Nostalgia: Tinn leads Pompey to maiden Cup triumph

Pompey captain Jimmy Guthrie is held aloft with the FA Cup

Pompey captain Jimmy Guthrie is held aloft with the FA Cup

The Fratton End on the opening weekend of the 2013-14 season after the Trust takeover Picture: Joe Pepler

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This season we are taking a walk down memory lane to relive the biggest moments in Pompey’s history. And the series begins with the club’s maiden FA Cup triumph...

Jack Tinn led Pompey to their first FA Cup victory as they beat Wolves 4-1 on April 29, 1939.

It was a third appearance in the final for both manager and club as the Blues took on their midlands rivals at the home of football.

Pompey’s previous visits – in 1929 and 1934 – had ended in defeat to Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City respectively.

And a similar fate was widely expected this time around.

However, the Blues had other ideas and put a torrid season – largely spent battling relegation – to one side to beat their high-flying midlands rivals.

Customers outside the Eastney Cellars, Cromwell Road, Portsmouth, ready to board their bus in 1939 for the trip of a lifetime to see Pompey win the FA Cup at the third attempt

Customers outside the Eastney Cellars, Cromwell Road, Portsmouth, ready to board their bus in 1939 for the trip of a lifetime to see Pompey win the FA Cup at the third attempt

Wolves were sitting second in the top-lfight table and had scored an impressive 19 goals in five games on the road to Wembley.

But in front of a raucous crowd of 99,370, Pompey ran riot.

The scoring began on 29 minutes when Bert Barlow smashed the ball, from inside the Wanderers penalty area, past the dive of goalkeeper Alec Scott.

On the stroke of half-time, it was 2-0. Scottish striker John Anderson made the most of Scott’s poor positioning to double Pompey’s advantage going into the break.

After some half-time oranges and a rallying team talk from Tinn, the Blues returned to increase their advantage almost immediately.

Another piece of poor goalkeeping was capitalised on by Cliff Parker, who made it 3-0 and strengthened the Fratton Park outfit’s grip on the trophy.

There was a brief suggestion of a Wolves fightback when they replied through Dicky Dorsett on 54 minutes.

But it was soon snuffed out and Parker put the game beyond doubt midway through the second half, restoring the Blues’ three-goal cushion with a well-placed header.

The full-time whistle sparked joyous scenes as Pompey captain Jimmy Guthrie received the FA Cup from King George VI before parading the throphy upon the shoulders of his team-mates on the Wembley turf.

Tinn, meanwhile, put the win down to the ‘lucky spats’ he had worn for every round of the competition as he witnessed his Blues side progress all the way.

Later that year the outbreak of the Second World War put the brakes on the domestic game.

There was no FA Cup competition held for seven years, with Tinn keeping the trophy safe under his bed throughout the war before returning it to the FA in time for the 1946 final.

Sadly, it was almost 70 years before Pompey would once again grace an FA Cup Final but no-one will ever forget Tinn and his boys of ’39.

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