Historic results shows lack of festive Pompey cheer

Pompey were beaten 5-0 by Swindon on January 1, 2013
Pompey were beaten 5-0 by Swindon on January 1, 2013
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

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It’s supposed to be the time for giving and goodwill but Pompey have found the festive period to be about as generous as Ebeneezer Scrooge in recent times.

Paul Cook’s men have mustered one point out of six in the traditional run of fixtures from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day.

But it seems the class of 2015-16 have extended a surprising run that stretches back as far as the 1992-93 season that ended in narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The 3-2 defeat at Leyton Orient on Boxing Day and the Luton Town goalless stalemate at Fratton Park means it is now 23 years since Pompey registered more than one win over the Christmas period.

Depending on the way the calendar falls, it is either two or three games squeezed into the week between Christmas and new year.

But you must go back to the famous days of Paul Walsh and Guy Whittingham ripping through Bristol Rovers for the last time that the Blues strung two festive victories together.

That year under Jim Smith, they followed the 4-1 Boxing Day success over Rovers with a 4-2 win at Derby County on December 28, 1992.

Whittingham plundered six goals in that three-day purple patch with a four-goal haul against Rovers and a double at Derby County with Alan McLoughlin also chipping in with two that day.

In contrast, Whittingham was also part of the worst Christmas in recent years with three straight defeats as manager in 2012-13 with Pompey in the midst of a horror run that eventually stretched to 23 games without a win.

That year, a home defeat to Crawley on Boxing Day and then Yeovil three days later was followed by a 5-0 hammering at Swindon on New Year’s Day.

Richie Barker had taken over in time for Christmas in the 2013-14 season and gathered four points out of nine.

But even in the promotion campaign of 2002-03, Harry Redknapp’s side had to settle for five points out of nine.

A televised 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest with goals from Matt Taylor and Vincent Pericard was sandwiched between two draws with Crystal Palace and Watford.

During their seven-year stint in the Premier League, Pompey did not manage to do better than four points out of nine in their Christmas haul, although they did achieve that four years in succession.

– STEVE WILSON