The Top 10 Pompey Matches Of The Decade

Last updated : 08 December 2019 By Jim Bonner

It's the 2nd of January, 2010 and Pompey's unpaid Premier League stars are taking on Championship side Coventry at Fratton Park in the third round of the F.A. Cup.

Kevin-Prince Boateng's header cancelled out David Bell's opener as Avram Grant's side began their famous F.A. Cup run of 2010 that came so close to glory. Since then, Pompey have played many matches as they see out the decade looking to establish themselves in the League One play-offs before 2020 begins.

This article is dedicated to picking out the very best of those games. The top ten, in fact. Whilst the lows certainly outnumber the highs, there have been many moments in the last ten years to have been proud to call ourselves Portsmouth fans.

Remember that this is simply my own opinion so feel free to agree or disagree on Twitter. Before the list begins, here are some honourable mentions that didn't quite make the cut:

Southampton 2 Portsmouth 2 (07/04/2012): Will always be remembered for the David Norris equaliser to preserve a derby unbeaten record that lasted for over seven years. Just misses the cut because despite this, Scummers still got promoted and Pompey still went down.

Doncaster Rovers 3 Portsmouth 4 (14/04/2012): Has to be mentioned for the utter robbery it was. Rovers raced into a two goal lead only for the referee to award Pompey a penalty for a challenge outside the box by Habib Beye who was sent off. The spot kick was scored along with another to equalise, both by Greg Halford. Doncaster took the lead again but Dave Kitson punched in a 90th minute equaliser and Marko Futacs scored at the death to send Donny down and preserve Pompey's Championship status for another week. A total injustice!

Bury 4 Portsmouth 4 (26/04/2014): A crazy end to a game that was 3-1 to the hosts before Ryan Taylor pulled a goal back on the 82nd minute only for Hallam Hope to complete his hat-trick five minutes later. Sonny Bradley immediately replied and Wes Fogden scored the scrappiest of equalisers at the death to claim a draw. This one misses out on the top ten because ultimately Pompey were safe by this penultimate game of the season and the result didn't really matter.

Newport County 2 Portsmouth 3 (26/12/2016): Pompey fans would have been spitting out their Christmas leftovers as their team were two down to the worst team in the league on Boxing Day. However, Danny Rose pulled one back and then two late goals from Enda Stevens and Kal Naismith, who had also missed a penalty, completed the turnaround.

Portsmouth 2 Wigan Athletic 1 (02/04/2018): On the list simply because Paul Cook came back to Fratton Park having left for Wigan and saw his team firmly spanked courtesy of goals from Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe. This one misses out on the top ten as this result didn't change anything in the grand scheme of things as Cook's team still won the league whilst Pompey missed out on the play-offs.

Norwich City 0 Portsmouth 1 (05/01/2019): A good F.A. Cup tie between the leaders of the Championship and League One that lit up towards the end as neither side wanted a replay and the ten men of Norwich surged forward for a winner only to be caught out at the death by Andre Green's goal which sent Pompey fans into absolute hysterics in the away end.

Phew! After all that, here are the top ten Portsmouth matches of the decade.

10) Portsmouth 3 Sheffield United 0 (20th April, 2013)

This was Pompey's first match after the Trust had bought the club out of administration and it was confirmed that the ten-point penalty would be applied immediately rather than the following season and thus this was the first game played at Fratton Park for years that the fans could truly enjoy knowing the club was now in the safe hands of the supporters rather than Portpin and co.

The match itself couldn't have gone any better, either. Shaun Cooper headed in the opener with David Connolly and Jed Wallace adding to the goals in the space of eleven minutes to end the Blades' automatic promotion hopes. A special mention for Dave Kitson who was hauled off after an abysmal performance against his former club on a day of celebration for the fans.

9) Colchester United 0 Portsmouth 4 (11th March, 2017)

The midweek win over Crawley and the 3-0 win at Carlisle were considered for this list but it was this extremely impressive result at Colchester which had the fans truly believing that the 2016/2017 season would end in promotion.

To go to a ground where the home side were unbeaten in the league all season and tear them apart saw Paul Cook's side finally realise their true potential. Eoin Doyle nodded in the opener with Kyle Bennett scoring Pompey's second immediately after the restart. Danny Rose and Michael Doyle then finished off counter-attacks to put the shine on what was a complete performance in Essex.

