Isle of Wight   Pompey Supporters Club

Fleetwood v Pompey

20th January 2024


Well, I'm not The Bard nor the eloquent Chairman or The Old Sage, but after some trips to Northern Stadia I've been asked to put pen to paper as a result of a day trip to Fleetwood, to see the (still) mighty Blue Army. 

Those of you who don't know me, I've been living in County Durham for the last 5 years(moved up from the South Island) , and have had the opportunity, or misfortune some may say, of seeing PFC at stadium such as the Stadium of Light. The past week had seen a drop in temperatures to - 7,lots of rain and in view of Portsmouth FC almost guaranteed  annual Xmas slump (if that's not too harsh) still handing out gifts way into January, a rather increasing worry that playing the league 1s bottom team was a banana skin in waiting, It certainly didn't help that those lucky charms who had gone to previous Pompey games with me were falling by the wayside. Did they know something? My wife,  who doesn't like football, declined on the basis that it was cold(she's only been to 1 game before away to Harrogate, November 2019, in the Cup on a very cold snowy evening which eventually kicked off at 9pm;we won 2-1though).A family cousin,( Newcastle supporter) who was with me at Fleetwood in November 2019(we won 5-2) said he had a dodgy stomach.Enough said. There was only Reliable Dave(Pompey born and bred) to call on(previously seen at Morecambe, November 2022 in a poor 1-1 draw). Supporters of PFC are thin on the ground up North.  

Saturday came round with  Dave and I on our way. Time for a heavy, warm coat, and flat cap(yes, I've now got 1).However, going to the game at Highbury Stadium(I'll be interested to hear why they have an Arsenal emphasis at the club what with an almost identical kit to the Gooners), was a trip both Dave and I were apprehensive about; they'd managed to draw at Fratton not long ago. On arrival, omens seem to change. The overcast skies were still there from the 2018 Xmas time visit, and as last time 2 of us turned up as Lucketts coach with PFC on board was arriving. Phew,had things turned?   

First thing was to buy a programme. No such luck as they no longer have them printed as not enough demand apparently, due to crowd sizes (a sad reflection of some lower league football crowds) OK, let's head to the Club bar, said Dave. We find ourselves in Jim's Sports Bar listening to an MC trying to whip up the local support by playing Maria, Electric Dreams and Sweet Caroline. Their mascot Captain Cod was there doing his best whilst everyone was watching the real Arsenal clipping the Eagles wings on Sky TV. As we were thirsty and hungry we partook in pie, chips and coffee £6,bargain. I'll come back to the pie later. 

The team is announced and I'm told PFC are in a new formation of 3-5-2. Was this a winning change of direction from JM? 

Well 3pm arrives and the Blues are playing a lot of possession football in the back 3, with the odd probe down the right wing trying to get Abu Kamara and Magic Hat in the game. Raggett and Shaughnessy looked really comfy on the ball, almost Beckenbaueresque. Mind you no Fleetwood player was within 15 yards and the bus had already been parked by them. Suddenly a big cheer from the Pompey fans, ;their No.3 had the misfortune of stopping a strongly weighted pass full on in the face. I can see him still shaking his head. The ground was already a library with Pompey fans asking "Shall we sing a song for you? " when Kamara took a Pack pass really well, turned past a couple of defenders and curled a shot into the left side of the net. 1-0. The chants had now changed to "Going down, going down", still no home vocals. It seems they'd done their singing before the game. 

Pompey looked comfy, with some decent, quick distribution from Norris,from which we nearly had a 2nd after intricate passing ended with a deflected Bishop shot.Oh for that 2nd goal, to ease the nerves. One thing that wasn't happening was decent delivery from corners.. back to the training ground on that. Nearing half time Morrell picked up a yellow for the team, tightrope time for him. The resulting free kick for Fleetwood was their 1st chance on goal. 

Half time arrived and the feeling was we were in control and comfortable but needed that 2nd. The half hadn't been too physical but there'd been a handful of cards.

