On this day: Portsmouth defeat Manchester United to move top of First Division 

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On this day in 1951, Pompey moved back to the top of the First Division after beating Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford before a crowd of 35,914.

They leapfrogged Arsenal, who were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Peter Harris helped Pompey move top of the top tier on this day in 1951

Peter Harris helped Pompey move top of the top tier on this day in 1951

Jackie Henderson opened the scoring by heading Marcel Gaillard’s cross past Reg Allen after 16 minutes.

Ten minutes later the Belgian winger extended the lead with a terrific shot. Johnny Downie headed a goal back for United four minutes after the break.

Despite the home side going all out for the equaliser, it was Pompey who next found the net when a Peter Harris cross was turned into his own goal by Henry Cockburn.

Downie later had an effort kicked off the line by Harry Ferrier.

Pompey: Ernie Butler, Phil Gunter, Harry Ferrier, Johnny Beale, Jack Froggatt, Jimmy Dickinson, Peter Harris, Duggie Reid, Jackie Henderson, Albert Mundy, Marcel Gaillard.

Meanwhile, Bill Thompson scored two penalties in Pompey Reserves’ 6-2 victory over Watford at Fratton Park.

The other scorers were Ike Clarke (2), Ron Bennett and Johnny Gordon.

Pompey Reserves: Maurice Leather, Jasper Yeuell, Edwards, Reg Pickett, Bill Thompson, Bill Albury, Terry Ryder, Johnny Gordon, Ike Clarke, Matt Gemmell, Ron Bennett.

The scheduled Pompey B fixture with BR Eastleigh at Bridgmary was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch as was the Saints A match at home to Totton.

Rotherham United were the new Second Division leaders after their 2-0 win at home to Notts County took them above Sheffield United who were beaten 4-1 by Brentford at Griffin Park.

Plymouth Argyle consolidated their position at the top of Division Three South with a thumping 5-0 victory at home to Millwall and Mansfield Town’s 4-0 win over Southport at Field Mill kept them top of Division 3 North.

Gosport Borough were trounced 8-0 by Frome in the FA Amateur Cup, while Fareham’s replay with Bournemouth Gas – which was due to be played at Bath Lane – was postponed.

On the Isle of Wight, Brading beat Sandown 3-1 at Fairway Park in the Hants Senior Cup tie.

In other news, a tug left Portsmouth to go to the aid of the Costa Rican ship Swift, reported to be drifting aimlessly with engine trouble 16 miles from the Nab Tower.

The Swedish vessel Aspen signalled she was standing by the Swift, which was sending out Aldis lamp signals for the aid of a tug.