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Club News

We've Met Before - Portsmouth

8 August 2014

Dale Jenkins' series continues with the former Premier League outfit.

Founded in 1898, the club joined the Southern League the following season and following the First World War Pompey gradually climbed the leagues in the 1920s. Throughout the 1930s Portsmouth established themselves in the top flight of English football and the 1940s saw the club’s glory years as they claimed the league title in 1948-49.

The 1960s marked a change in fortunes as the Fratton Park outfit found itself in the lower leagues and the next couple of decades saw the club threatened with bankruptcy before they bounced back in the 1980s. Harry Redknapp eventually steered the club back into the First Division, or the Premier League as it is now known, in 2002-03 after spending years as a sleeping giant divisions below.

As Portsmouth established itself as a First Division club once again, FA Cup glory followed in 2007/08 as Cardiff City were defeated 1-0 at Wembley courtesy of a solitary Nwankwo Kanu goal. Another financial crisis was on the horizon however and it would go on to have serious implications. Owner Sacha Gaydamak began looking to offload the club but after Sulaiman Al-Fahim completed a painstaking takeover process it soon became clear he did not have the funds to manage the club’s £70 million debt.

The overspending meant administration and points deductions followed and three successive relegations meant Portsmouth had dropped from the elite Premier Division to League Two in just three seasons.

Late 2012 saw a historic moment as the Pompey Supporters Trust finally gained control of the club. Michael Appleton, Guy Whittingham and Richie Barker all attempted to wrestle some control of the spiralling on-field fortunes but endured troubled times in charge. Andy Awford impressed in a second caretaker spell in charge last season and was subsequently announced permanent manager for the forthcoming campaign.

We have visited Fratton Park on just three occasions, a 3-1 JPT win marking the first competitive fixture between the two sides. Since then the Chairboys have taken part in a remarkable game last season which was locked at 1-1 when the heavens opened and the match was abandoned at half time for a waterlogged pitch.

The match was later replayed, ending in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Wycombe defender Anthony Stewart scoring a last minute equaliser after goals from Andy Barcham and Patrick Aygemang had turned the match on its head following a first half opener from Matt McClure. Portsmouth got their revenge on their first visit to Adams Park where a second half penalty from Ryan Taylor was enough to secure all three points.

Manager Andy Awford released a spate of players this summer including George Branford, Ashley Harris, Jake Jervis, Yassin Moutaouakil, Marcos Painter, Therry Racon, Phil Smith, Liam Triggs, Josh Warren, Harry Medway and Lewis Horsburgh. New signings include midfielder Danny Hollands, Paul Jones, James Dunne, Nigel Atangana, ex-Walsall and Chesterfield striker Craig Westcarr and goalkeeper Michael Poke.

The Chairboys travel to Fratton Park on Saturday 20th September 2014.

Pompey visit Adams Park on Saturday 31st January 2015.

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