Vital Football

Milky Magic

Milky Magic
1985 and Pompey had had a storming start to their domestic campaign, Nicky Morgan was the man who had been banging the goals in early in the season, apparently giving notice to some highly unlikely interest from Italy!
Alan Ball was Pompey's managerial messiah at the time, and the promised land of division 1 football seemed a real prospect after 26 years of abstinence.

On the 20th November 1985, Pompey pulled a rabbit out of the hat in drawing the then mighty Spurs in round 4 of the Milk Cup, White Hart Lane beckoned, and a road trip with Mum and Dad was arranged. My memories of this encounter are not that lucid, I remember going in a fish and chip shop and the Space Invader machine top scores all reading PFC, I remember the unbelievable Ticker-tape reception, I remember Mick Channon missing a decent chance and I remember we didn't score, but neither did Spurs and a plum home tie was in the reckoning.

Pompey lost their next league match to Sheffield United 3-0 at home, bigger things were obviously to mind, and on Tuesday 26th November Spurs made their way to Fratton and 28,100 fervent fans awaited to see Pompey pull off a giant-killing.

Back in the 80's things were a little different of course, you had one sub, and if you drew in the cup, you simply played again, and again until a winner came forth. Again my memories of this encounter are not filled with drama, just delight that Pompey's defence kept out the like of Chris Waddle, Glen Hoddle and the rest of the star-studded Spurs squad.

So, to the match in question, 10 December 1985, six days before my 15th birthday and a cold winter night, Fratton Park was packed again, and Pompey had moved Mick Channon (who had won the cup with Norwich the season before) to the bench and loanee Tommy Christensen took his place up front.

Pompey at this time had the defence of Noel Blake, a man who John Fashanu named as the scariest defender he ever played against in a Sun article, Billy the Blade Gilbert, and a real winner in Kenny Swain at right-back and local lad (well, Basingstoke) Lee Sandford on the left, in goal was a man many will not remember, some bloke called Knight.

Pompey were being roared on by a vociferous crowd, the ground swirled with a snowstorm of ripped up paper once more to resemble a footballing maelstrom, and both teams clashed for a third time in 3 weeks, a big man was needed for the occasion, and a big man was to step forward.

Just over 300 minutes was broken by a booming header by big Noel Blake, if I remember correctly it was into the Milton End, but the roar that greeted it could of been heard in New Milton, Pompey were one up against Spurs!

Spurs came at Pompey now, but Tommy Christensen was having his best game in a Pompey shirt, O'Callaghan and Hilaire were running hard on the wings helping out an under pressure midfield, and Alan Knight stood firm when the defence was breached.

To anyone at that game, one defining moment stands out, time was ticking by, and Alan Knight received the ball to his feet, Chris Waddle was closing in fast, out of his area, what does Alan do? Simple, he drops a shoulder, shimmies round Waddle and clears upfield, the day was Pompey's and Mighty Spurs were defeated in a true David/Goliath contest.

The footnote to this story was a trip to Manor road, the then home of Oxford United, who were also top flight, Pompey never reached the same heights and were comprehensively stuffed 3-1, Gary Stanley scored our consolation on the day, but the highlight was seeing Jeremy Charles get the blackest black eye in history from Noel Blake, that's another story though, but 10th December 1985 was when you dared for the glory days to return.

To view the Pompeyrama stats of the game click here.

Join the Vital Pompey Debate
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football

