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Home: All Other Football Interests: Premier League & Football League:
Portsmouth v. Oxford United memories

 



oxpete
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Aug 1, 2013, 12:31 PM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Portsmouth v. Oxford United memories Can't Post or Reply Privately

Pompey v Oxford United on Saturday will be one of the most anticipated and exciting league matches of the day. Being a lifelong Pompey fan living in Oxford with strong family links to both cities, its brought back to me lots of memories of past meetings between the two. With plenty of followers of both clubs frequenting this forum, can any of you add to this handful?


Division Two, December 1984
Portsmouth 2 Oxford United 1

One of the greatest matches I think I've ever seen: the Saturday three days before Christmas, lashing with rain on a ploughed field of a pitch, both sides in the top three, played in front of over 22,500. Kevin Brock (now Ardley United's manager) scored for Oxford early in the second half, but with time running out a Pompey fan dressed as Father Christmas ran across the pitch, creating enough of a hold-up for two minutes of added time in which Alan Biley headed in an equaliser then the winner. Cue bedlam all around the ground. Even then, there was time for Oxford to have a shot cleared off the line and a header off the bar. Come the end of that 1984/85 season, Oxford under Jim Smith won promotion to Division One for the first ever time, while Pompey under Alan Ball missed out on promotion by about half-a-dozen goals to Man.City.

Milk Cup Quarter Final, January 1986
Oxford United 3 Portsmouth 1

A woeful match from a Pompey point-of-view. I'd attended all three matches against Spurs in the previous round (again, some of the most memorable football matches I've ever attended: 0-0 in both the original at White Hart Lane and the replay at Fratton, then 1-0 in the second-replay), and we really fancied our chances in this one as Oxford were going through a bad patch. Pompey chairman John Deakin had proposed the match be switched to Fratton Park because of the poxy size of the Manor Ground, a comment which went down like a fat man falling off a yacht with Oxford's owner! Gary Stanley scored a late 40yd piledriver for Pompey, but in the end Oxford walked all over us, beat Villa over two legs in the semi, then stuffed QPR at Wembley in the final. Pompey again finished 4th in Div.2 and narrowly missed promotion (though this time rather less glamorously to Wimbledon).

Division Two, March 1991
Oxford United 1 Portsmouth 0

By this time, my mum was living in a house in Osler Road, behind the Cuckoo Lane away end of the Manor. This rainy, utterly forgettable match only lives in the memory because of Jim Magiltons 90th minute winner for Oxford at that end of the ground, after which he and captain Steve 'Fozzie' Foster (my Fratton hero as a kid in the mid1970s) came over and laughed at us all. On returning to my mum's after the game, she said she guessed it must've been a good match because of all the noise (which I'm guessing was all the abuse being thrown at Fozzie).

Division One, November 1992
Oxford United 5 Portsmouth 5

Despite all the £multimillion superstars bought during the Harry Redknapp spree, the 1992/93 squad put together by Jim Smith is still the greatest ever Pompey side I've been privileged enough to see. In attack they were fantastic (Guy Whittingham scoring 47 goals that season, and Paul Walsh played as if at his peak) but the defence had a tendency to go awol. On this night, Pompey ripped Oxford apart for 80mins to go 5-2 up. Oxford got their late third but most of the home fans were streaming for the gates way before then. In stoppage time, Jim Smith brought on young Pompey sub Stuart Doling to mark Oxford's only decent player of the night Chris Allen, turning the match in spectacular fashion: first he hauled down Allen in the area for Magilton to score the penalty, then when Pompey restarted by wildly hoofing the ball upfield, Oxford quickly played it out to an unmarked Allen who equalised while Doling appeared to be tying up his laces. As to script: Pompey missed out on promotion that season to West Ham by just two goals, then losing the play-off semi to Leicester. Stuart Doling, meanwhile, had a stint at Doncaster (described as 'injury-prone'), then disappeared off to Australia with English cricket's 'Barmy Army', claiming that he was disillusioned with football...

Division One, August 1997
Portsmouth 2 Oxford United 1

Watched in the company of TheWavendonian. No roof on the Milton end, we got sunburnt, then Princess Diana died.

Division One, September 1998
Oxford United 3 Portsmouth 0

My last ever visit to the Manor Ground. I said "How!" to Fred Dinedage outside after the match, but as Pompey were so bloody awful that day I don't think either of us found it particularly funny.

