Pompey will be hoping for a post-war sweet 16 when they host Wycombe at Fratton Park Saturday (3pm).
The Blues have played in 15 FA Cup first-round ties since handing back the prized trophy they won for the first time in 1939 – and held onto during World War II.
Those fixtures span just 12 of the following 71 seasons as the Fratton Park club has for the large part maintained its place among English football’s top two tiers.
But for this season and the next, at a minimum, League Two Pompey will enter the Cup at the first round stage – as they have done since relegation to League One in 2012.
Below, with the help of Colin Farmery’s ‘From Tindall to Ball’ we chronicle all of the Blues’ post-war first-round matches, including the good, the bad and the ugly.
1961-62 Nov 4 1961 (A) Crystal Palace 3-0 loss Pompey’s first involvement in the FA Cup first round since lifting the trophy in 1939 proved to be one to forget as they were well beaten at Selhurst Park.
A team including Blues greats such as Jimmy Dickinson, Johnny Gordon and Ron Saunders were played off the park by fellow division three side Palace, with Johnny Byrne (two) and Ron Heckman on target for the hosts.
Pompey, though, would get their own back on the Eagles, doing the league double over them en-route to winning the title.
That ensured an immediate return to division two – and a 15-year wait to play in the competition’s first round again.
1976-77 Nov 20 1976 (A) Aldershot 1-1 draw Shots winger Alex McGregor earns the hosts a replay with a cool second-half chip, but Pompey aren’t complaining too much as the gate receipts will come in handy. Earlier, Mick Mellows calmly rounds off a move initiated by Norman Piper – and Clive Green is inches away from sealing it for the Blues.
Aldershot manager Tom McAnearney is impressed wuth the Blues’ young side: ‘Those kids go some,’ he remarks.
Replay: Nov 20 1976 (H) Aldershot 2-1 win Emerging centre-half Steve Foster recalls his striking instincts to head in from close range and set up a ‘David and Goliath’ tie with Minehead. Shots have only a £7,000 gate share to console them, once a blistering shot from Clive Green – watched again by West Ham boss Ron Greenwood – sets Pompey up. As in the first tie, Alex McGregor is on target for the visitors.
1977-78 Nov 26 1977 (H) Bideford 3-1 win Western League Bideford’s hero is office clerk Norman Stevens, who dislocates a finger in saving Billy Wilson’s 30 yarder, then immediately after lengthy repairs saves Dave Kemp’s penalty, when David Pullar is felled on half-time.
Bobby Stokes, Pullar and Mick Mellows are on target for the Blues, with John Wingate’s second-half header – which arrives with the visitors trailing 2-0 – sending Bideford fans wild.
1978-79 Nov 25 1978 (H) Northampton 2-0 win
Cobblers boss Mike Keen comes for a replay, recalling expereined keeper Carl Jayes but the latter fails to hold Leigh Barnard’s shot and Jeff Hemmerman breaks the visitors’ resistance from the rebound. As Town push forward, a quick counter forces a corner and Hemmerman’s head does the rest.
1979-80 Nov 24 1979 (H) Newport 1-0 win A ‘disappointing’ gate – 25,000 had been expected – witness a pulsating tie. Terry Brisley heads in off a post after Steve Bryant’s dummy is sold to Dave Bruton for the cross. Pompey youngster Alan Knight comes of age with a string of saves, the best a second-half point-blank stop to deny John Aldridge.
1980-81 Nov 22 1980 (A) Colchester 3-0 loss The U’s earn their second home win over Pompey in six weeks and avenge their Fratton loss earlier in the month. Colchester keeper Mike Walker has only one shot to save and the result is rarely in doubt once Trevor Lee pounces on Peter Mellor’s parry.
Late goals from Ian Allinson and Kevin Bremner seal the points.
1981-82 Nov 21 1981 (H) Millwall 1-1 draw Gerry Francis’ presences gets the rumour mill going but he is a guest of a Lions player. Alex Cropley’s sharp thinking sets up Jeff Hemmerman’s header for Pompey, but a dodgy penalty levels matters. Coins have to be cleared from the goal after Alan McKenna’s tumble sparks furious protests, but Nicky Chatterton keeps cool to force a replay.
Replay: Nov 25 1981 (A) Millwall 3-2 loss (aet) Former Southampton player Austin Hayes emerges from Steve Bryant’s pocket, where he had been for the game, to snatch it for the Lions. That’s after Pompey fight back from a two-goal half-time deficit to force extra-time. Sam Allardyce and Nicky Chatterton net for the hosts but Mick Tait and Jeff Hemmerman give the Blues hope, only for Hayes to extinguish it with a second replay beckoning.
1982-83 Nov 20 1982 (H) Hereford 4-1 win A poignant minute’s silence to mark the death of Pompey legend Jimmy Dickinson is followed by a workmanlike demolition of Hereford. Two sharp, early headers by Alan Biley from pinpoint crosses kill the game. Old-boy Derek Showers briefly raises hopes only for Billy Raffetry to thrash home from the restart and grab another soon after.
2012-13 Nov 3 2012 (H) Notts County 2-0 loss
Pompey’s first FA Cup first-round involvement in 30 years ends in disappointment at the hands of League One rivals County.
Francois Zoko nods home Alan Judge’s cross before Yoan Arquin heads home from a Jamal Campbell-Ryce delivery to dump out the 2008 winners.
Blues midfielder Scott Allan sees red for a poor tackle on Campbell-Ryce with first-team coach Ashley Westwood also sent to the stands on a day to forget for the Blues.
Nov 9 2013 (A) Stevenage 2-1 loss Francois Zoko nets twice in the first half for Stevenage as Pompey are beaten at Broadhall Way.
Blues midfielder Gavin Mahon compounds the problems for Guy Whittingham’s side, seeing red for an elbow on Filipe Morais.
David Connolly’s 71st minute tap-in gives the vocal visiting fans hope but the visitors are deservedly beaten.
2014-15 Nov 12 2014 (H) Aldershot 2-2 draw Danny Hollands’ late header rescues a replay for Pompey against non-league Aldershot at Fratton Park.
Jed Wallace opens the scoring for the Blues from the penalty spot before the Shots level when Jordan Roberts converts Dan Holman’s cross.
Mark Molesley then puts the visitors ahead side-footing in at the near post before Hollands heads stunned Pompey level late on. Replay: Nov 19 2014 (A) Aldershot 1-0 loss
Mark Molesley strikes a late winner to end Pompey’s proud unbeaten record against non-league opponents.
Former Blues keeper Phil Smith is at his best in the first half of the replay, saving well from Jed Wallace’s instinctive volley.
But with 10 minutes left on the clock, the Shots embarrass Andy Awford’s lacklustre side as Molesley bundles home from a corner.
Nov 7 2015 (H) Macclesfield Town 2-1 win Two goals from Adam McGurk earn Pompey victory over non-league Macclesfield at Fratton Park.
McGurk opens the scoring early on before Blues keeper Brian Murphy giftes visiting striker Kristian Dennis an equaliser soon after.
Paul Cook’s side regain the lead just before half-time when McGurk capitalises from a rebound in the area – and that’s how it ends.
Victory marks Pompey’s first in the FA Cup since beating Spurs in a 2010 semi-final at Wembley.