Goals ruled out: Accrington blow may boost Pompey
Pompey travel to the Crown Ground tonight knowing a win against Accrington Stanley will see them rise above their opponents and into fourth place in League Two.
On Saturday, a highly controversial decision cost Accrington what could have been a valuable victory before tonight’s game.
It could also end up affecting Stanley’s hopes of automatic promotion, leaving them just one point ahead of Paul Cook’s side.
Deep into first-half stoppage time at Kingsmeadow, where Stanley were taking on fellow promotion hopefuls AFC Wimbledon, Billy Kee turned and fired the visitors into what everyone thought was a 1-0 lead.
They were wrong.
Referee Trevor Kettle blew the whistle just as Kee’s shot arrowed into the bottom corner and he ruled out the goal.
The protests were in vain and the game eventually finished 0-0, with the point doing neither side a favour in the quest for promotion.
Accrington manager John Coleman was baffled by the decision, he told BBC Radio Lancaster: ‘I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years playing. He blew as the ball was on it’s way into the net. You can’t account for that.’
In 1996, Pompey benefited from a similar incident.
On March 23, the Blues - in a relegation battle - travelled to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side fighting for promotion.
In the fifth minute of time added on, Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight punched a corner away, but the ball was rifled back into the net by Andy Roberts.
However referee Alan Wiley had blown the full-time whistle, much to the dismay of the Palace players.
The match finished 0-0.
‘I heard the whistle go as I punched out. Not that I’m saying that I would have got to the shot but I didn’t bother.’ Knight said at the time.
The point gained from that game proved precious for Pompey as they stayed in division one.
They finished on 52 points, alongside Millwall, with the Lions going down due to an inferior goal difference.
One of the most controversial incidents of this type arrived during Brazil’s opening match of the 1978 World Cup.
They were drawing 1-1 with Sweden and with the game deep in added time at the end of the second half they had a corner.
As the ball was lifted into the area, Zico pounced to head the ball into the net and give Brazil an opening win.
However, Welsh referee Clive Thomas blew his whistle just as the corner was taken and the goal wasn’t given despite the protests.