The Top Ten Worst Pompey Matches Of The Decade

Last updated : 11 December 2019 By Jim Bonner

On Sunday, I posted an article listing the top ten matches of the last ten years and it wasn't too difficult to select and order the best games Pompey fans had the pleasure of experiencing since the start of 2010.

However, curating a list of the absolute worst the last decade has had to offer to suffering Portsmouth fans was a far more difficult task. Even the dishonourable mentions had to be trimmed because there were so many woeful matches to pick from.

Readers, you've been warned. The following list will evoke some painful and cringeworthy memories from the last ten years. But first, here are the dishonourable mentions:

Manchester United 5 Portsmouth 0 (06/02/2010): This match has to be mentioned for the fact that Pompey managed to outscore United at Old Trafford by putting a hat-trick of own goals into David James' net.

Portsmouth 0 Barnet 1 (09/08/2011): Remember that time when Pompey lost at home to a League Two side in the League Cup? Nope, me neither, but it happened and it was embarrassing. (Actually, I do remember this one and it was dreadful!)

Swindon Town 5 Portsmouth 0 (01/01/2013): Very nearly made the list as Pompey crumbled in the last half hour of this New Years Day fixture. The poor visiting fans then had to endure the deathtrap of Swindon's "magic roundabout" soon after and it's not an experience anyone would want to repeat.

Oldham Athletic 1 Portsmouth 0 (23/02/2013): Purely on the list because Sam Sodje absolutely did not deliberately punch Lee Barnard in the balls to get sent off. Honest, guv. Oh, and it was a typical freezing afternoon in the North West too just to add insult to injury.

York City 4 Portsmouth 2 (28/09/2013): Would have made the cut if it wasn't for a superb solo goal from Jed Wallace but this was the game that effectively killed John Sullivan's career after arguably the worst ever goalkeeping performance in a Pompey shirt.

Newport County 3 Portsmouth 0 (12/11/2013): An awful night in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy featuring even worse defending from the likes of Bondz N'Gala, Sonny Bradley and Trevor Carson in goal. Even when reduced to ten men, the hosts were never troubled. Misses out on the list simply because it was a JPT game that, thankfully, not too many Pompey fans had the displeasure of viewing.

York City 3 Portsmouth 1 (19/04/2016): Pompey could have kept their automatic promotion prospects alive and relegated the worst team in the league on this Tuesday evening. Instead, they decided to bottle the game big time and were down and out by half-time.

Portsmouth 0 Crewe Alexandra 1 (04/03/2017): Arrogant Pompey thought they could just turn up and win this game only to be humbled at home by one of the worst teams in the league. Misses out on the top ten because this result gave the team the kick up the arse they needed which inspired that superb run to the League Two title.

Portsmouth 3 Coventry City 3 (20/08/2019): Only misses out on the list because nobody knows just how damaging this result will be come the end of the season. To throw away a lead against ten men when 3-1 up and nine men when 3-2 up is unforgivable. This was my Niece's first ever Pompey game and I'll forever have to apologise to her for it.

Portsmouth 0 Southampton 4 (24/09/2019): Purely for the fact that on paper this is a thrashing at home by your arch rivals despite Pompey actually playing well until the first goal was scored by a £20 million striker who turned out to be the difference maker. Scummers may want to remember this season for this result but every other football fan will remind them that they'll always be remembered for breaking the all-time top flight record for heaviest home defeat in English football.

Jesus Christ, that was a lot of dishonourable mentions! Onto the actual top ten list now and there are some absolute stinkers to come...

10) Portsmouth 0 Sunderland 0 (Play-off semi-final 2nd leg - 16th May, 2019)

Even now it's still puzzling as to why Kenny Jackett didn't approach this game with attack in mind as a sluggish Pompey barely tested a Sunderland defence who were happy to defend what little was thrown their way. Portsmouth were eliminated from the play-offs with a whimper and nobody forgave the manager for leaving Jamal Lowe on the bench and not even using his final substitute to try and force an equaliser.

9) Portsmouth 0 AFC Wimbledon 2 (26th December, 2014)

Other Fratton Park defeats to Accrington Stanley (3-2), Colchester (3-2) and Hartlepool (3-1) were all considered for this list but it was this festive farce which takes the cake. Frankie Sutherland and Matt Tubbs did the damage for the Dons in this one as a lethargic Pompey side struggled to shake off their Christmas dinner and were deservedly booed off by those fans whose holiday season had been ruined by such a dreadful showing.

8) Plymouth Argyle 3 Portsmouth 0 (15th November, 2014)

Possibly the worst Pompey game ever to be televised in terms of sheer ineptitude as Andy Awford's awful team were taken apart by Plymouth with the game over as a contest within half an hour. A back four containing Alex Wynter, Joe Devera, Ben Chorley and Nicky Shorey weren't even fit to play Sunday League football whilst Nick Awford was handed his league debut by his father and the nepotism backfired as he produced arguably the worst debut performance from any Pompey player ever.

7) Portsmouth 1 Oxford United 4 (3rd August, 2013)

It was the start of a brand new season under fan ownership and every Pompey fan was excited about a new beginning and a potential romp through League Two as the bookies installed Portsmouth as strong favourites for the title.

Oxford were supposed to be the first team to be cut down by the blue scythe of Pompey and the script was followed to begin with as Patrick Agyemang headed in the opening goal of the game.

However, things soon turned bad. Very bad. Dean Smalley and Alfie Potter scored to put Oxford ahead and when Johnny Ertl received his marching orders in the second half, Chris Wilder's men really rubbed salt into the wounds as Potter and Smalley bagged another for themselves to complete an opening day thrashing and introduce everyone associated with Pompey to the harsh reality of League Two football.

