On this day: Portsmouth prepared to step in to host Hawks v Millwall in Cup

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On this day in 2006, Pompey were preparing to step in as the greatest game in the Hawks’ history was being earmarked to take place at Fratton Park.

The non-league side had anticipated a 5,000 sell-out at Westleigh Park after being drawn against Millwall in the FA Cup.

But after police raised concerns over safety, the clash was set to be switched to neighbours Pompey.

Hawks secretary Trevor Brock said he was devastated the game could not be played at Westleigh Park, although he understood the concerns of police.

The decision followed discussions between the club and police from Fratton and Havant police stations.

A letter had been drafted by Hampshire police and sent to the FA recommending they ratify their wishes.

PC Mick Brown, football liaison officer at Fratton police station, said concerns over safety had won the day.

Speaking to The News at the time, he said: ‘We have closely looked at the situation and the chances are there are likely to be a lot of fans walking around Leigh Park for this game.

‘Millwall would have been allocated 720 tickets but the club themselves have admitted there could possibly be 2,000 outside the ground without tickets. To us that is a safety issue.

‘It would be a nightmare to police. It’s dark around there and would be very difficult for us to keep the situation in check.

‘We have a safe environment down at Fratton Park and are able to police it better because we do it successfully week in, week out.

‘A few things need to be ironed out but subject to the FA – and Pompey of course – the match will now be staged there.

‘Havant & Waterlooville have my sympathy, they definitely wanted to play at West Leigh Park. But this is down to a safety situation and nothing else.’

Brock said he would be meeting with Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie to finalise arrangements.

‘Obviously we understand the concerns of police,’ Brock said.

‘But at the same time we’re devastated for our fans because we wanted to see the game played at West Leigh Park.’