The Fratton Faithful Awards 2017

Last updated : 14 May 2017 By Jim Bonner

It's that time of year again. Followers of Fratton Faithful on Twitter have been voting on numerous different categories for the best (and worst) this memorable season had to offer.

Here are the results of the Fratton Faithful awards for 2017:

Player of the Season

Matt Clarke has excelled at centre back and will only get better as he matures, whilst his partner at the heart of Pompey's defence in Christian Burgess was a key player in the title winning campaign thanks to his defensive skill and knack of scoring important goals in tight games.

Speaking of scoring goals, Kal Naismith ended up as Pompey's top scorer with 15 goals in all competitions. He has had some journey from being put on the transfer list to transforming into Pompey's most influential attacking player. He certainly deserves the nomination for this award.

However, there is a reason why Championship clubs covet Enda Stevens. He has been incredibly consistent with his defensive performances and he is an asset going forward too, contributing more assists than any other Portsmouth player this season.

His work has been recognised and it'll be virtually impossible to keep him. He's good enough to play in the second tier and the Irishman will be difficult to replace.


Signing of the Season

Whilst Paul Cook's record in the transfer market has been questionable this season (we'll get to that shortly...) it's fair to say he has also made some quality additions to his title winning squad.

Carl Baker added an extra dimension to Pompey's attack when he arrived from MK Dons, Jamal Lowe was a shrewd acquistion from non-league, scoring the goals that ultimately won promotion whilst Danny Rose has proved to be a more-than-capable replacement for Danny Hollands in defensive midfield.

But the winner of this award was a player who played a fair few games for Pompey last season and although Ipswich got Adam Webster as part of the deal, they may rue letting Matt Clarke go permanently as he has been a rock solid performer for Pompey once he completely recovered from his injury which ruled him out at the start of the season. He may be difficult to keep hold of in the future!


Most Pointless Signing of the Season

Usually there's an annual award for the outright worst Pompey player of the season but it seemed harsh to dish that one out after the team were crowned champions of League Two.

Still, Paul Cook did make a few blunders in the transfer market this season. Drew Talbot started the season at right back, got injured and then couldn't dislodge a makeshift defender in Gareth Evans when he eventually recovered. Replacement for Ben Davies he most certainly wasn't.

Curtis Main is another one who spent most of the campaign on the treatment table, but at least he scored a few goals before he inevitably gets put on the transfer list in the coming weeks.

There were two signings which really didn't make sense, though. Dominic Hyam was loaned from Reading as defensive cover yet never played and the same can be said for Aaron Simpson who also didn't make a single appearance for the Blues and yet he was signed as someone who was supposed to play regularly at right back, so he "wins" this one.


Unsung Hero of the Season

The hipsters' favourite award! Eoin Doyle was nominated for this one based on his movement when playing up front on his own but ultimately he didn't score enough goals and therefore barely collected any votes.

David Forde may well have made costly errors this season but since his mistake at Barnet he has been a key player in Pompey's title push, making some important saves and marshalling the best defence in the league.

Danny Rose probably deserves more credit (certainly more than 10% of the votes, anyway) than he gets. His energy in the centre of the park means he always contributes to the team whether that's scoring a goal or making a challenge to deny the opposition one.

However, the winner of this award is a man who has truly endeared himself to the Fratton faithful, and not just for his supposed hatred of Plymouth and Southampton.

No, Gareth Evans has done an admirable job in an unfamiliar position all season. Add to that the goals he has scored and his contribution to the others scored by other players and it seems obvious that Evans should be rewarded with a new contract for all of his hard work this season.


Goal of the Season

Whilst Rose's fierce volley which just crossed the line at Plymouth and Gary Roberts' awesome turn and finish in the 5-1 thrashing of Barnet gathered a handful of votes, the main contenders were two goals from Conor Chaplin

Technically, his stunning overhead kick at Blackpool on a Tuesday night would have been good enough to win the award on its own merits but probably fell short because there weren't too many people to see it live and it ultimately meant nothing as Pompey lost 3-1.

However, his goal against Wycombe demonstrated just how great a finisher Conor is. To flick the ball perfectly over the onrushing Chairboys defender was one thing but to have the sheer audacity to then lob the goalkeeper with a precise header was sheer genius from the lad. An admirable piece of skill!


Best Home Match of the Season

Let's be honest, there weren't too many times where Pompey fans left Fratton Park truly satisfied this season but the 5-1 thrashing of Barnet certainly had us all smiling when the final whistle blew.

The two evening matches against Blackpool and Grimsby saw the old place rocking and the performances in those games were worthy of such an atmosphere. In any ordinary season those matches would have been the highlight of the home campaign.