6) Rochdale 3 Portsmouth 0 (25th March, 2014)

The fact that I called this result and even put a whopping 98p on it is testament to how bad Pompey were under Richie Barker's woeful management. Matty Lund, Ian Henderson and Peter Vincenti all scored for Dale but it may as well have been Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage on the scoresheet, so terrible was Pompey's defending.

It's the backlash following this result the most fans will remember, however, as Barker argued with the fans who bothered to stay and voice their displeasure and then afterwards told the media that he didn't fear the sack despite his team being extremely close to the relegation zone. Thankfully, the board took action and Barker was dismissed two days later.

5) Southend United 3 Portsmouth 3 (16th February, 2019)

Pompey were wobbling and lost their standing at the top of League One by the time they visited Roots Hall last season and it looked like things were going to get back on track as goals from Bryn Morris, Ben Close and Oli Hawkins should have seen the result beyond doubt after half an hour.

However, Simon Cox got one back before the break and some fans were starting to get jitters given the curse that seems to envelop Pompey every time they play at Roots Hall. Those jitters were justified as Cox bagged another from the spot with twelve minutes to go and cautious Kenny paid for his passive management as the Southend striker completed his hat-trick to the anger of Portsmouth fans all across the globe. The result was two vital points dropped in the automatic promotion race and ultimately extremely costly.

4) Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Portsmouth 1 (8th January, 2011)

On a freezing Saturday early in the new year, Championship Pompey took on League One leaders Brighton in the F.A. Cup at the Withdean Stadium, arguably the worst place you can ever watch a game of football if you managed to avoid breaking your ankles on the potholes on the way.

The winter breeze wasn't the only thing to send a chill down the spine of every Pompey fan situated in the temporary stands in Brighton's temporary home as the football Steve Cotterill's men served up was abysmal.

Dave Kitson continued to endear himself to the Portsmouth fans by getting sent off for an early elbow on Adam El-Abd and, naturally, fell behind soon after to Chris Wood's goal. Ibrahima Sonko's needless handball then handed the Seagulls a penalty that Ashley Barnes dispatched right before the break and the game was effectively over.

The experience was made worse by the infamous Pompey Ryan annoying everyone in the stands with his Vuvuzela before offering teenage Pompey fans a fight in the adjacent stand, before realising they supported the same team he did.

Wannabe reality star Tom Kilbey pulled a goal back in stoppage time only for Brighton to deliver a swift middle finger to the visiting fans and score again immediately to complete one of the worst experiences a Pompey fan will ever have to go through and not just for what happened on the pitch.

3) Aldershot Town 1 Portsmouth 0 (19th November, 2014)

As lows go when supporting Pompey, losing a first ever F.A. Cup tie against non-league opposition is right down there with the worst. Pompey had got out of jail with a late equaliser in the original tie at Fratton Park but come the replay on live TV, the whole nation could see just how low Portsmouth had sunk.

Andy Awford has clearly lost the dressing room at this point of his managerial career as shown by the cameras inside the dressing room during the coverage and the performance reflected that as the visitors struggled to muster any meaningful chance against their dogged opponents.

Pompey were so poor that it wasn't surprising when Mark Molesley scored the scrappiest of winners ten minutes from time but even so, this was one of the most shameful moments in Portsmouth's history.

2) AFC Wimbledon 4 Portsmouth 0 (16th November, 2013)

Where to even begin with this absolute face of a performance against a side that were fighting relegation and hadn't won at home for two months?

Trevor Carson gave away a penalty only to then save it but unfortunately the clowns in front of him gave him as much protection as the NHS gets under a Tory government. Bondz N'Gala somehow managed to slice the ball out for a corner despite being close to the halfway line and the Dons typically scored from it.

The game may as well have been over after that as this dreadful Pompey side couldn't string two passes together and barely managed a meaningful shot on the opposition goal. Those who could see the debacle unfold in the away section of the ground would have wished they'd stuck to the corner of Kingsmeadow where anyone would struggle to see anything, the showing was that terrible.

Pompey crumbled in the last fifteen minutes as George Francomb scored twice and Michael Smith banged in another in stoppage time to complete the embarrassing rout that had fans chanting "Whittingham out!" after one of the worst performances in living memory.

Simon Ferry later said on twitter that the showing was "disgraceful and embarrassing" and "absolute dog shit" - he was being kind.

1) Plymouth Argyle 1 Portsmouth 0  (15th May, 2016)

The most heartbreaking result since the F.A. Cup semi-final replay defeat to Liverpool in 1992, this was one suckerpunch extremely difficult to take.

Everyone associated with Portsmouth was right to feel aggrieved following the first leg of this play-off semi-final as both of Plymouth's goals were scored by a man who should have been sent off. Whilst that was a thrilling game, the return leg at Home Park was a cagey affair that looked like it was going to penalties despite some chances for the hosts.

But we all know what happened in the last minute of stoppage time in extra time. Peter Hartley bundled in a corner at the death to knock Pompey out of the play-offs and condemn them to another season in League Two.

Of course, Pompey fans eventually had the last laugh on the Plymouth fans who invaded the pitch and taunted them as their side were first beaten at Wembley by Wimbledon and then pipped to the League Two title on the last day of the following season before getting relegated in May 2019.

But nobody ever wants to talk about this match again. Unlike some of the others in this list, it's not even a game fans can look back and laugh about and the dire performance on the day complete with the ending makes the play-off semi-final at Plymouth the worst match of the last decade.