On This Day In History - 6th April 1976 A Local Derby
Monday, 6th Apr 2020 11:50
This was not a great week to be one of the Blue Few, Saints had just reached Wembley for the first time and now they were visiting Fratton Park and it was last chance saloon for Pompey !
Saints supporters and indeed their team had not stopped celebrating after beating Crystal Palace on the Saturday to reach the FA Cup Final, their next game was on the Tuesday night against Portsmouth at Fratton Park and poor old Pompey were on the cusp of being relegated, they were not quite down yet but they started this game 10 points off of safety (2 points for a win back then) and 6 games left.
The shock news was that three of the victorious team at Stamford Bridge would not be playing at Fratton, Peter Osgood, Jim Steele & Jim McCalliog had overdone the celebrations and were dropped by Lawrie McMenemy for this one to teach them a lesson, so they missed the warm welcome on to the pitch that the Fratton Faithful gave them, applauding the fact that a Hampshire team had got to a Cup Final.
Ok so that last bit didn't happen, Pat Earles came in for Osgood, Steve Williams for McCalliog, both making their full debuts for the club, Paul Bennett came into the centre of defence to replace Steele.
Earles would find himself the target of the Fratton End who everytime he touched the ball chanted abuse aimed at Peter Osgood, seemingly having never seen Osgood play in the flesh they couldn't tell the difference and just assumed that the man wearing number 9 was Osgood.
Saints were very much suffering from the weekend's exertions both on and off the pitch and Pompey roared on by their biggest crowd of the season 24,115 in a season when they averaged just over 10,000 were playing for their lives.
Indeed without the extra 14,000 on top of their normal gate they would have been under the 10k mark average.
The game saw Pompey have much of the play but fail to score and as the game entered the final minute a draw looked likely, but then up popped Mike Channon who fired a low shot in off the post from a Pat Earles cross, most Pompey fans thought they had been undone by the Osgood/Channon combination.
That was the cue for a mass exodus from the Fratton End and they were heading for only one place the Saints supporters in the Milton terrace at the far end, they did not discriminate on who they tried to hit, young or old, man woman or child, if you had red & white on they were looking for you and in the days before segregation and police escorts etc it was a dangerous evening.
But for Pompey fans it was a sad end to what had been a bad few days for them, the defeat meant they were effectively relegated to the then Division Three, with five games left they could get level on points with Carlisle who occupied the 4th from bottom spot, but back then it was not goal difference that was used it was goal average and Carlisle had a goal average far far better than Pompey that would be impossible to make up even if they won all 5 games.
Not that it mattered anyway, on Saturday even the second coming would not have saved them after Oldham spanked them 5-2 and they would only get 3 points out of their last 5 games to end up rock bottom.
Pompey were down and their biggest rivals had put them there, all they had to look forward to now was the hope they could watch Manchester United beat Saints live on television and then it was third division football on the fixture list for them, as i say it wasn't a good week or indeed year to be a Pompey fan.
Still they had given Peter Osgood a damn good scumming !
Photo: Action Images
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