Pre-season friendly, August 2008
Oxford United 1 Portsmouth 2

At the Kassam. Oxford's fans chanted throughout the match "England's number three, England England's number three" at Pompey goalie David James, until the final minute when several calamity James' fumbles led to Oxford's goal and the chants changed to "England's number four, England England's number four"!


leohoenig
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Aug 1, 2013, 12:37 PM

Posts: 13481
Location: Outer Cheltenhamshire
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Re: [oxpete] Portsmouth v. Oxford United memories [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

...and no mention at all of the rather uninspiring 1981 draw at Fratton (1-1) which was my "tick" of the ground.
At the time, I was unaware that within six months, I would be living on Portsea Island, and within 30 years, I would live in Oxfordshire!!



Fat AND Pompous.
The proof that you can have too much of a good thing
Now blogging at http://www.leohoenig.com



acmold
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Aug 1, 2013, 1:42 PM

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Re: [leohoenig] Portsmouth v. Oxford United memories [In reply to] Can't Post or

Portsmouth 0
Oxford United 2

Tuesday 4th April 1978

My first visit to Fratton Park, Oxford were having a very bad season and away from home they were rubbish. Before the Pompey game their away record was won 1, drawn 4, lost 14. The only win had come at Bradford in August even then they almost lost having been 3-0 up at one point but only ending up winning 3-2. After that win at Bradford they picked up only 1 point (at Port Vale) before the win at Portsmouth. The remaining away games saw further defeats.

On the night Oxford were unbeatable more down to the fact Portsmouth were far worse than Oxford and ended up being relegated. The home fans were so upset by the defeat they started burning their scarves in the home end.

Oxford even managed to lose at Nuneaton in the Cup that year, though at the time they lost on a regular basis to non league sides. August was the highlight of the season the club were undefeated away from home in league and cup - 3 games!. The highlight being a 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury in the League Cup, but not for Elvis as he left the building that night.


oxpete
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Aug 1, 2013, 5:31 PM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Here are a few of the highlights of the December 1984 match, courtesy of 'The Big Match'...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNGZQuPFTTs

Almost thirty years ago and yet it gets better every time I watch it!


(This post was edited by oxpete on Aug 1, 2013, 5:33 PM)


Chris1963
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Aug 1, 2013, 10:59 PM

Posts: 6861
Location: North London
Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper

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In Reply To
Here are a few of the highlights of the December 1984 match, courtesy of 'The Big Match'...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNGZQuPFTTs

Almost thirty years ago and yet it gets better every time I watch it!


Great clip, even if Oxford lost. I was at Leighton Town that day and I recall clearly that it started raining heavily late in the second half (it was a 2pm kick-off) so perhaps the rain had been moving up steadily from the south that afternoon.


Chris1963
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Aug 1, 2013, 11:19 PM

Posts: 6861
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Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper

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Plenty of memories for me of this fixture, particularly as Portsmouth were the visiting team I saw most often at the Manor (9 times - Swindon came second with 8, while Southend are the team I've seen most at the new stadium, with about 6 visits) and they were also the last club Oxford played before my first ever match. This game at Fratton Park, on Saturday 29th November 1975 saw Oxford register a 2-0 win. Earlier that day my father had joked that we should go to Fratton Park rather than wait until Oxford's home game the following Saturday! Later that season we saw Oxford defeat Portsmouth 1-0 at the Manor with the goal being a low drive by Peter Foley that I recall clearly (it also appeared in a great photo in the next home programme.)

My two visits to Fratton Park to date have both been for games against Oxford. The first of these was a 1-0 win for Portsmouth on Saturday 22nd January 1983. I have to admit that if I could go back in time to that day, I would have ticked a non-league ground instead, particularly as I think it was an overcast (and therefore not frosty) but dry day.

Of the games in your list, I attended four - the League Cup quarter-final, the amazing 5-5 draw (I bought the video of it, since converted to DVD) and the final two in the list.


(This post was edited by Chris1963 on Aug 1, 2013, 11:22 PM)


oxpete
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Aug 2, 2013, 10:02 AM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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From 'The Oxford Times' from earlier this year....


Police Officer Steps Down From Role As Liaison With United

Over the past 30 years he has become as much a feature at Oxford United matches as the most loyal fans. But Saturday's game at Bradford was the last time PC Paul Phillips watched over a United match before retiring from Thames Valley Police.

