Pompey 2-1 Man City, 11-03-06
The 'Pedro Mendes' match will never be forgotten will it. Well, it is a day that I will certainly never forget, even though I actually did not see the game nor did I hear the most part of it, bar the final couple of minutes plus the all important injury time...
It was a great day, but also a horrible day... living where I do and the financial constraints I then faced - they are not as bad now, but still I do not see many games - meant this was one of many games that I missed, not having Pompey World as it then was or being able to play the match through the net on the Quay meant I was restricted to listening to whatever game was on radio 5 live and making do with the online scores and what Soccer Saturday had to offer... it was torture!
Every now and then whatever game was the main commentary on the radio on that day kept crossing to Fortress Fratton for an update but it was never good news, not bad either but not good, it was a must win game. Then on the hour, the words 'lets cross to Fratton Park' were spoken, with fingers firmly crossed - tighter than they already were - it was a 25 yard screamer from Mendes that put us ahead, delight would be an understatement but I still had 30 minutes of this torture to go!
Our failure to score a 2nd worried me more and more as the time went on, knowing also that we had not kept a clean sheet in some 3 months made me nervous and when, with less than 10 minutes to go they 'crossed' to Fratton again my heart sank... even more so when they said that Richard Dunne had equalised.
A point was not enough, we had to win, we just had to as our plight was that bad - this would have basically been the final nail in the coffin. I had never given up hope, but at Christmas and early in 2006 we looked screwed, but then into injury time and one of the greatest and most important goals Pompey are ever likely to score came...
By this time the commentary had switch permanently to Fratton, Svetoslav Todorov and Lomana LuaLua had gone close, but from 30 yards after an exquisite touch Mendes did it again, beating the then Man City keeper David James who lashed the ball wildly into the crowd as the ball came back out of the net to him as the crowd went wild, along with the players and every single Pompey fan around the world - I went berserk, I really did.
The name Pedro Mendes was well and truly etched into the record books for Pompey and he will never be forgotten for as long as Portsmouth Football Club are going.
Both goals were fantastic, but the 2nd goal was special for so many reasons - we still had a lot of work to do to avoid relegation that season, but that was the moment that I not only knew, not thought, I knew we were destined to not only stay up but our future was going to be a magically one - and so far so good...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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