Division two, December 22, 1984
What drama! What a pulsating Christmas cracker this was!
That was how The News’ Mike Neasom summed up this top-of-the-table clash between Pompey and Oxford United that has gone down in Fratton folklore for its last-gasp heroics and the appearance of Father Christmas.
The match was decided by two thundering headers by Alan Biley in the closing seconds.
It had been 17 years since Pompey seriously threatened to gain promotion from division two and manager Alan Ball had said before the game that his side were certain to win.
Neil Webb missed the chance to put Pompey in front, but then forced Steve Hardwick into a sprawling save.
At the other end, John Aldridge was denied a shooting chance by a Malcolm Waldron tackle.
Oxford began to shade things after the break and Mick Kennedy cleared George Lawrence’s header off the line, before Kevin Brock gave the visitors the lead on 68 minutes.
Play was held up while a full-rigged Father Christmas made his way on to the pitch before being escorted off to the amusement of the 22,446 crowd.
With 90 minutes on the clock, Biley headed in Webb’s cross at the near post to make it 1-1.
And in time added on for Father Christmas’ cameo, Biley rose to head Mick Kennedy’s centre past Steve Hardwick for a dramatic winner.
POMPEY: Alan Knight, Garry Stanley, Mick Tait, Kevin Dillon, Noel Blake, Malcolm Waldron, Neil Webb, Mick Kennedy, Nicky Morgan, Alan Biley, Vince Hilaire.
OXFORD UNITED: Steve Hardwick, David Langan, Bobby McDonald, John Trewick, Max Briggs, Malcolm Shotton, George Lawrence, John Aldridge, Billy Hamilton, Trevor Hebberd, Kevin Brock.