Kick-off change for south coast derbies

Troubled flared at St Mary's after Pompey's 4-1 FA Cup victory over Saints in 2010
Troubled flared at St Mary's after Pompey's 4-1 FA Cup victory over Saints in 2010
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey’s kick-off times against Southampton next season have been switched.

The Blues have two eagerly-anticipated Championship clashes with their biggest rivals.

Fratton Park will host the first encounter on Saturday, December 17.

The reverse fixture at St Mary’s will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Both were scheduled to be 3pm kick-offs.

However, these have now been changed to 1pm.

This is after police advice, following discussions between both clubs.

In recent times there have been crowd disturbances at such fixtures.

There were violent clashes outside St Mary’s when they last met on February 13, 2010, in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

More than 250 officers, included mounted police, were present in the area, arresting a number of supporters.

The majority of those arrested were Southampton-based and were subsequently prosecuted.

Pompey memorably won that encounter 4-1 on their way to reaching the FA Cup final.

There was also trouble outside the ground the last time the fierce local rivals met at Fratton Park.

That was on April 24, 2005, when Pompey again ran out 4-1 winners.

That result put Harry Redknapp’s Saints on the road to relegation.

Steve Cotterill’s side also face Brighton and Reading in some mouthwatering derbies this season.

But it will be the matches with Southampton which will understandably provide the biggest police scrutiny.

Meanwhile, the Boxing Day trip to Millwall has also been rescheduled. Originally a 3pm kick-off, this will now take place at 1pm.