Pompey Xmas Eleven20.12.16
Mistletoe and wine are substituted for a meat pie and Bovril in these festive fixtures of Christmas past
The Boxing Day non-derby at Plymouth in 1986 saw the Blues come away with a 3-2 win, thanks largely to Alan Knight’s goalkeeping heroics. Quinn, Dillon and Hilaire all got their names on the scoresheet, but it was the Legend who secured the points with a couple of athletic saves from home terrace hero, Tommy Tynan.
Pompey thumped four past table-topping Wimbledon in this Boxing Day fixture at Plough Lane in 1978. Wilson, who normally slotted in at full-back, played up-front and lashed in a 25-yard screamer. Barnard, Davey and Hemmerman completed the rout.
There’s something right about devout Christian Linvoy Primus having his name in lights over the festive season. His two headed goals away at Upton Park on Boxing Day, 2006, bagged the three points. And this wasn’t the first time he’d performed the trick, as he also got a 'day after Christmas' winner away at Crystal Palace two seasons previous.
Arsene Wenger’s in-form Arsenal missed the chance to go to the top of the Premier League on Boxing Day, 2007, after being held to a 0-0 draw at Fratton Park. This was largely thanks to a heroic rear-guard display from their former skipper. Campbell galvanised Pompey’s defence and the Gunners’ attacking threat was blunted.
Boxing Day 1997 saw Pompey register their first win (3-1) against a much-fancied QPR side for 25 years. Alan McLoughlin and Paul Hall both registered, but it was Pethick who took the plaudits with a long-range leveller that dragged the Blues back into the game. A young Nigel Quashie could be seen scampering around the pitch for the Hoops.
A brace of second-half free kicks from the flouncing Czech saw Pompey get the better of their North London opponents on Boxing Day, 2003. The 2-0 win saw Pompey climb out of the bottom three and allowed the Fratton faithful to return home and happily roast chestnuts over an open fire to their heart’s content.
Midfield string-puller Webb’s individual goal was the icing sugar on the Christmas Yuletide log, so to speak, as Pompey strolled to a 4-0 win against Charlton on Boxing Day, 1983. Hateley, Biley and Morgan also notched. Pompey held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge the day after.
Pompey were soundly thumped 7-4 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Christmas Day in 1957, with a 17-year-old Jimmy Greaves helping himself to four. Revenge, unlike mince pies, is a dish best served cold and the reverse fixture, played the very next day, remarkably saw the Blues run out 3-0 winners with the dynamic Johnny Gordon netting the all-important first goal.
The home fixture against Oxford United on the Saturday before Christmas in 1984 is Pompey’s very own miracle on Frogmore Street. A pitch invasion by Santa in the 80th minute briefly lifted the gloom despite the Blues trailing 1-0. Then in the time added on for Santa ‘Rod-a-like’ forward Alan Biley nods in twice for the most unlikely of wins. The rest, as they say, is Fratton Park history.
Jim Smith’s nearly men team put Bristol Rovers to the sword on Boxing Day 1992 with an emphatic 4-1 win. Tormentor in chief was Guy Whittingham who netted all four. Pompey boy Paul Hardyman, playing for Rovers, was clearly at fault for one of the goals much to the amusement of the turkey-bound Fratton Faithful.
Christmas Day, 1950, saw Pompey unexpectedly suffer a 3-1 reverse at home to Chelsea. The next day revenge was exacted when the Blues, paradoxically wearing red, raced to a 4-0 half-time lead at Stamford Bridge. And it was the fearsome Scot Reid who’d inflicted the damage with three well-taken strikes and an assist for Peter Harris.