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Portsmouth 2009

One day before Portsmouth played their last game away to Wigan Athletic, a host of enthusiastic Pompey fans took to the tunnel and lined up to await further instructions from the Match Officials. This was Football Aid’s first ever event at Fratton Park, and as the 27 men stood proudly in the tunnel, everyone could sense the intense emotional atmosphere that then led them out onto the hallowed turf for their 90 minutes in the spotlight.

Saturday 23rd May 2009
Portsmouth Home Vs Portsmouth Away
Fratton Park
KO: 12:00pm
Legends: Alan Knight, Mickey Birmingham, Mark Chamberlain and Martin Kuhl

The game kicked off on time in the glorious sunshine down by the famous naval bases in Portsmouth, and it wasn’t long until the first goal was scored. A scramble in the box and a few attempts on goal were initially created but both were blocked by Home defenders Bob Fryer and Alan Knight. The ball was then rebounded onto Away captain Chris Harvell, who took a low right footed shot into the bottom left of the goal to make it 1-0 to the Away Team.

One minute later and the Away team had no intention of slowing down. Another quick attempt on goal was taken after a free kick was given, however Home keeper Ian Skinner produced a great save denying the Away team the chance to double their lead.

It wasn’t long until the Home team were on equal terms when a cross-in from the right of the pitch was knocked in at the left post in the 21st minute by striker Lewis Wheatcroft. The celebrations did not last long however, as less than 60 seconds later, the Away team regained the lead with a great curling right footed shot by Michael Jenkins: the midfielder’s strike initially hitting off the bar and the post, and then securing its place in the top corner.

Not to be disheartened, the Home team marched on, however they couldn’t stop another strong attempt on goal by the Away team in the 24th minute. Once again though, keeper Ian Skinner was on hand to save the oncoming danger, with a brilliant save from a headed attempt just by the post. 

The Home team chased for the equalizer before the referee blew his half time whistle, and it looked as though they could have gone into the tunnel level with their opponents. But it was not to be as a long range shot was neatly saved by Away keeper Calvin Holland.

Half Time: Portsmouth Home 1 – 2 Portsmouth Away

The game picked up where it had left off in the first half, with the Home team desperate to get back into the game with an equalizer. Calvin Holland was quick to make another great save within 5 minutes of the restart, when the Home team took another long range shot at goal.

The on-form keeper was quick to keep his team ahead when a dangerous attack by the Home team looked to even things up. However with yet another fantastic save this time down low to his right, Holland was able to eliminate the danger. However three minutes later, the Home team finally managed to level up the score after a scramble in the box ended up with Home defender Shane Leigh-Webb converting the Home team’s second goal.

In the 20th minute, David Yetman looked as though he could provide a great assist as he crossed the ball in from the right. However instead of sending the ball across to the strikers in the box, the right back misjudged the distance, almost looping it into the net. Holland again was in a perfect position to make a strong save. 

Ten minutes later, the Home team almost managed to gain the lead for the first time in the game when a free kick was taken on the edge of the box. However their lead was not to occur, as the shot went high over the cross bar and into the stand.

A few injuries and cramps from the tired players near to full time led to the physio making frequent appearances on the pitch. And so it stayed 2-a-piece as the referee blew the final whistle, and the games winner went on to be decided by penalties. 

Full time: Portsmouth Home 2-2 Portsmouth Away
                (Portsmouth Home win 11-9 on penalties)

Home Team: I Skinner, Yetman, Leigh-Webb, Knight, Wood, Fryer, Hardinge, McConnell, Laidlaw, Wheatcroft, Binns, Goodall, B Skinner, Studwell, Fitzgibbon

Away Team: Holland, Grant, Chamberlain, Kuhl, Guest, Louth, Mepham, Byrne, Harvell, Kirkpatrick, Jenkins, Denford, Buckland, Mellor

Mascots: Fraser McLauchlin and Matthew Denford

Man of the Match (home): Shane Leigh-Webb
Man of the Match (away): John Guest
Moment of the Match: Ian Skinner