Pompey braced for record low attendance

There will be nothing but empty seats tomorrow night at Fratton Park as the vast majority of Pompey fans have decided to stay away
There will be nothing but empty seats tomorrow night at Fratton Park as the vast majority of Pompey fans have decided to stay away
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett has no Pompey favourites

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Pompey remain braced for the lowest post-war attendance at Fratton Park after advanced ticket sales reached 530.

That was the ticket office tally at the close of play today as supporters continue to snub tomorrow night’s visit of Reading Under-23s.

The Checkatrade Trophy has failed to capture the interest of fans across the country.

The Blues’ trip to Yeovil in August during the first round of group matches in the competition attracted a crowd of 1,545.

However, that total will be comfortably beaten when the Royals’ youngsters line up at Fratton tomorrow night (7.45pm).

There have been 489 tickets purchased by the Fratton faithful, while 41 have so far been sold by Reading.

They have an allocation of 100 and will be housed in South Stand lower, the side closest to the Milton End, which is shut for the evening.

Meanwhile, 70 complementary tickets have been put aside for players and match sponsors.

It takes the current tally to 600 – with sales still anticipated on the night for a fixture which will see three stands closed.

Pompey’s lowest Fratton crowd in post-war terms is presently 2,318 against Bristol City in August 1993.

Jim Smith’s side won that fixture 3-1 in an Anglo-Italian Cup competition blighted by low attendances, both in England and abroad.

A very real prospect is the Blues registering their smallest attendance of any competition played in this country.

That currently stands at 1,055 at Oxford United’s Manor Ground in December 1990.

Jim Magilton netted the only goal of the game as Pompey suffered a 1-0 defeat in round two of the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

The smallest Football League attendance in Pompey post-war history is 1,140 at Darlington in May 1979 – a 2-0 loss for the visitors.