Billy admits to historic Fratton fluke

IT WAS THE goal which re-wrote the Pompey record books – even if it was a fluke.

Billy Eames' rather fortunate strike against Carlisle on January 10, 1976, may not have been among the finest Fratton Park had witnessed.

All the same, the Emsworth winger's contribution ended a run of 15 home league games without victory.

More significantly, it also brought a shuddering halt to a Pompey spell of 505 minutes without a league goal at Fratton Park.

That was an unwanted club record which had stood for 32 years – until this season.

Subsequently, Harry Redknapp's side's defeat to Middlesbrough last month has now made it 540 minutes without hitting the target.

Eames went on to make 17 appearancs and score three goals before becoming a PE teacher at Cams Hill School in Fareham.

And he still remembers the day he fortuitously created Pompey history.

He said: 'It was a left-wing cross which I completely mis-kicked.

'I was attacking the Milton end and it came off the outside of the boot and went in at the near post.

'I suppose you could say their keeper Alan Ross was completely foxed by my trickery. The truth is I didn't mean to score.

'From that position you try to square the ball back along the ground or knock it in the air – for me it just ended up sneaking in.

'It was only later that I learned of the record.

'The problem was the team was very poor at that time, it was no surprise we were relegated that year.

'There was a lack of substance, commitment and man management, there was also no goalscorer.'

Mick Mellows, George Graham, Paul Went and Norman Piper were among the team that day. But it was not all glory for Eames.

He added: 'There was a leather factory in Copnor which had promised a jacket to the first person who scored.

'The owner was a man called David Tarrant, he was thinking it was going to be one of the top players so he could get some great publicity.

'Then this bloke from Emsworth scored – not exactly the star he was looking for.

'I went in a couple of times to get the jacket but it just never happened.'