COMMENT: Fratton form epitomises erratic Pompey campaign

The erratic nature of the campaign is epitomised by present Fratton Park failings.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 8:00 am
Keeper Luke McGee conceded three in Saturdays defeat to Gillingham

Title-winning Pompey have clambered up a rung, personnel has changed considerably, while another man stands at the helm.

The consequence has been two Fratton Park points since the beginning of 2018 – the club’s worst comparable run in 59 years.

Yet, remarkably, Kenny Jackett still possesses the eighth-best League One home record so far.

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Such has been the campaign’s inconsistent meandering, it is easy to overlook the fine run of Frogmore Road form earlier in the season.

For there was a 52-day period when Pompey secured victories in all six of their home matches, spanning all competitions.

In the process, they registered four clean sheets and netted 10 goals to reinforce the notion of Fortress Fratton.

The impressive statistic kicked off with a November 18 victory over Southend and continued until defeat by Chelsea under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy on January 9.

Not too much was wrong with Jackett’s performance as manager during that period, progress reflected by a placing of sixth in the table.

Then 2018 dawned – the yin to the season’s yang.

Subsequently, injury-ravaged Pompey have drawn two and lost five of their Fratton Park encounters in all competitions.

Suddenly this reassuringly immovable force has collapsed into rocky ground, culminating with the slide into 12th spot.

Certainly these are unfamiliar times for the Fratton faithful, who have enjoyed plenty of home success in recent years.

During the march to the League Two title, Pompey conceded the joint-fifth fewest goals on home territory outside the Premier League.

In that season, only Doncaster boasted a points tally more profitable than the 46 from home fixtures.

The 2015-16 campaign wasn’t too shabby either, with the Blues sixth in terms of Fratton form.

Yet there have also been gloomy periods.

Fratton results were worse in the opening two League Two campaigns, with 12th and ninth rankings.

In 2012-13, the previous season at League One level, the Blues won just seven matches at Frogmore Road.

Now with Brett Pitman the first of his walking wounded to return, Jackett will be hoping to emulate earlier form and rediscover the Fratton fear factor.

And the Blues’ boss can point to the home outcome of when the side was previously at full strength as proof for such optimism.