No happy Portsmouth reunion for much-maligned Allsop

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A former Pompey loanee returns to Fratton Park on Saturday - not that many will be applauding the reunion.

Unfortunately, Ryan Allsop is synonymous with a Blues League Two play-off campaign which perished at the hands of Plymouth.

Ryan Allsop is devastated after Peter Hartley's last-gasp winner in the play-off semi-finals. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ryan Allsop is devastated after Peter Hartley's last-gasp winner in the play-off semi-finals. Picture: Joe Pepler

A goalkeeping crisis signalled his emergency loan arrival from Bournemouth in May 2016, yet over the two-legs his displays drew widespread criticism.

Now with Wycombe, the 26-year-old is back on the south coast for the first time since that ill-fated spell.

Certainly he will be hoping to fare better as the Chairboys seek to end the League One leaders’ unbeaten start to the campaign.

Yet the Fratton faithful will still recall Allsop’s brief Pompey tenure, which kicked off at Fratton Park against Plymouth on May 12, 2016.

Boss Paul Cook had turned to the Cherries stopper after all three of his keepers had been ruled out through injury.

Brian Murphy was sidelined after appearing in the final league match against Northampton, while Paul Jones (thigh) and Alex Bass (knee) were also out.

In addition, loanee Ryan Fulton continued to receive treatment with parent club Liverpool following injury.

As a consequence, the Football League granted Cook special dispensation to bring in a keeper on emergency loan for their play-off schedule.

Allsop had already impressed during 18 loan appearances for the Chairboys in the second half of that 2015-16 campaign, ensuring his arrival was well received.

Perhaps crucially, he trained with his new team-mates just once ahead of the first-leg visit of the Pilgrims.

During the match, Marc McNulty presented the hosts with an early lead, but that was wiped out on nine minutes.

Allsop came off his line to claim Gregg Wylde’s looping header, yet was beaten in the air by Jamille Matt for the equaliser.

Then on 19 minutes, Matt, with back to goal, juggled a long throw and looped an overhead kick over the keeper positioned at his near post to make it 2-1 to Derek Adams’ side.

Gary Roberts’ second-half penalty ensured the scoreline ended 2-2 heading into the deciding leg at Home Park three days later.

Once again Allsop lined-up for the Blues and questions were asked of his performance as Peter Hartley settled the occasion on 90 minutes.

A corner was delivered from the right and, with Pompey’s keeper well out of position, the Pilgrims defender powered home a far-post header.

Plymouth, however, would lose the play-off final to AFC Wimbledon 2-0 at Wembley.

Last season, Allsop spent 23 matches on loan at Blackpool, before a 20-game spell at League Two Lincoln during the second half of the campaign.

Following his release from Bournemouth in the summer, he joined the Chairboys on a three-year deal and has been an ever-present in their league campaign.

And on Saturday he’s back at Fratton Park, albeit this time in an opposition team.