Writer:paultsmouth
Date:Saturday March 28 2009
Time: 11:58AM

Comments

0
Fantastic read
dedmans
28/03/2009 12:07:00
0
Well done Paul, I've now established you were born the same year as my neice and you were but 3 when I saw my last Pompey live game as a resident of the UK. I recollect that I got ship updates of all of Pompeys games Oct 1973 as I sailed to Australia, but unfortunately I think they were mostly defeats. I will have to check the record books between Oct 10th - Nov 11th that year, but at least I remember my last game living on English soil was a 2-1 departing victory over Oxford Utd, and my given a signed football by the squad.
pompeygray
28/03/2009 13:42:00
0
Not a bad way to go out Dave, shame about all the crap to follow mind!
paultsmouth
28/03/2009 14:11:00
0
Great memories Paul. Didn't go to WHL but saw both home ties. Ticket problems at the first replay too where some with tickets did not get in. Link added as requested too.
eastneydave
28/03/2009 15:31:00
0
Top man Dave, cheers
paultsmouth
28/03/2009 16:01:00
0
How on earth do you remember all that detail? When you said "my memories of that encounter weren't that lucid" I thought, My God, don't tell me he was drinking at that age! Very good read.
Gandor1
28/03/2009 18:14:00
0
I remember this - I was a student in London at the time, and used to hang around with a couple of guys who supported Arsenal & QPR - both then 'first division', I went to the Lane with them, like London fans in general, they had a great disdain for the Spuds, and were delighted with little Pompey's (eventual) giant-killing against them. Was this the year that Oxford beat QPR 3-0 in the Milk Cup final? Cos I went to that courtesy of my QPR supporting mate.
tracyc
28/03/2009 19:35:00
0
I remember flying down from Inverness for the second replay, shows how desperate we were for any glory after the previous twenty years of mainly doom and gloom!
NorfolknBlue
29/03/2009 10:04:00
0
Great memories. A little before my time though ha ha.
sneakay
30/03/2009 12:06:00
0
Blake's goal was at the Milton End, Paul. Sorry forgot to add that earlier.
eastneydave
30/03/2009 12:36:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Portsmouth Articles

The Fear faces Ben Nevis!

Vitalfootball.co.uk co-owner Jonathan Fear is pushing himself to the limit in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

On this day in history...3rd May

A look back at this day in history, and what was happening with Pompey courtesy of our sister site PompeyRama, 3rd May.

Who Will Portsmouth Face In 2016/17 (3/5/16)

With less than a handful of games remaining in the 2015/16 campaign, some promotions and relegations in the football pyramid are already known.

April MotM Nomination - Cook (Portsmouth)

The April nominations for the Sky Bet League 2 Manager of the Month Award are in.

Archived Vital Pompey Articles

Vital Pompey articles from

Site Journalists

pompeyrug
Editor email
Profile
eastneydave
Editor email
Profile
paultsmouth
no email
Profile
Chix
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Hartlepool MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Murphy52%
Stevens0%
Burgess8%
Barton0%
Freeman0%
Doyle0%
Hollands0%
Naismith16%
Roberts12%
Evans0%
Smith4%
Sub - McGurk0%
Sub - Chaplin4%
Sub - Whatmough4%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 45 28 12 5 96 35
2 Accrington 45 24 12 9 84 26
3 Oxford 45 23 14 8 83 40
4 Bristol Rovers 45 25 7 13 82 30
5 Portsmouth 45 21 15 9 78 32
6 Plymouth 45 23 9 13 78 21
7 Wimbledon 45 20 12 13 72 13
8 Cambridge 45 18 13 14 67 11
9 Leyton Orient 45 18 12 15 66 -2
10 Wycombe 45 17 13 15 64 4
11 Exeter 45 17 13 15 64 1
12 Carlisle 45 16 16 13 64 0
13 Mansfield 45 17 12 16 63 8
14 Luton 45 18 9 18 63 -1
15 Barnet 45 16 11 18 59 -4
16 Hartlepool 45 15 6 24 51 -18
17 Notts County 45 14 9 22 51 -24
18 Yeovil 45 11 15 19 48 -15
19 Stevenage 45 11 14 20 47 -15
20 Crawley 45 13 8 24 47 -30
21 Morecambe 45 12 9 24 45 -22
22 Newport 45 10 13 22 43 -20
R Dag & Red 45 8 10 27 34 -34
R York 45 7 12 26 33 -36
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Portsmouth Results (view all)

Portsmouth Fixtures (view all)

May 7 2016 3:00PM : Northampton Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.storagematt5
2.Copnor433
3.mslorna482
4.FrattonBlue2
5.Emsworthianblue2
6.eastneydave2