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More Second City Blues - A Look Back At Villa Away

More Second City Blues - A Look Back At Villa Away
This will be our 35th visit to Villa Park in a league game and we have won only FOUR times, in fact only twice since the war!! I was lucky enough to be there on one of those occasions.

As with our last two opponents, Everton and Birmingham, our paths first crossed when we reached the First Division in 1927 when, after a 3-1 victory at Fratton in August, the return fixture 5 days later ended in a 7-2 thumping; hardly an auspicious start for Pompey.

Fixture Computer Problem

There was a major problem with the fixture computer the next season when Pompey entertained Villa on Christmas Day and won 3-2. The reverse fixture was on Boxing Day and this time Villa won 3-2. Now what would Premier League managers have to say about that? Having to play games on successive days, with the same opponents and with a fair bit of travelling involved would have upset most of them. No motorways in those days remember. And of course playing on Christmas Day as well!!

Oh the problem with the Fixture Computer - nobody had yet invented it!! And to be honest this back-to-back fixtures was a very common occurrence as were Christmas Day games.

In April 1930 Pompey achieved their first win at Villa by a solitary goal and repeated the feat two years later. The two clubs spent all but one of 24 seasons together in the top division - Villa spent the 1937/38 season in Division Two but came straight back - before they were relegated together in 1959. Villa did the double over Pompey and went straight back up, Pompey were bound for Division Three the next year.

Our paths next crossed in 1968 after Villa were relegated to Division Two. My first visit to Villa Park came in February 1969 where Pompey were unlucky to lose an excellent game 2-0. I was to return the next season and while the game was not as enjoyable the result certainly was.

The last away win

It was 17th January 1970 on a very wet and windy afternoon that Pompey visited Tommy Doherty managed Aston Villa who were sitting at the bottom of Division Two. still have the programme from the game and you can read my review here.

The game was littered with mistakes, a number of them made by Villa's Welsh International keeper John Phillips. The game was 2-2 at half time but in the early part of the second half everything Pompey hit ended up in Phillips' net. At 5-2 up most fans would feel comfortable but we had to withstand huge pressure for the last 20 minutes as the home side attacked their favourite Holte End. They pulled one back but Milkins and co held out for a famous 5-3 victory. Pompey goals were scored by Albert McCann (2), Ray Hiron, Ray Pointer and Jim Storrie.

The Villa fans were unhappy with manager Docherty at the end. The board agreed and the Doc was sacked the next Monday and replaced him with former player Vic Crowe.

After that rare occurrence Villa restored normal order and won the next six encounters over thirty-seven years until the goalless draw in April. That game was most remembered for the day David James broke the Premier League clean sheet record held by David Seaman, a record that he has continued to enhance at a great rate this season.

How will this Saturday's game finish? Enter your prediction here

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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Date:Thursday December 6 2007
Time: 8:59AM


another crackin' recollection of previous visits to villa park and how badly we have gone there, which has left me slightly worried... having said that we had bad records at birmingham and newcastle - which was terrible! - and we won these both!
06/12/2007 09:01:00
imagine modern day footballers being asked to play 2 games in as many days, let alone on christmas day and boxing day - there would be hell to pay wouldnt there...
06/12/2007 09:02:00
Imagine asking footballers to do two days work full stop!!!!
06/12/2007 09:19:00
Villa are a good side, very good. If we came away with a draw, we'll have had a superb day. We can match anybody on our day, but this is going to be one tough month, where we'll need to be at the top of our game every week. I think this next 4 weeks could define our season...I really think it's that important
06/12/2007 09:24:00
would completely agree mate - this month is more important and will shape our season more than the period druing the african nations... if we can go into the new year in great shape we will be hitting the ground running and can bring in renforcements cant we - the better we are doing, the better the players that arrive will be...
06/12/2007 09:28:00
Really looking forward to Saturdays game. Two teams with genuine pedigree. Pompey, Villa, Man City, Everton and Blackburn will have a great battle for UEFA Cup spots IMO. January will be key to add a little extra to the squads, and it is likely that the above clubs will be chasing the same or similar players. Where you are in the League at the start of January may be very important..After Saturday, good luck to Pompey, I really admire what Harry has done there.
06/12/2007 11:35:00
No No No !!! please oh please change the artical pic or the artical name !!! but to have the words city & bloose Under a picture of VP is just blasphemy. Only kidding, as said above good luck for saturday but IMHO you will be licky to get the draw, MON's outluck towards this game will be just for the win to kick off our crimbo games I think 1 to watch for you guys will be NRC after missing one game already because of cards he came out bossing the midfield around and with Barry and Young wanting to prove we deserve to be up there it will be a toughy. Good Luck guys
06/12/2007 12:21:00
im also looking forward to the game fellas - it promises to be a good game, hopefully is better than last seasons - from our points of view - we had no ambition whatsoever to win that game, but this season altho we might go away looking for points at certain grounds, villa park being one of them, we are geared up to offer more in attack - so we will have a go...
06/12/2007 13:18:00
Should be a good game, past history counts for little and both sides are playing extremely well at present. Hopefully we can nick it, but I'm sure you'll give us a fright.
06/12/2007 14:27:00
Should be a cracking game fellas. 2-2 is my forecast.
06/12/2007 17:20:00
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