaining, Ray Hiron upended Radford in the area. Storey`s penalty taking would become the stuff of legion later on at a crucial moment of the cup run, but he showed why he earned the press nickname ‘Old Dead Eyes` with a cool despatch to preserve a replay.

The replay at Highbury was hardly a foregone conclusion, with Pompey digging their teeth into Arsenal`s ankles, no matter how much the Gunners tried to shake them off. Another goal by Storey- this time a header from a corner and a rare set piece goal for Peter Simpson had Arsenal well in command. That was until Brian Bromley`s long range strike halved the deficit just before half time. Charlie George had badly broken his ankle in the opening league encounter of the season at Goodison Park on the opening day – but by now he was back to fitness and proving an invaluable asset to Arsenal`s double drive. He hit a long range strike with eighteen minutes to go to reassert the two goal lead. But Pompey`s Albert McCann smashed home another Pompey goal for a lifeline and a frantic finale, which an assured display by McLintock and Simpson, combined to keep out by the skin of their teeth.

What a great story!! Trouble is it is not quite correct! In fact far from it. Let the Toast team at Vital Pompey give their version of events and yes I was there

23 January 1971 FA Cup Fourth Round at Fratton Park, Portsmouth v Arsenal

Pompey team: Milkins, Fred Smith, Ley, Hand, Blant, Munks, Piper, Trebilcock, Hiron, Bromley, Pointer. Sub Youlden.
Arsenal team: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Storey, McLintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, Sammels. Sub George
Replay (P) Jennings for Pointer (A) George for Graham
Referee Ray Johnson

The game at Fratton Park had been eagerly awaited and the previous Saturday a season`s best league crowd of nearly 25,000 had watched Cardiff thump Pompey 3-1 – the reason for the large crowd was the chance of a ticket for the big game.

The game was a sell-out of 44,000 although the official gate was only 39,659 due to largely to the awful weather – it rained non-stop for the entire ninety minutes.

League leaders Arsenal totally dominated the first half and took the lead through a Peter Storey 35th minute penalty after a diving stop by George Ley on the goal-line. (That was part of football in those days no instant red card. Now was that a good thing or not?). The large Gunners` bade for more but Pompey reached half-time just one goal in arrears.

The second half however saw the tide turn and as the half wore on it was just one attack after another towards the Fratton End where Bob Wilson and his defenders were at full stretch to keep the home side out. As the game entered injury time Pompey pressed again and Fred Smith sent over a deep cross which the Arsenal back line let run to the far post where Mike Trebilcock was waiting to thump home. Pandemonium broke out as Trebs disappeared beneath his team-mates and fans alike in south west corner of the ground. Pompey had done it and earned a lucrative replay at Highbury. The man who had won the FA Cup for Everton in 1966 certainly saved his best moments for the old competition.

A great game, against great opposition played in a great atmosphere in a great rainstorm!! I had hoped to give you the Match of the Day coverage via youtube but as often happens the BBC clips disappear from that site!! It was there until recently.

The replay was scheduled for the Tuesday night and it was all roads for North London, sadly though the famous Highbury under pitch heating system was to prove its undoing as when it was switched on it melted the snow and ice and flooded the pitch. Game Off!! I was like a lot of fans underground at Highbury Tube Station when we heard the news. So we had to go back again the next Monday (for me via Hull on the Saturday) to try again.

This time the game went ahead and with crowd of 47,865 still settling in the ground Norman Piper put Pompey in front from a corner in front of the North Bank. The Pompey chimes now rang around the famous stadium as the impossible dream began to look like it could come true.

The lead only lasted eight minutes though as Charlie George back from a long injury swept the home side level and they were ahead on the half hour when Peter Simpson up for a dead ball kick scored a rare goal. Pompey held firm again until the break. The second half saw Pompey come more into the game and on the hour George Ley let go one of his left foot specials which Wilson could not keep out and unbelievably it was 2-2. In truth George mishit the shot and it bobbled passed the Arsenal stopper.

The home side then came again and again, until with a few minutes left Colin Blant scythed down John Radford in the box and again Storey scored from the spot. There was just time for Brian Bromley to be sent off before the final whistle of an epic cup tussle was over. The side that would go on to win the double had been given an awful fright by a side in the lower reaches of the Second Division and their army of noisy fans. It was almost a flash back to 1949 when Pompey would win the league championship and lose in the semi-final of the cup to a side from the lower reaches of the Second Division (Leicester City) at HIGHBURY! Strange but true.

Was it all really forty three years ago? Anyway can you spot the differences between the two reports? Albie McCann was out injured at the time incidentally so not too sure how he smashed home another goal I don`t know and both Brian Bromley and David Munks only scored once that season – Bromley in South London at Charlton and Munks at Fratton Park against Sheffield United. And of course what happened to Trebs??

Would you go?

You have reached the semi-final on the league cup but sadly you lose the first leg 6-0!! You have a ticket for the second leg – would you go?

Of course this is what happened to West Ham and only about 10,000 of their fans turned out to watch the game finish 9-0 on aggregate. Matt Taylor at right back! What that all about Sam? I know you are short of bodies but really.

Did you know?

That Jimmy Dickinson`s last game as Pompey manager was on 11 May 1979 at Darlington`s Feethams and the home side won 2-0. The crowd of just 1,140 was the lowest ever for a Pompey league game.