The Fratton Faithful Awards 2019

Last updated : 28 May 2019 By Jim Bonner

It's that time of year already!

The Twitter voting has come to an end in ten different categories this year. These are the awards for the best and worst of the season just passed and whilst it represents progress since last year, it really is a case of what might have been...

Anyway, here's how you all voted for the 2018/2019 season!

Player of the Season

Tom Naylor was recognised by his fellow team mates when he scooped up the Pompey players' player of the season not so long ago but that didn't resonate with the fans as he only picked up 5% of the vote.

Jamal Lowe may have scored more goals and provided more assists than anyone else from the wing but that was only enough to secure 12% of the vote whilst Craig MacGillivray's debut season in a Pompey shirt was one to remember, as he picked up 33% of the vote.

However, perhaps predictably, for a second season running, Matt Clarke has stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the Portsmouth squad and deserves his likely move to Brighton. The best centre back in League One secured half of the vote, is likely to be playing in the Premier League next season and Pompey should receive a hefty fee for his services.


Signing of the Season

Whilst some additions to Kenny Jackett's squad were questionable (more on that later) he hit the jackpot with some of his additions.

Ronan Curtis began the season on fire and although that spark faded he should make an impact next season when he finally gets some time to rest. He received 7% of the vote with Tom Naylor getting 8%.

Perhaps surprisingly, Ben Thompson only received 16% of the vote despite his importance to the team. Maybe the fans forgot about him or simply thought that Craig MacGillivray was more deserving of the award.

With a whopping 69% of the vote, Big Mac has been an immense presence in goal, making some outstanding saves to preserve many a lead for Pompey this season. Not bad for a goalkeeper who spent most of last season on Shrewsbury's bench, eh? An international call up for Scotland can't be far away...


Worst Signing of the Season

The yang to the previous award's yin, there have been some spine-shudderingly awful names in reception of this award in previous years but this year was more about how pointless these signings were.

The jury is out on Bryn Morris and Andy Cannon so they weren't included in the voting but James Vaughan (4%) didn't score a single goal despite running around a lot whilst David Wheeler (4%) can count himself unfortunate not to force Curtis and Lowe out of the side in the first half of the season.

Joe Mason received 14% of the vote for failing to make an impact but, as with Wheeler, couldn't force himself into a winning side during the first half of the season.

However, the "winner" of this award with a huge 74% of the vote goes to a player who didn't play a single minute of competitive football because of constant injury problems. Lloyd Isgrove was hardly a popular arrival from Barnsley due to his Southampton connections and we never did get to see what he was capable of. You just know he'll pop up with a goal at Fratton Park next season for some mid-table side.


Unsung Hero of the Season

You have to feel sorry for Louis Dennis, don't you? Impressed when he was given his chance in cup games yet for whatever reason the manager never gave him his chance despite his significant contribution to Pompey's Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

14% of you agreed with that sentiment whilst 18% believed that Oli Hawkins gets too much abuse for the focal role he plays in Pompey's attack and he did bury that crucial penalty at Wembley to bring home the (albeit minor) silverware.

Lee Brown was voted as runner-up for this award with 30% of the vote. The left back may not be spectacular but he is solid and will always give everything despite his limitations.

It'd be difficult to state that Ben Close is truly an "unsung" hero given that he has inherited Conor Chaplin's "one of our own" song but the young midfielder is really starting to come into his own as proven by his late season performances. He has added goals to his game as well as an improved range of passing and if he is utilised correctly next season, he will be a key cog in the Pompey promotion winning machine.


Goal of the Season

Brett Pitman's overhead kick (6%) was the only highlight of what was an abysmal performance at Oxford whilst Ben Thompson's thunderbastard of a strike at Fleetwood (7%) doesn't get the credit it deserves.

Jamal Lowe's beautiful curling finish against Oxford back in August (8%) was only the second-best goal he scored this season as his best won the vote outright with 79% of the vote. With Jon McLoughlin off his line, the bane of Sunderland audaciously lobbed the Black Cats' keeper to send everyone in blue at Wembley into mania. It was enough to make the boycotters just a little jealous for sticking to their principles...