Having joined the police at the age of 16, he began policing football matches in the 1980s when he was drafted in to help. The 48 year old said: "My first game at the Manor Ground was against Portsmouth in 1984. We made around 60 arrests on the day and I loved it!"

PC Phillips grew up supporting Reading.


acmold
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Aug 2, 2013, 10:16 AM

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I was at the match in 1984, the Portsmouth fans came onto the pitch at the start of the game trying to get to the London Road End. A fight broke out and a number of Portsmouth fans ended up in the Beech Road in front of the "shelf", which in those days seemed to be the place where a number of Oxford "boys" stood. So another fight broke out with Portsmouth fans being attacked from the shelf. I seem to recall the Police just rounded up groups of fans after the melees had calmed down.


acmold
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Aug 4, 2013, 2:49 PM

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Chris1963
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Aug 5, 2013, 10:52 PM

Posts: 6861
Location: North London
Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper

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There has been quite a fair bit of publicity given to the fact that Saturday's crowd of 18,181 was supposedly a record for League Two. Surely there must have been bigger crowds for the FL's bottom division in the past, or are the media just thinking of the division's current title?
(I know there is an old thread somewhere on here about record attendances for each tier of English football but can't find it.)


Tivvy_Al
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Aug 5, 2013, 10:56 PM

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37,774 at Crystal Palace v Millwall, 31/3/61



The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald


acmold
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Aug 6, 2013, 9:27 AM

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Re: [Chris1963] Portsmouth v. Oxford United memories [In reply to] Can't Post or

It's all hype, it's division four no matter what you call it.
The "stats" trolled out by the Media are not true stats these days just bending the truth to make a story and maybe to keep the sponsor's happy.
Not sure the league should be allowed to be sponsored by Sky Bet


oxpete
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Jan 10, 2014, 5:05 PM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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Its the return match at the Kassam tomorrow, with the Oxford Mail predicting a crowd of over 9000 (bit optimistic, that?).

As is usual on Saturdays, I'm working so can't go. But my mate Jon is taking his six year-old daughter Alice along to her first ever football match, so hopefully lots of great memories for her.


oxpete
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Jan 10, 2014, 5:16 PM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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In Reply To
Plenty of memories for me of this fixture, particularly as Portsmouth were the visiting team I saw most often at the Manor (9 times - Swindon came second with 8, while Southend are the team I've seen most at the new stadium, with about 6 visits) and they were also the last club Oxford played before my first ever match.


Not sure how correct this is, but BBC Radio Oxford were talking before the OUFC v Pompey match in the Paint Trophy back in October that the club Oxford United have played most often is Swindon Town, with Portsmouth being the club they've played second-most often.


acmold
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Jan 10, 2014, 7:06 PM

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Sounds about right.


oxpete
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Jan 11, 2014, 5:09 PM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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In Reply To
Its the return match at the Kassam tomorrow, with the Oxford Mail predicting a crowd of over 9000 (bit optimistic, that?).

As is usual on Saturdays, I'm working so can't go. But my mate Jon is taking his six year-old daughter Alice along to her first ever football match, so hopefully lots of great memories for her.


Attendance was 8443 (with 2365 from Portsmouth).

Unfortunately, young Alice's football-watching and ground-hopping has started with a NIL-NIL...


oxpete
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Mar 24, 2018, 5:33 AM

Posts: 4476
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

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What with several Kempsterites heading for Fratton Park this Sunday, I thought I'd bump this up again to give us all the chance of reliving Alan Biley's amazing two minutes of magic from December 1984...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNGZQuPFTTs

...probably the best ever afternoon I have ever spent at a football match! Heroes on both sides like Noel Blake, Billy Hamilton, Alan Knight, David Langan, Gary Stanley, Gary Briggs, Neil Webb, John Aldridge, Mick Kennedy, Bobby McDonald, Vince Hilaire, Malcolm Shotton, Kevin Dillon, George Lawrence, Mick Tait, Kevin Brock, Alan Biley and Trevor Hebberd, with Alan Ball and Jim Smith as managers.

As for the upcoming match on Sunday, I do have my worries, what with Oxford United in line for a bit of 'new-manager-bounce'. I've also noticed that Oxford United haven't lost at Fratton Park since 30th August 1997, a 2-1 victory for Pompey that myself and TheWavendonian attended on a baking hot afternoon the day before Princess Diana died. Of the four matches since, there have been two draws and two victories for Oxford.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Mar 24, 2018, 5:40 AM)

 
 


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