8) Portsmouth 6 Leicester City 1 (24th September, 2010)

Both sides came into this game winless in the league and with the Foxes having beaten Pompey in the League Cup a few days before this encounter, nobody expected what was to come against Portsmouth's historical bogey team.

Liam Lawrence struck in an early penalty courtesy of a handball but the game truly turned when Vitor was sent off for a challenge on David Nugent and Lawrence blasted in the free kick to double the lead. Nugent then got involved himself by arrowing in a third and Dave Kitson bagged a fourth straight from the restart.

Steve Howard scored a consolation only for Kitson to bag his second of the night soon after and then Michael Brown of all people scored a goal that Lionel Messi would have been proud of in stoppage time to complete the Friday evening rout. This was easily the most enjoyable game of the Cotterball era and it felt great to get one over Leicester at the same time.

7) Cambridge United 2 Portsmouth 6 (21st February, 2015)

Placing this match in this list is all about the context in which it was played. Pompey were going nowhere under Andy Awford in League Two and hadn't won away from home in six months, only scoring a paltry six goals in that time.

So to come to the Abbey Stadium and score that many goals in just ninety minutes of football was ridiculous. Jed Wallace was a menace that day and scored after just two minutes and although Nathaniel Mendez-Laing equalised, Pompey grabbed the lead again thanks to a Matt Tubbs goal.

Paul Robinson then blasted in a third before Tubbs bagged his second of the afternoon right before the break. Robbie Simpson scored for the hosts but it didn't matter as Ryan Taylor bundled in a fifth and Tubbs scored again to take home the match ball. That result was the first time Pompey had scored six away from Fratton Park since a 6-3 victory at Orient back in 1963 and nobody who was at the game that day will ever forget it.

6) Crewe Alexandra 1 Portsmouth 2 (2nd March, 2013)

As with the previous entry, this one is all about the context.

Portsmouth were on the worst run in their history having not won in a record-breaking 22 matches in a season that also saw them equal a club record of nine straight defeats before their trip to play Crewe at Gresty Road.

None of the 485 fans who made the journey would have expected anything given the dire situation at the club at the time with Guy Whittingham doing his best to try and salvage some pride from such an awful season but this was finally the day that Pompey broke their duck.

Patrick Agyemang scored an early goal to give the visitors the hope they so desperately craved and when David Connolly smashed in a rebound for the second, there was pandemonium in the away section of the ground.

Of course, Pompey didn't make things easy as AJ Leitch-Smith pulled a goal back to get the nerves jangling but the Blues held on to spark incredible celebrations amongst those who made the journey with many running onto the pitch to embrace the men who had ended the worst run of results in the club's history.

Whilst our famous club might have celebrated winning league titles, promotions and F.A. Cups, the celebrations at Crewe meant just as much in what was one of those true "I was there" moments in Portsmouth's history.

5) Portsmouth 2 Sunderland 2 (Checkatrade Trophy Final - 31st March, 2019)

The Checkatrade Trophy was rightfully panned by fans and critics alike for the EFL's way of trying to introduce B Teams into the Football League via this competition and whilst many Pompey fans boycotted the competition last season, most couldn't resist a sixth trip to Wembley Stadium to take on promotion rivals Sunderland for a piece of (albeit minor) silverware.

Whilst the morals of said boycott can be debated forever, those who did decide to go were treated to an excellent game of football between the two biggest clubs in the division. Aiden McGeady gave the Mackems the lead but Nathan Thompson's header saw the game go to extra time.

Jamal Lowe then scored one of the greatest goals seen at the new Wembley Stadium only for McGeady to snatch an equaliser at the death and force penalties which thankfully Pompey had the steel to win and claim the EFL Trophy for the first time in their history.

It may not have been anywhere near as significant as the F.A. Cup win eleven years prior, but there would have been many young fans attending their first ever Pompey game that Sunday afternoon and what they saw will hopefully have encouraged them to support Portsmouth from that day forward.

4) Notts County 1 Portsmouth 3 (17th April, 2017)

For four long and painful years Pompey had been slumming it in the bottom tier of English football but Good Friday in 2017 presented an opportunity to finally end that anguish as Paul Cook's side had put earlier season struggles behind them and gained some real momentum.

Gareth Evans gave the Blues the perfect start with a penalty but Jorge Grant equalised meaning the match was poised at 1-1 going into the second half. Some of the fans believed it wasn't going to be their day as the match dragged on, knowing that Luton also had to slip up against Mansfield to keep the promotion dream alive.

