Hopeful and happy atmosphere gives way to stunned silence for Pompey fans in Victory Lounge
THERE were a sea of blue shirts as about 100 fans watched the match from Fratton Park.
And for the first 90 minutes the atmosphere in the Victory Lounge was happy, buoyant, hopeful and even electric at times.
But how things can change in the blink of an eye.
The deafening cries of ‘Play Up Pompey’ and ‘Blue Army’ gave way to a grim silence in the last two minutes of the match.
Supporters’ faces looked shocked as they realised all too quickly that Pompey’s Wembley dream was over.
They were expecting so much throughout the match as the beer flowed.
Three screens were put up in the Victory Lounge, but there was no sound, which made the chanting from the fans seem even louder.
‘Come on Pompey’ was the most common cry in the room as fans’ eyes were glued to the action.
At half time, Richard Collingwood, 60, from North End, was still very hopeful of a trip to Wembley.
‘This means a lot,’ he said.
‘It would make all the hard work through the season worthwhile.’
But as the second half drew to its conclusion, the tension built and there were some concerned faces in the room.
One man said: ‘I love penalties.’
Alas, a couple of minutes later, not even that was on the cards and many fans headed for the door before the whistle had even been blown.
Joel Upward, 19, from Southsea, said: ‘I’m just gutted.
‘I was really looking forward to going to Wembley.
‘I just can’t believe it.’
Jan Morrissey, 59, was consoling her seven-year-old grandson, Sonny Morrissey, who had been excited about going to Wembley.
Jan, from Buckland, said: ‘I am so disappointed.
‘Pompey were not bad in the first half and I don’t know what happened in the second half.
‘It was a bit disappointing.’
Julie and Bob Perry, from Southsea, had been putting off booking a holiday because of the potential Wembley fixture.
Bob said he was ‘gutted’ by the result, but added that the ‘club was on the up’.
Julie said: ‘When you support football, that’s the way it is.
‘It’s gutting, but there’s next year.’