But this wasn't any ordinary season, was it? The final match of the season saw Paul Cook's men save their best performance for last as they routed Cheltenham 6-1 in front of a packed Fratton Park. That probably would've been enough to win the award on its own but the fact it clinched an improbable League Two title in style meant that not only was it the best game of the season but also one of the best in the club's long history.


Worst Home Match of the Season

Nobody will want to remember the dire goalless draw with Hartlepool on home turf back in December but the 1-0 defeat against Exeter was arguably worse as Pompey didn't turn up and were comfortably beaten.

The loss to Stevenage where it transpired that Christian Burgess and Michael Doyle had been substituted because of a half-time fight was a low point of the season but, as with the previous award, the "winner" here was by a complete landslide.

Pompey had the opportunity to jump into the automatic promotion places when lowly Crewe came to town and most would have expected a comfortable win baring in mind that Alex had just been hammered 4-0 by Hartlepool.

So to perform the way they did was simply inexcusable. It was an excruciatingly dire showing as the visitors deservedly won 1-0 as the hosts simply didn't turn up. The final whistle was met with boos and insults thrown the players' way as fans questioned whether this team had it in them to get promoted and if Paul Cook was the right leader.

Ultimately, that day would be a turning point in Portsmouth's entire season but nobody will want to relive it, that's for sure.


Best Away Match of the Season

To beat floundering Carlisle 3-0 on their own patch was one of the pivotal results of the season as it ramped up the pressure on the Cumbrians and they ultimately couldn't deal with it.

The Crawley trip will live long in the memory as it was the day that Pompey finally moved into the automatic promotion places at the expense of Carlisle whilst the atmosphere at Broadfields was immense.

To then follow that result up with a 4-0 demolition of Colchester in Essex, baring in mind how strong the U's were at home, was simply sublime and had fans truly beleiving that promotion would be achieved this year.

And so it was, as over 4,000 fans travelled to Notts County to witness the event as Pompey beat Notts County 3-1 to confirm that they would be playing League One football next season. The pitch was invaded and the partying never stopped for the rest of the evening!


Worst Away Match of the Season

Unlike the previous three awards, this one was a much closer contest. The timid 1-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley riled those who travelled to the northwest although the goal to win it was a decent one.

Lancashire would be the scene of two more of Pompey's worst performances away from home. Two early goals conceded at Morecambe back in August killed that game dead and the result is even worse when you consider the Shrimps ended the season with the worst home record in the division.

The 3-1 defeat to Blackpool on the Tuesday night was the only loss I personally saw away from Fratton Park all season but, Chaplin's stunner aside, the performance was error strewn and not worth the long trip.

The match that wins this award probably does so because it's Pompey's most recent defeat and therefore fresher in the memory than the others, not to mention it also being the Blues' heaviest defeat of the season due to an embarrassing Panenka penalty attempt from Chaplin.

A 3-0 defeat at Stevenage looked like a result which might bring Boro back in the title race as the 3-5-2 experiment at Broadhall Way really didn't work out. Thankfully, Pompey bounced back in style.


Best Opposition Team

I really struggled for four nominations for this category. Crewe and Morecambe were on the list by default as they were the only teams take take four points from Pompey this season but they were mediocre at best.

Stevenage did the double over Portsmouth but their win at Fratton Park can be attributed more to Pompey's self-destruction more than they quality in their team.

Doncaster were the only other side to do the double over Paul Cook's men and although mistakes from David Forde handed them victory at Fratton, they were a class apart when they beat the Blues 3-1 on national TV. There was no way Pompey were going to catch them after that result, was there...?


Worst Opposition Team

There are some dire teams in this league but it seems a bit unfair to nominate Colchester and Grimsby for this award but they were beaten 6-0 and 5-0 on aggregate by Pompey and therefore had to be nominated, although they didn't receive too many votes.

Crawley, on the other hand, were absolutely abysmal in both matches against the Blues. They were easily swept aside at Fratton Park and also offered nothing on their own turf when they were beaten 2-0 and the revival began.

Still, they were not as bad as Newport! To be 2-0 up on Boxing Day and then lose 3-2 when Pompey had also missed a penalty is another level of incompetence and they were also beaten at Fratton Park, too. It just shows you what kind of job Michael Flynn has done to keep that shower in the league!


Usually, the "Moment of the Season" closes out the awards but it's blatantly obvious what the winner would be. To struggle through this season and eventually win promotion was one thing but to then carry on and win the final three games and claim the elusive League Two title in such a dramatic fashion will live forever in the memory.

Thanks to everyone who voted! Hopefully there are some more amazing memories made next season!