Pompey New Year Eleven31.12.17
New Year is the time for all-day hangovers, short-lived resolutions and, occasionally, squandering a four goal lead
The New Year’s Day fixture during the 2006/07 season saw Pompey share the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Martin Jol’s Tottenham. After taking the lead through Benjani the Blues were pegged back by a rare headed goal from Steed Malbranque. Later on in the game Jamo heroically denied both Huddlestone and Defoe with a couple of excellent saves to secure the hard-earned point.
The Emsworth-born defender spent the majority of his career with that lot down the road, but ended his career closer to home. He appeared 23 times for Pompey and the one goal he managed was in the infamous 4-4 draw against Fulham on a blustery New Year’s Day in 1985. 4-0 up at half-time (and 4-1 after 74 minutes) Pompey managed to snatch an improbable 4-4 draw from the jaws of certain victory.
The statuesque stopper started off the 2008 New Year with his first Pompey goal in his 50th appearance for the Blues, bundling the ball home after Marcus Hahnemann's fumble. Sol’s opener laid the foundation for a comfortable 2-0 Premier League away win with the mega-mercurial John Utaka notching the other.
Pompey’s 5-1 trouncing of Hull City on New Year’s Day halted a run of 13 games without a win to see 1991 in with great style. The second goal was scored by the floppy-fringed left back who found the net after tippy-toeing on to a return pass from Guy Whittingham. It was Beresford’s first for the Blues. Chamberlain, Kuhl (2) and the Corporal were also on the scoresheet.
In front of a New Year’s Eve Fratton Park crowd of 29,139, Pompey boy Harris scored a well-taken brace to force an entertaining 4-4 draw with the west Londoners back in 1955. England international Frank Blunstone bagged a hat-trick for the visitors, while Scot Jackie Henderson claimed the remaining two for the Blues.
Pompey bounced back from a Boxing Day hammering at Arsenal to see 2006 in with a vital three points on New Year’s Eve against Fulham. The ever-willing Gary O’Neil was the match winner calmly slotting the ball home when it broke to him in the box just before half-time. The win meant the Blues remained in the bottom three going into the New Year, but with an upturn in form coinciding with Redknapp’s return from down the road the seeds of a potential great escape had been sown.
The first match of 1983 at Fratton Park was a drab affair against Plymouth. The win was Pompey’s fourth in a row and kept them challenging at the top of the table just three points behind Lincoln. The opening goal was scored by Neil Webb, who angled home after good work by Yosser Tait. Lindsay Smith grabbed the other, if the name is unfamiliar that’s because he lined up for Plymouth player, and put through his own net.
Pompey’s unlikely progress to the FA Cup final in 2010 was nearly derailed early on as Coventry City took the Blues to a replay after a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park on January 2. The midlanders took the lead after 20 minutes but were pegged back by a Boateng header just before half-time. The Blues scrapped home in the replay 10 days later thanks to Aaron Mokoena’s last-gasp winner.
New Year’s Day 1986 witnessed 37-year-old striker Mick Channon roll back the years to score a brace at Plough Lane to put one over on fellow promotion rivals Wimbledon. The veteran scummer, sorry… striker was joined on the scoresheet by Vince Hilaire against a home side that included Dave Beasant, Nigel Winterburn and a young but still rat-like Dennis Wise.
January 2 1999 saw Pompey upset the odds and grab a 1-0 victory at Premier League Nottingham Forest. The winner was grabbed by bookies’ favourite Steve Claridge whose 18-yard shot whistled past the rooted Beasant (yep, him again). Alan Knight at the other end was largely untroubled – despite the introduction of long-range marksman Nigel Quashie off the Forest bench.
Arsenal had thrashed Pompey 6-0 earlier in our brief flirtation with the top-flight during the 1987-88 season, but an unlikely revenge was on the cards after TC expertly poached an 8th minute goal. It wasn’t to be and Arsenal pulled level with 10 minutes to go to claim the draw. Late on in the game Kevin Dillon’s ‘deadeye’ accuracy failed him as John Lukic saved his penalty.