Northampton 1 Pompey 2: All-Seeing Eye

Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
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The All Seeing Eye keeps a check on the quirky side of Pompey’s win at Sixfields.

North-ampton Pole

You’d think he might be a touch busy at this time of year.

But it seems Father Christmas still found a few hours to spare to watch a top-of-the-table clash between Northampton and Pompey.

But wait a minute – does the real Father Christmas wear a tie under his famous red suit?

On reflection, he might not have been the real one.

Instead, it was a friendly press steward checking the media naughty and nice list.

Speedy recovery

There are some incidents that happen during a game that leave you scratching your head at what went on.

Early in the contest, Pompey skipper Michael Doyle appeared to have suffered a serious injury with some worried looks all around.

Was it one of those horrible incidents when a player goes down with nobody near him and usually ends up in a lengthy lay-off?

Either way, Doyle was left writhing around in apparent agony, waving his arms and beating the ground as the Pompey physio raced on to treat the stricken player.

The captain is not normally the kind of player to exaggerate an injury so Paul Cook and Blues fans presumably feared the worst and the inevitable call for the stretcher.

But within a few seconds, the Irishman was back up on his feet and hobbling over to the touchline.

And moments later, he was back into the action completing a Lazarus-like comeback and playing the rest of the game as if nothing had happened.

A jarred knee and ankle was the explanation offered after the game.

It was further proof that Doyle is as hard as nails.

Familiar foe

It always seems like a risk from supporters to voice their suggestions that a former player isn’t very good.

Ricky Holmes – a former player of the year for Pompey – responded to his critics and haunted his old club in the fixture last season after being moved on by Andy Awford.

After recently coming back from injury this time around, he was only fit enough for a place on the bench. He still looked a real threat when he came on but Pompey fans had the last laugh this time.

Skills blip

Paul Cook has shown his ball skills on the touchline on plenty of occasions already this season.

The Pompey boss generally looks a frustrated figure who would still like to be out there playing if the age barrier did not prevent him.

But his latest chance to get involved didn’t go to plan.

After a wayward pass had drifted out of play, clattering into a photographer, Cook picked up the loose ball to kick back to the Northampton player about to take the throw-in.

Instead of a trademark pinpoint cushioned volley, Cook delivered a horrible sliced effort that was well off its intended target.

That saw him given stick by Cobblers fans for supposedly wasting time, despite his protests that it wasn’t deliberate.

Cook wasn’t put off though.

When the opportunity arose again soon afterwards, he took some extra care and attention to redeem himself with a much better effort.

Good voice

Pompey fans certainly enjoyed their final away day before Christmas.

After politely enquiring to Cobblers fans why they had an empty stand still under construction, they were in playful mood throughout the contest.

But they saved the best until last as they brought back a classic Christmas song after Pompey nicked the victory.

‘Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way.

‘Oh what fun it is to see, Pompey win away...’