Pompey 0-0 Wycombe

Patrick Agyemang finds the back of the net before the game was abandoned at half-time Picture: Joe Pepler

Patrick Agyemang finds the back of the net before the game was abandoned at half-time Picture: Joe Pepler

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

Enda Stevens: Why I quit Pompey

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There were blues skies, sunshine and the prospect of an unseasonal October evening under the Fratton floodlights.

What unfolded was thunder, lightning, torrential rain, flooding and the abandonment of Pompey’s fixture with Wycombe.

Yes, it definitely was unseasonal – just on the opposite end of the weather scale than initially anticipated.

The decision to call the game off came at half-time, the scoreline poised at 1-1, and with the teams in the dressing room ready to venture out for a second 45 minutes in the wretched conditions.

Certainly, referee Lee Collins’ call was unanimously agreed by the 14,285 crowd present, some of whom had already left in expectation of being no further play.

From the moment the substitutes warming up out on the pitch during the interval discovered the ball stopped short with every attempted pass, the outlook was as bleak as the skies above.

Collins had already consulted both management teams and the fourth official midway through the first half before carrying merrily along – probably more out of hope rather than steadfast conviction.

Still the thunder rang out, the lightning struck and the rain cascaded from the heavens upon the famous old ground as it battled valiantly to avoid the drips and drops creeping through.

It failed, of course.

Fans in front rows of each stands scurried for drier ground.

Even those towards the back of the stands felt the occasional droplet, while the players’ tunnel itself flooded with water reaching knee high.

Memories of Leicester in November 2002 when Harry Redknapp’s side were washed out in a 2-0 Fratton defeat, which to this day remains a controversial fixture, came flooding back.

Except, on this occasion, the referee did take the plunge and indicate the game should be abandoned.

In fact, Collins didn’t even emerge from the dressing room after sounding the half-time whistle.

Not that he needed to – the decision was an obvious one and couldn’t be disputed.

So Billy Knott’s 29th-minute goal didn’t count, neither did Patrick Agyemang’s 45th-minute equaliser – and nor did the result of a draw.

Although, curiously, Sonny Bradley’s booking seems to, which would rule him out of the weekend trip to Torquay.

Mind you, even the referee, his assessor and officials from both sides retained a degree of uncertainty if that actually was the case – a matter that should be clarified later today.

There was not the merest suggestion of what lay ahead, however, in the build-up to the match which Pompey hoped to maintain their climb towards the play-off spots.

Trevor Carson won an inevitable recall, having been forced to sit out the visit of parent club Bury at the weekend.

He came in for Phil Smith, who – despite his clean sheet – dropped to the bench in an otherwise unchanged side for Whittingham.

There was also the sight of Simon Ferry back in the squad for the first time in five matches after damaging his hamstring at York.

Although, he had to make do with a place among the substitutes.

The midfielder took the spot of youngster Jack Whatmough but there was no room for fit-again Danny East, Dan Butler or Ashley Harris in the match-day 18.

Strikers David Connolly and Tom Craddock remain on the casualty list, while John Sullivan has been troubled by a back problem since last week.

In a slow start to the match, a 10th-minute booking for Bradley following a challenge on Paris-Hall, meant a fifth yellow card of the campaign.

Still, Pompey had the ball in the back of the net minutes later when Agyemang used his power to outmuscle Kortney Hause and slide a shot under the keeper’s body from the right.

However, referee Collins had already blown his whistle – adjudging a foul on Hause by the Blues striker, and the goal was not allowed to stand.

At the other end, on 19 minutes, Josh Scowen raced in to lash a shot from outside the box narrowly past the far post.

Then Knott charged down the middle and saw his powerful drive brilliantly finger-tipped over the bar by Carson when it appeared a certain goal.

A sudden thunderstorm did little to aid the game, with torrential rain, thunder and lightning all around Fratton Park – and starting to leave puddles on the pitch.

Jed Wallace then chipped a shot just over the bar with keeper Matt Ingram stranded, but it was Wycombe who took the lead in the 29th minute.

A Chairboys corner saw the ball fall to Knott on the edge of the area and he had plenty of time and crash home an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net, giving Carson no chance.

Still the rain lashed down, impeding the football on display and prompting plenty of mistakes from both sides as they struggled in the awful conditions.

Then in the 45th minute Agyemang won a free-kick from Hause and Ricky Holmes delivered the dead ball towards the far post.

Bradley met the cross with a header and Agyemang was on hand to steer the ball into the far corner with his right foot.

Barely two minutes later the half-time whistle sounded and the teams left the field – not to return for the rest of the night.

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