Not a happy hunting ground
However St Andrews would prove to be a difficult place to visit for they lost twelve of their first thirteen games at Birmingham's Bordesley Green venue before in 1949 they won 3-0. Pompey were of course Champions at the time.
Pompey have suffered the ignominy of letting in four or more goals on seven occasions on their visits to Birmingham the last being the 5-0 debacle in 2006. Read more on that game here.
My first visit came in August 1968. Pompey had had a great season in 1967/68 being top for a periods before tailing off to finish fifth but City who had also done well last time out. The home team went off like a train and were 3-0 up in the first 17 minutes to the shock of the visiting fans but Pompey fought back bravely and were only 3-2 down at the break. The second period saw Pompey go close to equalizing before two late goals sealed a 5-2 victory. Worse was to come three seasons later when Pompey were thrashed 6-3 by a City side on their way to promotion to the top flight. We were also unfortunate to have to play at St Andrews in the 5th round of the FA Cup that season again losing 3-1.
It was in the FA Cup that Pompey had won their first time against City in Birmingham but that had been in their previous guise of Small Heath. On formation Small Heath had played at Muntz Street which had a capacity of 30,000. Eventually they moved to St Andrews in 1906 - their new ground having a capacity of 75,000. Pompey had the pleasure of winning the last ever FA Cup game at Muntz Street by 2-0 in February 1905.
Birmingham were to avenge that historic defeat some forty years later. Everyone out there knows that Pompey held the Cup for a record seven years but it was City who ended that run in January 1946 winning a two legged affair 1-0. In fact Pompey have been drawn with City eight times in their history which I think is the most; strangely they have never met in the League Cup.
Birmingham have only won one major honour in their history littered with disappointments and near misses. Their 1963 League Cup success stands out because they defeated archrivals Aston Villa in the final.
Shortly after the Second World War was declared, the Chief Constable of Birmingham closed the ground because of the danger of air raids, and Blues played away from home or at neutral venues. It was the only ground efected by such a ban and was reopened after pressure from the government.
Ironically in January 1942, the Main Stand was destroyed in bizarre circumstances. During the war, the Main Stand was being used as a temporary fire station, and a member of the National Fire Service attempted to put out small fire in a brazier with what he thought was water, but his bucket contained petrol! The Main Stand was completely destroyed along with most of the clubs records
Written by eastneydave.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.
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