Pompey fans called ‘class’ for backing of The Beast

Adebayo Akinfenwa scores the winner at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Adebayo Akinfenwa scores the winner at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey looking for history to repeat in cup

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Pompey may have done little to impress on the pitch during a miserable display – but the Fratton faithful took plaudits from Wycombe for a ‘class’ gesture.

Despite dumping the Blues out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle with his 84th-minute winner, Adebayo Akinfenwa was given a standing ovation from the home crowd when he was substituted in the closing stages.

The 34-year-old striker, nicknamed The Beast because of his burly frame, is something of a cult hero in the Football League.

And having taken well to lighthearted stick from home fans about his weight, the former Torquay and Wimbledon front man was given warm applause from Blues supporters, moments after his header proved decisive in booting Pompey out of the competition.

It was a reception which Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth described as ‘class’. And there was praise for the man himself from fellow goalscorer Paris Cowan-Hall.

The Pompey Academy graduate said: ‘Bayo is a very good pro who I look up to.

‘His goal was fantastic. He has big arms so he is able to create space.

‘He is a big guy who is good at finishing and works hard every day. And he gets his rewards.’

Akinfenwa added: ‘I know on my day I am good enough to trouble any defence. I’ve got strengths and I’ve got weaknesses. If I play to my strengths I am one of the best with what I do.’

After watching Wycombe deservedly book their place in the second round of the Cup, Ainsworth revealed his motivational tool for victory – an evening in front of the telly. The Chairboys’ player-manager said: ‘I gave a challenge to the boys.

‘I said you can have Monday off as long as you are sitting at home at seven ‘o clock watching the FA Cup draw on TV and Wycombe Wanderers are in it.

‘They have deserved that and earned that. And we look forward to see who we get.’

– HOWARD FROST