Back to April 1949

April 11-17: A Good Friday (and Saturday) And Pompey Are Nearly There!

Thursday 14:  League-leaders Pompey play the first of three matches in four days when they entertain Birmingham City at Fratton Park tomorrow (Good Friday). Kick-off is at 3pm. 

Pompey will again be at home the following day (Saturday) when Wolverhampton Wanderers will be the visitors. On Easter Monday Pompey are away at Birmingham City, where they will wear red shirts and white knickers because of a colour clash. 

With Pompey three points clear at the top of the First Division and seven matches to play, the busy Easter weekend could go a long way towards settling the destination of the league title. It has never previously been won by a club south of London. 

The Fratton Park turnstiles are likely to click more than 80,000 supporters into the ground over the next two days, and Pompey Secretary Mr Dan Clarke has made the usual appeal for people to arrive early and have the correct money available.

The Pompey side to face Birmingham City tomorrow will be: Butler, Hindmarsh, Ferrier, Scoular, Flewin, Dickinson, Harris, Reid, Clarke, Phillips, Froggatt.

British Railways are running an excursion to Birmingham for Pompey's fixture at St Andrews on Easter Monday.  

Pompey Reserves are in action against Crystal Palace Reserves at Selhurst Park tomorrow (3pm). The team will be selected from: Humpston, Hall, Drummond, Elder, Duggins, Thompson, Parker, Delapenha, Asher, Simister, Barlow, Bennett

The Pompey "A" team is without a match tomorrow. Pompey"B"  play away at East Meon. 

A full programme of Hampshire League and Portsmouth League matches will take place at Civil Service Ground, Hilsea, on Good Friday, Saturday, and Easter Monday.

Friday 15:  Pompey kept their League Championship bid on course by coming from behind to beat Birmingham City 3-1 in front of 38,456 at Fratton Park this afternoon. 

At half-time it looked as though Pompey's long, unbeaten home run might be coming to an end. They had dominated possession but had been wasteful in front of goal and fallen behind to a 41st minute Don Dorman goal.

Duggie Reid equalised for Pompey after 52 minutes when he connected with Harry Ferrier's inch-perfect cross and flashed a header past Gil Merrick. 

Reid then started and finished the move that put Pompey ahead three minutes later. His thunderous drive hit the back of the net before Merrick could even think about reacting to it.

There was no stopping Pompey now.  Len Phillips and Ike Clarke both saw their efforts come back off the crossbar before Clarke settled the issue with a cracking goal in the 70th minute. 

There is now hardly time to draw breath before Pompey are in action at Fratton Park again. They meet Wolves there tomorrow and will be hoping that today's walking wounded  - and there were quite a few - will be fit to take their places in the side. Match Summary: Portsmouth 3, Birmingham City 1

No goals and a point apiece at Selhurst Park in the Combination. Match Summary: Crystal Palace Reserves 0, Portsmouth Reserves 0

Saturday 16:  Pompey will field the same 11 players who were on duty against Birmingham City yesterday when they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers at Fratton Park this afternoon (3pm). 

The big crowd raised the roof as Pompey got off to a flying start, scoring twice in the first seven minutes. 

First Len Phillips crashed the ball home after Ike Clarke flicked on Peter Harris' cross, then Clarke himself scored after taking advantage of hesitation in the Wolves' defence as they struggled to cope with the marauding Harris

Pompey were now running the Wolves off their feet and Duggie Reid made it 3-0 before half-time when he controlled a cross from the left and fired past Williams. 

After the break Reid scored his second goal when he emerged with the ball from a ruck of players to plant an unstoppable shot past Williams. 

Clarke completed the rout on 70 minutes when he ended a fine move involving Harris and Scoular by nipping in between the full backs to slide a shot past Williams. 

In temperatures more suited to cricket than football Pompey then took their foot slightly off the pedal, but by that time they had secured a second Fratton Park win in two days, and the league title looks tantalisingly within their grasp. Match Summary: Portsmouth 5, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

An experimental Pompey Reserves side went down 1-0 against Aldershot Reserves at The Recreation Ground this afternoon. Match Summary: Aldershot Reserves 1, Portsmouth 0

Pompey centre-forward Ike Clarke and Wolves 'keeper Bert Williams are in a tangle - but the ball is in the net! Pompey take a two goal lead in the big clash at Fratton Park this afternoon. 

Pompey's Duggie Reid challenges Wolves' goalkeeper Williams at Fratton Park this afternoon. A packed north terrace looks on. 

Sunday 17:  Pompey will be hoping to complete an Easter double over Birmingham City at St Andrews tomorrow (3pm). Team selection will be delayed until the morning but Cliff Parker has been added to the 11 who played in the first two matches of the weekend. 

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