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December 27-31: Pompey Beat Chelsea Twice In Two Days To Give The Fratton Faithful The Best Xmas

Monday 27:  There are 45 minutes until kick-off in today's Pompey v Chelsea match, and Fratton Park is already looking well populated. This could be building up to the biggest crowd of the season. 

Viscount Montgomery, Pompey's Club President, will be in the directors' box for today's match. Shortly before Christmas "Monty" wrote to Pompey's captain, Reg Flewin. The letter (right) read... 

"My dear Flewin. I would like to congratulate you on the great success of your team this year. You are fighting your way back to the top of the League, which you will win I am sure." 

"I have myself been the captain of many teams; great armies in the field are teams like yours, only somewhat bigger. My last team was 2 million men!”

"So I know how much depends on the Captain, his influence has got to hold the team together; this is specially the case in adverse conditions and when things are not going too well."  

"Our position in the League is obviously due in a great measure to your leadership, and I congratulate you.”

"I am coming to see the match on 27 Dec at Fratton Park v Chelsea. Hit them for six! Good luck to all the team, and best Xmas wishes.

Yrs sincerely

Montgomery of Alamein

Field Marshall"

Pompey completed a fine Christmas "double" by beating Chelsea 5-2 in front of an ecstatic crowd of 43,624 at Fratton Park this afternoon. The Pompey goals came from Harris (2), Clarke, Barlow (pen) and an own goal. 

A goal inside the first 90 seconds set Pompey on the road to victory. Barlow back-heeled the ball to Peter Harris, who steadied himself before shooting high into the roof of the net at the Fratton end. 

The Pensioners drew level after a quarter of an hour. Bentley shook off the attentions of Reg Flewin to place a shot past Pompey goalkeeper Butler. 

Pompey were not long in regaining the lead, and again it was Harris who did the trick, releasing a shot which left Chelsea 'keeper Pickering helpless. It was the winger's twelfth goal of the season. 

Ike Clarke increased Pompey's advantage after 37 minutes, scoring from close range after a Harris run and cross from the right.

Chelsea showed they were not finished when Bentley scored from a narrow angle after 70 minutes. 

Pompey's two goal lead was restored after 77 minutes when, with Clarke and Froggatt threatening, Winter hooked the ball over his own keeper and into the net.

Two minutes later it was all over. A jinking run by Harris took him into the penalty area and he was brought down as he was on the point of shooting. Bert Barlow duly scored from the resulting penalty.  

Match Summary: Portsmouth 5, Chelsea 2

Pompey therefore remain at the top of the Division One table, but it is tight. They have 34 points, Newcastle and Derby each have 33 points. There is then a gap to Manchester United who are in fourth place with 30 points. All have played 24 games. 

Pompey's 5-2 home win over Chelsea this afternoon means they have gone the entire calendar year without losing a league match at Fratton Park. Of the 23 League games played in 1948 the Blues won 17 and drew six. They scored 51 goals and conceded 15

Viscount Montgomery was not the only "Top Brass" in the Fratton Park directors' box this afternoon. Joining the Field Marshall were Major General Leach Porter (Commanding Portsmouth Group, Royal Marines) and Mr A V Alexander (Minister of Defence).

Today's Fratton Park attendance exceeded 40,000 for the fourth time this season.

A late penalty denied Pompey Reserves' a win at The Den after a Reid penalty has given them the lead. Match Summary: Millwall Reserves 1, Portsmouth Reserves 1

Thursday 30  Pompey have no injury concerns and will field the same team for the seventh consecutive match when they play Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday. Pompey: Butler, Rookes, Ferrier, Scoular, Flewin, Dickinson, Harris, Barlow, Clarke, Phillips, Froggatt 

Young right-back Jasper Yeuell will be the travelling reserve when the Portsmouth party leaves by train for Lancashire tomorrow morning. 

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