’ under the new caretaker manager.On The RoadNext up for County is a trip to Fratton Park where the Exiles face two-time FA Cup winners and promotion-chasers, ‘Pompey’. County will be aiming to make it three wins out of three games away from home this season under new manager Michael Flynn and maintain their 100% record ‘
Founded 118 years ago in 1898, Portsmouth have an incredible footballing history but have also struggled tremendously financially. From winning the FA Cup twice to continuous relegation which took them all the way from the Premier League to the Sky Bet League 2; recent times have seen a struggle for the Pompey faithful.
Portsmouth’s early years were magnificently successful. In their first ever season they finished second in the Southern League and this only drove them on to further success, winning the FA Cup a few years later beforefootball club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust (PST) successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013. fan-owned . In recent times, Portsmouth have discovered success amongst financial trouble with Harry Redknapp guiding the club to another historic FA Cup trophy (beating Cardiff City in the final) as well as European success in the UEFA cup, namely drawing 2-2 with giants AC Milan. After two nail-biting survivals from administration, Pompey then started to suffer the decline that has ultimately led them to Sky Bet League Two football. Recently, Portsmouth became the largestGeorge Smith to do so) but were promoted back to the Second Division at the first time of asking under the guidance of English League champions Portsmouth went down to the Third Division in 1961 (the first former Financial trouble then started to set in for the seaside club,5–1 on the last day of the season, and are thus one of only five English teams to have won back-to-back titles since World War II. Aston Villa their "Golden Jubilee" season of 1948–49. The club were tipped to be the first team of the 20th century to win the Football League and FA Cup double, but crashed out of the FA Cup in the semi-final against Leicester City. They still made up for it by claiming the league title in spectacular fashion. That season also saw them record a (then) massive attendance of 51,385, a club record which still stands to this day. The club powered their way to the title the following year, beating
The Ground – Fratton Park
Built and opened in 1898, the stadium has four all seated stands with a capacity for 21,100 supporters. The pitch, measuring 115 x 73 yards, is aligned from east to west. The largest and most modern stand is called the Fratton End, which was opened in 1997. The Fratton End is located at the western end of the Fratton Park stadium. Along either side of the pitch are the North and South stands, both of which are two-tiered. At the eastern end of the stadium is the smallest stand, the Milton End. The Milton End is used by visiting 'away' supporters. This is where the County fans will be situated, and where the Amber Army have had so many good times in recent years! Fratton Park hosted a first-round football game in theinternationals. Pompey was the first club to stage a Football League match under floodlights, in a 22 February 1956 England U-21 and has also hosted some Wales international match on 2 March 1903 against England ). It hosted one fullGoldstone Ground (one of only two grounds outside London, the other being the now disappeared 1948 Summer Olympics! game against. The record attendance at Fratton Park currently stands at 51,385, for an FA Cup match against Derby County in 1949. Let’s hope the travelling Amber Army will be smiling once again at the full time whistle when we visit Fratton Park this Saturday!Newcastle United
minute, sealing what was the first win of the season for Justin Edinburgh’s men, bending a free-kick in late on. Before most recently, goals from Darren Jones, Scott Boden and Dean Morgan meant County ran away 0-3 winners against a poor, 10-man Pompey team. Let’s hope that this record can continue on and County can collect another three points at Fratton Park this weekend!thSince our promotion back to the Football League, County have emerged victorious returning from Portsmouth with all-three points on three separate occasions. Now Caretaker Manager, Michael Flynn scored a brace in the 2013-14 season where County ran out 0-2 victors. The next season, Andy Sandell scored the only goal of the game in the 84
Star Man – Kal Naismith
Scottish winger Naismith started his career at Rangers, where he scored one goal in fourteen games and after some brief loan spells in Scotland, he moved on to Accrington Stanley. The 6ft 1in pacey winger causes trouble on either flank, but primarily likes to attack down the right. After two successful seasons at the WHAM Stadium,finishing his first season with ten goals in 38 appearances and the second with four goals in 35 games, Portsmouth signed Naismith for an undisclosed fee on a three-year-contract. Internationally, Naismith has featured for both the Scottish under-16 and under-17 teams, scoring once against England in that time. The County defence will have to keep their eye on Naismith on Saturday, the forward could cause problems for the Exiles otherwise!
The Gaffer – Paul Cook
Cook played for a multitude of different clubs at the top divisions of English football including is most successful spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he made 193 appearances scoring 19 goals. Managerially, Cook started quite unsuccessfully at Southport before moving on to Irish side Sligo Rovers. After a lengthy spell at Sligo where Cook won 95 of the 205 games in charge, Cook made the trip back over to England where he took over the reigns at a club he used to play for, Accrington Stanley. Before long, Chesterfield came hunting for Cook in a bid to take them back to League 1 and the Liverpool-born man did exactly that, winning the league and of course promotion, in his second season with The Spireites. Pompey approached Cook in May 2015, paying them a compensation fee for his services. Since he joined, Cook has won 45 of his 98 games at the helm of Pompey. Let’s hope County can add loss number 28 of his spell at Fratton Park this Saturday!
Directions – Car
Go along the M27 (ignoring the M275 turn off for Portsmouth town centre) and continue on to the A27. At the junction with the A2030 turn right towards Southsea/Fratton and just continue straight along the A2030 and eventually you will see the ground in front of you, just slightly to your left.
There is a large car park behind the TY Europe Stand, but this is for home supporters only. So it is mostly street parking for away fans. The good news is that there are few parking restrictions in place close to the ground. So if you arrive early enough, you can park only a few minutes walk away. When I have visited, I have parked in one of the side streets, found on the right hand side of the A2030 before you reach the Good Companion pub. Alternatively Miltoncross School, which is a five minute walk from the ground offers parking at £6 per car. The school is located in Milton Road (post code PO3 6RB).
The nearest local railway station is Fratton,which is a ten minute walk away. Portsmouth and Southsea train station is at least a 25 minute walk away.
On arrival at Fratton by train you pass the ground on the left. Fratton station has a footbridge as the only way out. At the top of the stairs from the platform turn left onto the footbridge (from which you can see the floodlights of Fratton Park) and exit into Goldsmith Avenue. (Note that if the gate on the footbridge is closed you need to turn right on the footbridge and exit via Platform 1, turn left as you exit the station, walk 30 metres and go back over the footbridge to Goldsmith Avenue.) Turn left along Goldsmith Avenue and walk about half a mile passing straight around a small roundabout (by the Pompey Centre). Then Turn Left into Frogmore Road and the entrance to the Fratton End and South Stands is 100m ahead. For the Milton End stay on Goldsmith Avenue for another 100m and turn left into Apsley Road. The entrances to the Milton End are 100m ahead.