Isle of Wight   Pompey Supporters Club

 

Notts County  1 - 3  Pompey

 

Easter Monday and a trip to Nottingham, quite a long way for a coach journey. Hence the 6.50 am pick up at Ryde St Johns station. All aboard, for the 7.30 ferry from Fishbourne and an hour later we are racing along the M27. 

The journey up is so smooth that we reach the appointed stop in Loughborough by 11.30. Perfect timing for a Wetherspoons brekkie, washed down by a couple of pints and we are back on the road by 1.30 for the short, final part of the journey into Nottingham.  

A mini sightseeing tour follows, Nottingham racecourse, Trent Bridge, Forest's County Ground and a place intriguingly called "Bunny", before arriving at Meadow Lane in plenty of time. 

Unusually, Pompey fans fill the whole of one stand along the side and there is a party atmosphere. Inflatables, ticker tape, beach balls and that bloody "we're on our way" song. What happened to the days when we could come up with original chants? 

The match starts and Naismith tempts an awful challenge out of ex Pompey boy Richard Duffy to allow our "penalty expert" Gareth Evans to give us the lead. "We're on our way....." FFS.... 

Whatmough, in for Clarke, looks assured in the air, Evans and Stevens give us width, Doyle's good form of late continues and, of course, "we've got Roberts".  

Half time arrives with little sign of any worries, but this is Pompey and we seem to forget to come out for the second half. A well taken goal from Grant brings County level and for a while we are second best. The now familiar changes of Chaplin for Roberts and Lowe for Baker seem to spark us back into life. 

Naismith has a shot blocked, Bennett's fine effort is tipped over before Jamal Lowe curls a delightful shot into the corner to restore the lead. The celebrations from fans and players alike are all about relief.  

The minutes tick by, Luton have not won so a Pompey victory will clinch promotion. Naismith, Bennett and Chaplin go into "George Lawrence" mode, although nowhere near as good. Then Doyle surprises everyone with a quick free kick, Lowe is in the clear and calmly slots past the keeper. Cue pandemonium on and off the pitch. The final whistle goes soon after and the wait us over, Pompey are on the way back. 

The stewards and police form a cordon in a token gesture to prevent a pitch invasion. Obviously they are wasting their time and there is a flood of supporters on the pitch, dancing, jumping, singing. Relief is the overwhelming feeling as the mutual appreciation between fans and players goes on.

Eventually we start to move away and head back to the coach and it is nearly 6.00 when we get moving. Again it's a good run back and we are sitting at Gunwharf just after 9.30.

Special thanks to Steve for the excellent organisation. Another season of successful away trips and more to follow in Div.3 next season. I know from experience how much effort goes into running these trips and we should all be thankful to Steve for the efforts he has made.

Finally many congratulations to Paul Cook, all his coaching staff, and all the players. It's fair to say that I haven't always agreed with Paul's selections or tactics, but the facts speak for themselves. In 2 seasons we haven't been out of the play off places and have clinched promotion with 3 games to spare. That's pretty impressive. 

Finally to all the staff that have turned this great club around in 4 years, a huge thank you. In 2013 we looked odds on to go out of business, and now we have started the climb back. 

Onwards and upwards, you will never break the Pompey spirit.

T C



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