Enter Jamal Lowe, who etched himself into Pompey folklore by scoring two late goals to confirm the victory and with Luton failing to beat Mansfield, the Meadow Lane pitch invasion began as promotion to League One was confirmed. Those scenes were special but what was to come after was even better...

3) Southampton 1 Portsmouth 4 (13th February, 2010)

As much as they didn't want to admit it, some Pompey fans were dreading the prospect of facing Scummers at St. Mary's for this F.A. Cup fifth round tie despite a two-division gap. They were flying in League One whilst Pompey were in dire financial straits and were relegation certainties in the Premier League.

So what happened on that afternoon was simply dreamland for everyone involved with Portsmouth Football Club. A tense derby exploded into life in the second half as Quincy Owusu-Abieye curled in the opening goal of the match.

Rickie Lambert headed in an equaliser and then the carnage ensued as Aruna Dindane slotted in Pompey's second before Lee Barnard's equaliser was ruled out for offside. Nadir Belhadj and Jamie O'Hara then scored two goals on the counter-attack to really pile on the misery on Saints fans and restore some much needed pride in the blue part of Hampshire.

2) Tottenham Hotspur 0 Portsmouth 2 (F.A. Cup semi-final - 11th April, 2010)

The pre-match build-up to this game had everything. Harry Redknapp and the players he took from Pompey were expected to destroy a cobbled together team that were in administration and relegated the day before. Spurs were massive favourites with the vast majority of their fans thinking it would be a stroll in the park for them and utter humiliation for Avram Grant's men.

However, as the game progressed, the belief amongst the Pompey fans grew as Tottenham couldn't break down a stubborn defence marshalled by Ricardo Rocha and Aaron Mokoena who had transformed into superhuman versions of themselves for the grand occasion. When Jermain Defoe was subbed off after an ineffective hour, the belief increased some more and when the full-time whistle blew with the score goalless, there was a genuine chance of a major upset.

Then, the moment came. Freddie Piquionne capitalised on the Spurs defence slipping on the carved-up Wembley pitch to strike in the opening goal and those in the blue half of the national stadium went crazy.

The belief continued to grow as Peter Crouch had a goal disallowed for nothing, as David James acknowledged as he picked the ball out of the net and then the killer blow came when Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the penalty following a foul by Wilson Palacios.

The Tottenham fire drill ensued as Pompey fans partied at Wembley despite everything happening to their club off the pitch. Holding back the emotions is difficult even now when watching the highlights on YouTube and Peter Drury's commentary does the occasion justice and justice was served on Harry Redknapp and his defectors that day.

1) Portsmouth 6 Cheltenham Town 1 (6th May, 2017)

Following confirming promotion at Notts County, Pompey's wins over Cambridge and Mansfield gave them an unlikely shot at claiming the League Two title as Doncaster simply couldn't win after confirming their own promotion and Plymouth wobbled as the season reached its climax.

The maths on the final day of the 2016/2017 season was simple: beat Cheltenham and hope both Doncaster and Plymouth failed to win at Hartlepool and Grimsby respectively. When Grimsby took the lead against Argyle in the first minute, things were already looking up.

Beating a Cheltenham side that had narrowly avoided relegation was never in doubt although Pompey only lead through Daniel O'Shaughnessy's own goal at the break whilst Doncaster were winning at Hartlepool anyway to deny Paul Cook's men the crown.

With Plymouth equalising early in the second half, the belief that the League Two title was heading to Fratton Park was fading. Meanwhile, Kyle Bennett, Kal Naismith and Jamal Lowe had at least ensured there would be no screw up on Pompey's behalf as they took a commanding 4-0 lead.

Suddenly, the unlikely had happened as Hartlepool had equalised and Pompey were officially top of the league. Gareth Evans scored a penalty with fans singing Hartlepool's name as they took the lead against Doncaster to put them out of the title race.

The Pompey fans had stopped caring about their own match as James Deyton scored a consolation before Naismith smashed in a sixth and attention turned to what was happening at Grimsby.

When the full-time whistle blew some fans prematurely invaded the pitch in celebration but it wasn't long before it was confirmed that Plymouth had also failed to win and Portsmouth were crowned champions of League Two having been top of the league for 34 minutes of the entire season.

The celebrations and party that followed will never be forgotten by all those who took part. Pompey had achieved the unlikely against the odds and that is why the final match of the 2016/2017 season is the peak of Portsmouth's last decade.