Pompey`s run of games without conceding came to a shuddering halt on the North Lancashire coast yesterday. The Cod army of Fleetwood Town battered them into submission finding themselves three up ten minutes into the second half.
Pompey`s first visit to this part of the world will not be fondly remembered by those who made the long trip but they did at least have stunning consolation from substitute Jed Wallace to cheer them on the way back home.
Richie Barker made four changes two enforced from the team that started against Burton on Tueday night. Ben Chorley and Romain Padovani were injured and in came Daniel Alfei and Jack Whatmough into midfield. Jake Jervis and Michael Drennan were the two front men. In a strange move Toumani Diagouraga was made captain – unusual as he is on loan!
The stats show an even game but the score does not. The result plunges Pompey back into trouble and the net away game is at Rochdale! After that though the vast majority of the fixtures are against sides in and around them so it will be a matter of holding their nerve.
Three in a row
I have been asked when was the last time Pompey featured in three consecutive goalless draws. Well I can find three such instances in the last forty years.
First up in the spring of 1974 with games against Blackpool (H), Crystal Palace (A) and Orient (H). Then Christmas 1980 Huddersfield (A), Reading (H) and Millwall (A). And finally March 1983 as Pompey strode towards the Division Three title Wigan (H) – Colin Sullivan missed a penalty – Preston (A) and Cardiff City (H) – 24,000 at Fratton Park and the Cardiff fans stole the Milton End clock!!
There have never been four and that record is still intact after yesterday.
Former Pompey player Vince Radcliffe has died at the age of 68, he had spent most of his life living in Perth, Western Australia. Vince was an apprentice at Pompey and was being groomed to replace the irreplaceable Jimmy Dickinson. Sadly serious injury would prevent that happening.
Born in Manchester on 9 June 1945, Vince signed for Pompey as a youngster and spent his time in the Duggie Reid household where the young players were groomed. He was to make his first team debut aged eighteen in a league cup victory over Derby County at Fratton Park in September 1963 replacing the rested Gentleman Jim.
It was his only appearance of the season and he played twice more in the 1964-65 campaign, both coming in for Jim, a 2-2 draw at Watford in the League Cup, he then made his Football League debut in the penultimate game against Norwich as Dickinson was rested after playing the previous day and being saved for the final game at Northampton. Pompey lost 3-1 at Norwich in that League Two encounter, Dennis Edwards getting the goal.
That was to be Jim`s last game celebrated by avoiding relegation to Division Three, of course Jim retired after 764 league games and that gave Vince his big chance but sadly that would last just three games when in the local derby at the Dell Cliff Huxford collided with Vince and broke his right leg in two places.
That tragic occurrence did earn Radcliffe his place in Pompey history however as he became the first player to be substituted. Subs were allowed that season for the first time but only if the player was injured; the late Tony Barton was the man on the bench. That injury was really to end Vince`s career at Pompey before it started. He did make several comebacks but cold never cement a regular place I the side as in most of those games Pompey were defeated and often heavily.
Radcliffe returned in the 1966-67 campaign, making eight appearances, the most famous was the 3-1 cup defeat at White Hart Lane to a Tottenham side inspired by Jimmy Greaves and Alan Gilzean. I remember being surprised that George Smith had bought Vince into such a tough game as I stood on the terraces waiting for the game to start. Frank Haydock who had been signed from Bury replace the injured Radcliffe himself was injured in the win over Northampton the previous week and Vince got the nod.
He fought manfully against the star opposition forwards and his performance was appreciated by the 20,000 Pompey fans in the crowd – one of Greaves` goals was definitely offside too!
After being given a free transfer at the end of that season, he moved to Peterborough United and played just twice. He then moved north to Rochdale near to where he was born and there he achieved promotion for the first time in Dale`s history. At the end of that season in 1969 Vince played for Kings Lynn and then emigrated to Australia where he lived until his death.
Recently one of Vince`s pay cheques became available on ebay – it showed a net payment of £14 5s 9d relating to May 1964 – footballers were not rich in those days. Thanks Vince, one tackle cost you everything.
I am also pleased to hear that my Obituary of Albie McCann is now framed and on the wall of the family home.
Result but only a draw
Pack the park a huge success as 17,254 crammed in to Fratton Park – on Facebook there were reports that some were locked out! Second biggest of season both for club and league – shame the side could not put on a performance.
Told you so!
In Pre-season I wrote the following –
DON`T expect Pompey to win every week. There are some good sides in League Two and others will treat a visit to Fratton Park as their cup final. Sky Sports pundit says ‘Pompey should canter to the title without breaking into a sweat` – DON`T believe it!