Saturday sees us play Portsmouth for the 5th time in 19 weeks, given that this includes the close season, its fair to say we’ve seen a lot of each other! There have been noises about a nasty edge to the emerging rivalry; whilst a few individuals acted not great, (and it was literally a few) – for me….. I look forward to our meetings. Anyone who has been to Fratton Park will acknowledge, it’s a proper club at the heartbeat of a City that’s possibly seen better days, (sound familiar?). I’d obviously rather not be in League One… but given that we are, playing Portsmouth is one of the few games to wet the appetite.
There was very little between the teams last season, both in the final table and in our 5 meetings. When we lost there in December 2018, they went to 51 points at the halfway stage and a hefty 8 points clear of 3rd place. That game was only our 2nd defeat of the season, (although we are prone to the occasional draw!)
The defeat down there was prior to the inception of SAFCBlog – the 4 meetings that followed proved to be very tight……..
March at Wembley
April at SOL
May at SOL
May at Fratton Park
So, having established both teams gassed promotion last season and we had a load of tight games; there’s nothing to suggest Saturday won’t be similar?
12.30pm kick off is far from ideal for the travelling fans – so don’t expect us to break 30’000.
They’ve started ok, after losing at Shrewsbury on day 1, they’ve had convincing home wins vs Birmingham in the cup and Tranmere Rovers yesterday. Jamal Lowe leaving is obviously a blow, but on balance with the arrival of the much sought after John Marquis from Doncaster, they are arguably stronger post transfer window?
It’s an understatement that the sooner we win, (or at least offer a positive performance), in a league game the better! It’s ridiculously early in the season to be saying it…. but it would be unrealistic to suggest that the storm clouds are not gathering over the SOL and more so the man tasked with getting us out of this league.
The atmosphere is usually pretty flat at early kick offs, hopefully I’m wrong – but not sure this will be a feast of football for the watching millions around the globe on SKY TV.
Last mention is this fantastic moment from that great night in May…