Best Home Match

Fratton Park wasn't quite the fortress it can be this season with the atmosphere lacklustre and too many poor teams taking points from the south coast, but there were also some memorable matches too.

The 4-1 thrashing of Oxford (9%) was enjoyable but not as much as hammering Plymouth 3-0 (14%) on their way to their eventual relegation. Destroying a hapless Bradford side 5-1 (14%) was just the tonic to end the winless run in 2019 but there was only one winner here...

Days before Christmas, Sunderland came down to Fratton Park for a match that saw the atmosphere in the old ground ramped up a few notches. As soon as Glenn Loovens was sent off and the penalty scored, the blue army were in full voice as Jack Ross' men left Portsmouth with their tails between their legs and the Blues cemented their position at the top of League One for Christmas.


Worst Home Match

As previous mentioned, too many poor teams came away from Fratton Park with a result this season and that included the anger inducing Wycombe Wanderers who looked to have been beaten late on Pitman scored only for a penalty to be given away at the end, which the Chairboys converted in the sodden rain to earn a 2-2 draw.

That game (2%) barely registered on the disappointment scale, however, with third place (18&) going to the tepid 1-0 defeat to Blackpool. It was Pompey's first match without Ben Thompson and it showed as Kenny Jackett's men somehow lost to a team that played for a draw.

The runner-up (32%) was Pompey's first defeat of the season at the hands of Gillingham who hadn't won since August and yet a Tom Eaves wondergoal coupled with some slack defending for the second meant the visitors had the game won before half-time.

Unsurprisingly, you voted the play-off semi-final second leg as the worst home game of the season with 48% of the vote and the disappointment is yet to fade. To go down without a fight was simply criminal and God knows what Jackett was playing at by not starting Lowe or bringing on a third sub. In truth, Sunderland had it easy that evening and it was a massive promotion opportunity wasted.


Best Away Match

Despite failure to win promotion, it shouldn't be forgotten that Pompey won half of their away matches in the league this season. Just 3% recognised the 3-1 win at Rochdale as the most impressive performance on the road with a quarter of the vote going to the victory at Peterborough which really set the tone for the first half of the season.

The runner-up with 32% of the vote was the smash n grab win over the ten men of Norwich at Carrow Road in the third round of the F.A. Cup with some fans still nursing injuries from the limbs all over the stand when Andre Green forced in the stoppage time winner.

However, there was one better performance than that and that was the previous away game at Fleetwood at the end of 2018 (40%). Having gone 2-1 down after taking the lead, a red card for Joe Barton's men saw Pompey seize the initiative in the second half as they battered the Cod Army to win 5-2 and ensure it was a Happy New Year for Pompey fans.


Worst Away Match

For a change, there were slim pickings for this award with the 3-2 defeat at Luton only taking 8% of the vote and the woeful 2-1 loss at Oxford only taking 14% despite deserving more than the 2-0 defeat at Gillingham (15%) on Boxing Day, despite how depressing that match was.

Of course, there was only one winner here and it was for the whole world to see as Pompey romped to a 3-0 lead at Roots Hall on live TV only to spectacularly blow it and only manage a 3-3 draw with Southend having been in total control of the game. It's a match that will go down in infamy and there will always be a chill down the spine when Pompey fans muster the courage to talk about such a horrible afternoon in Essex.


Moment of the Season

Finally, the last award goes to what we will remember most of the 2018/2019 season from a positive point of view. 4% of voters chose the moment Pompey went top of the league after Peterborough whilst 12% decided their favourite was cementing top spot at Christmas after beating Sunderland.

24% of people voted for the wild celebrations at Norwich after knocking them out of the F.A. Cup but there was a clear winner with 60% of the vote. Despite how much maligned the competition was and how so many people boycotted virtually every round, more than 40,000 Pompey fans descended upon Wembley for the Checkatrade Trophy Final.

Sunderland were the opposition and a gripping game ended with a superb lob from Lowe being cancelled out by a late Aiden McGeady strike to take the game to penalties. MacGillivray and Hawkins were the heroes that ensured Pompey won the shootout and took some silverware home, leaving the Mackems heartbroken and emptyhanded.


That's it for this year! Here's hoping next year a simple promotion wins "moment of the year" and there are plenty more positive memories made in the 2019/2020 season!