Pompey’s long-awaited Island return

David Nugent in action against Newport (IW) in 2007 Picture: Laura Holme
David Nugent in action against Newport (IW) in 2007 Picture: Laura Holme
Pompey keeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey keeper McGee to have scan

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The Isle of Wight finally have the opportunity to play hosts – a decade on from Pompey’s last visit.

Last week, Kenny Jackett’s side booked a fixture with Newport (IW), representing an addition to the pre-season schedule.

The Port will play St George’s Park hosts on Tuesday, July 18 (7pm).

It means the Blues venture over there for the first time since August 1, 2007.

On that occasion, Harry Redknapp’s men ran out 7-0 winners over the then-Southern League outfit.

As the scoreline reflected, Newport came up against a strong Pompey side, with David Nugent the notable figure.

The £6m summer recruit from Preston marked his sixth appearance with his first goals for the club – netting a double in the hammering.

Having struggled to convince during his early pre-season appearances, the one-time England international was finally up and running.

There were also goals from Gary O’Neil (two), Hermann Hreidarsson, Martin Cranie and Franck Songo’o in front of a 3,500 crowd.

Twenty-four hours earlier Redknapp’s side won 4-1 at Bournemouth – and many of that squad also turned out at St George’s Park.

Jamie Ashdown, Matt Taylor, Andy O’Brien, O’Neil, Hreidarsson and Nugent started both fixtures.

Meanwhile, Pedro Mendes and Benjani were unused substitutes against the non-leaguers.

There was also a July 2001 encounter between the sides during Graham Rix’s first pre-season in charge.

Summer recruit Peter Crouch netted on his Pompey debut for what proved to be the only goal of the contest.

A £1.5m arrival from QPR, it would be the start of five goals in six matches during pre-season for the towering striker.

There was also a first outing for Neil Barrett, having arrived from Chelsea on a free transfer.

A crowd of 3,000 were in attendance for the opening pre-season fixture ahead of a campaign which Rix wouldn’t see out.

Instead, director of football Harry Redknapp stepped in during March 2002 and would ultimately play such a key role in Pompey’s history.

The side which won 1-0 at St George’s Park that day also included Scott Hiley, Jamie Vincent, Stefani Miglioranzi, Kevin Harper and Michael Panopoulos.

The Blues’ following match was a 5-2 defeat to Spurs, with Crouch scoring twice.