Pompey fans pitched against Fratton stars in Channel 5 TV stunt

  • TV company pulls surprise for promotional video
  • Supporters narrowly beaten in 6-5 thriller
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FOR a team of diehard Pompey fans determined to do the club proud, it was already a dream match.

Four goals up after just two minutes of a televised five-a-side clash with a hapless outfit claiming to represent old rivals Southampton, the boys in blue were in seventh heaven.

The Pompey fans five-a-side team. Back row (l-r) James Lang, James Shannon and Adam Lea. Front row (l-r) Chris Purnell and John Steadman

The Pompey fans five-a-side team. Back row (l-r) James Lang, James Shannon and Adam Lea. Front row (l-r) Chris Purnell and John Steadman

And then things got even better....

When one of the underperforming opponents complained of a hamstring injury, a subsitute was called for.

And from the dressing rooms at the Roko centre in Portsmouth trotted Pompey centreback Paul Robinson.

Barely had the fans recovered from their shock than the other four opponents cried off, all being replaced by Fratton stars.

In next to no time, the fans’ five found themselves playing a formidable team of Robinson, Christian Burgess, Matt Tubbs, Kyle Bennett and Gary Roberts.

The players had been secretly lined up by Channel 5 for a promotional video for its new Football League highlights show.

Pompey in the Community marketing manager Adam Lea, who organised the Pompey fans side, said: ‘We had no idea what was going to happen - that’s what made it so special.

‘We even managed to score a goal against them when they came on but they pulled back to make it 5-5 at half-time.

‘It was agreed that the next goal would win it and they were so quick and skillful that we thought we’d soon be beaten.

‘But amazingly we held out for 15 minutes of end-to-end stuff. We even got a penalty chance to win it, but a combination of blustery wind and a bit a shirt-pulling meant I screwed it wide - I will never live it down!.

‘Then Kyle Bennett popped up to score the winner. But it was still an amazing experience.’

Channel 5, who have secured Football League highlights rights for this season, also played the same stunt on fans’ teams from Fulham and Barnsely for their video promotion.

The channel’s creative lead, Rob Fox, said: ‘We chose to do the promo this way to show Channel 5’s dedication to getting the fans more involved in our highlights coverage.’

Meanwhile, having played against the stars, Adam is confident that Pompey can set League Two alight. ‘Apart from being so quick, their ball control and distribution was fantastic’ he said.