Half time was spent out of the wind and cold under the main stand trying to get a hot drink. What no Bovril. The 2nd half had already started as we got back into our seats only to see an unreal deflection from their No. 10 almost sneak in. Minutes passed with them showing more effort and PFC looking like the team who were bottom of the league. We were still, metaphorically, in the dressing room. 

Our manager must have woken up to Morrell (red card in waiting) and his potential falabilities as he trudged off to be replaced by Saydee, who a bit later was involved in intricate passing that resulted in Bishop shooting at the goalie from 6 yards when he should have scored. This move was like Arsenal trying to walk the ball in, as per Wenger years. 

As the game progressed they were coming out of their shell, with their No. 5 trying to run the game. A strong guy, who couldn't shoot on target for toffee. Memories of Nigel Quashie (for those that can remember) flooded back for me. Suddenly though we were on the back foot, Norris was trying to waste time and this was resulting in their No. 9 trying to do a George Best v Gordon Banks on him (Google it). When we did get on the attack, sadly our corners were still proving inept; overhit or couldn't beat the 1st defender. 

Pompey fans  we're now getting more anxious as PFC couldn't get their foot on the ball. There were even times when Kenny Jackett Hoof Ball surfaced. 

Oh oh, trouble.. Fleetwood break quickly and Shaughnessy gets a yellow to stop a potential chance. 80 minutes gone and our MOTM, Kamara is replaced by Sparks who immediately adds an outlet on the left wing, working well with Saydee. Another 2 corners wasted. Where's that training manual. Some wag in the stands says we've a new formation now, with a flat back 8.Into the last 5 minutes and on another day Heneghan, their no. 16, would have seen red. He stays on the pitch, despite fans questioning the referee. Into added time and we start to play like European masters of keep ball, staying by the corner flag. Hooray, the finishing line is in sight and as the whistle goes fans breath a sigh of relief. A hard fought victory, we're top of the league and some results have gone our way. Choruses of EIEIEIO, up the football league we go ring out as the players soak up the applause and fans. Phew. 

The relatively short drive of 2 hours back home(a benefit of living in the North, if I can say that), was one of feeling we dodged a bullet today and plans are afoot to visit another away game in the cold, to maintain this unbeaten run I've seen. Carlisle, closest to me, is out as I'll be celebrating my birthday, so it'll have to be Bolton, where it's hoped we'll already be promoted. I hope to see fellow IOWPSC members there. Finally, that pie again. Wow, a memory for all the wrong reasons.. Potato and Meat. I should have given it a wide berth, 10% beef (the label said) and that's generous and they charged £4. Strong likelihood I won't be back next season though. 

Play up Pompey 

From Flo, Mark Nightingale


Northampton v Pompey

2nd December 2023

Of we went on the 8am ferry a little worried about the fog and the lack of a goal scorer, but it was an easy drive up to Bicester for a late breakfast and then on to Northampton tgi next to the ground for liquid refreshment.

It was bloody cold but we soon warmed up with Raggett powering in a header and we should have had several more before Lane scored either side of half time.

Outstanding performance from Robertson and in general a fine team performance all-round. We even made the 8pm ferry home.

Roll on Monday week for the big one!!


Sky blue


 Burton v Pompey


Headed of on the mid day ferry not quite sure what to expect tonight after a heavy loss and Morrell out.

A lack lustre first half with Sparks again having a hard time at full back,although we could have had two more pens before Bishop fired home the third shout,before limping off at half time giving us another injury we could well do without.

Second half plus ten we looked much better and with pack being a minder for Robertson he shone through as easily are best player and he and the team got a deserved second.

Looked far more solid in the midfield with Pack & Saydee, Kamara getting better all the time.

Back to Burton wetherspoons and a gentle drive home for the 3am ferry home.

The things we do for Pompey eh!!

Sky blue.



Hit Counter by Digits