Game that showed why Pompey must stay at Fratton Park

When I wrote here last week about my hopes of Pompey keeping Fratton as their home in the long-term, I didn't expect players and fans to provide such a perfect example of why within 48 hours, writes Steve Bone in his Sports Mail column...

Sunday, 8th April 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th April 2018, 6:16 pm
Pompey celebrate their win over Wigan. Picture: Joe Pepler

Monday was special – Pompey special. One of those occasions you can’t plan, and would be foolish to expect. But one that, just occasionally, comes along and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

In the latter stages of the win over Wigan, with ‘Blue Army, Blue Army’ ringing out around the ground, I was thinking it was comparable to that title-winning win against Cheltenham last May.

Later, I reeled in that thought. It must have been my imagination, I figured, because the atmosphere at a game that moved us up from ninth from seventh with six games to go could not equal the buzz from one which won us a league. Could it?

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But in the 24 hours following Monday’s televised fun, others said similar and described it as one of the finest Fratton atmospheres they’d known. One even compared it to the night we took on AC Milan.

The win over Wigan, made all the sweeter because it came against the manager who walked out on us after that League Two title win, may yet prove a stepping stone towards a play-off spot or even promotion.

But even if it doesn’t, April 2, 2018, will still be talked about for a long time to come.

And my over-riding thought on the way home: if you favour a move away from Fratton, could you guarantee you could replicate those scenes in a new stadium?

I’m really not sure you could.