After last Saturday’s 11 goal thriller with Reading I am reminded by Owenspompey and others that games with our next opponents Fulham have also been high scoring clashes.
Everyone (old enough) thinks back to the 4-4 draw but not too long before that there had been an even higher scoring game.
First let us remember the infamous 4-4 draw.
Pompey were having a very good season and approaching Christmas were in the promotion places. The Saturday before the Christmas was the remarkable Oxford United game where Alan Biley scored the winner in ‘Santa Time’, added on for a pitch invasion by a fan dressed in a red suit. The next two away games produced only a point and coming to the New Years Day game against Fulham, Pompey were desperate to get back to winning ways against a Cottagers side far from pulling up trees in the division.
The wind was blowing at gale force from the west throughout the game and after heavy rain the pitch was unusually heavy for a Dougie Reid surface. Believe or not I was having coffee with Dougie’s granddaughter this morning!!
Pompey: Knight, Stanley, Tait, Dillon, Blake, Waldron, Doyle, Kennedy, Webb, Biley, Hilaire. Sub. Francis.
Fulham: Stannard, Parker, Carr, Marshall, Hopkins, Lock, Rosenior, Wilson (Barnett), Coney, Hughton, Lewington.
Referee B Stevens (Stonehouse)
Interesting names in the Fulham team included Paul Parker who went on to fame at Manchester United, Leroy Rosenior who has the claim to fame as being the shortest serving manager when sacked by Torquay after 10 minutes in charge and Ray Lewington former manager of Fulham, Brentford and Watford and currently back at Craven Cottage as assistant manager.
Pompey kicked off towards the Milton End – they always did in those days – with the gale at their backs and it soon became obvious how much the weather would affect the game.
Pompey took the lead as early as the 16th minute when goalkeeper Jim Stannard dropped a free kick allowing Malcolm Waldron a simple tap in. It was Waldron’s first goal since joining from Southampton. Another goof by the keeper allowed Alan Biley to head Pompey 2-0 up in the 18th minute.
Then came the first unusual event of the game when referee Brian Stevens limped of to be replaced by linesman Carter. Stevens will always be remembered as the man who allowed our 1983 game against Lincoln to finish despite thick fog with the blues leading 4-1. He said the visibility was fine but I could only see the edge of the penalty area from the Fratton End.
The goals continued to flow though when Neil Webb playing as a striker took advantage of a defensive mix up to score direct from an Alan Knight clearance and six minutes before half time Biley added his second when a clearance hit him and ballooned over the hapless Stannard.
Half time Pompey 4 Fulham 0
The second half began with Noel Blake making a hash of a through ball Dean Coney pulled one back. The half wore on with most of the play in the Milton End half of the ground but it was not until the 74th minute that Fulham scored again when a Mick Tait (playing at left back today) error allowed Rosenior to net and then substitute Gary Barnett headed in to make it 4-3.
Pompey fought hard in an attempt to keep their three points but with the crowd screaming for the final whistle Blake lunged at full back Cliff Carr and Kevin Lock knocked home the resultant penalty.
Full Time Pompey 4 Fulham 4
So Pompey let to crucial points slip in a never to be forgotten game for those there. How crucial those points would be was not evident until the end of the season when the blues missed promotion on goal difference!
But there was a higher scoring game between the two sides in my memory and that took place in October 1971 again at Fratton Park. This time with the score 2-1 at half time we were not to know what mayhem would break out in the second half – sound familiar. Goals flowed at either end and Pompey ran out 6-3 winners in front of a 14,172 crowd. Fans of that time might remember the game because Fred Smith the diminutive full back signed from Burnley scored his only goal for the club. Pompey’s other goal scorers were Nicky Jennings (2), Ritchie Reynolds, Mike Trebilcock and Eoin Hand.
Later that same season Pompey crashed by the same score at Birmingham City.
My first visit to Craven Cottage was in February 1968 FA Cup fourth round. The score, you guessed it, 0-0!!
Written by eastneydave.
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