Pompey must defy history books in this year’s FA Cup

Pompey striker Mick Quinn is sent off by referee John Key at the start of the second half of the 1988 FA Cup sixth-round match against Luton at Kenilworth Road

Pompey will have to do something they’ve never achieved before if they are to progress in this year’s FA Cup – beat Luton in the famous old competition.

Cup meetings between the teams have been rare down through the years.

Despite the two clubs contesting 50 matches that date back to the 1920-21 season, only four have featured in England’s premier knockout competition.

And it’s the Hatters who have the edge, winning three and drawing one of their match-ups with the Blues.

The most recent meeting between the two sides dates back to the 1987-88 season, when Luton booked their place in the semi-finals with a 3-1 victory at Kenilworth Road.

Alan Ball’s team saw off the challenges of Blackburn (2-1), Sheffield United (2-1) and Bradford (3-0) in previous rounds to make it to the last eight of the competition.

Pompey boss Alan Ball gets a booking from referee John Key after complaining about the sending off of his striker, Mike Quinn, during the 1988 FA Cup match quarter-final against Luton Town

But that’s were their interest in the Cup finished that campaign, with Ray Harford’s men – fresh from lifting the League Cup – coming out on top.

Danny Wilson handed Luton a third-minute lead in front of a crowd of 12,857, before Mark Stein doubled the hosts’ lead on 22 minutes.

Mick Quinn reduced the deficit just after the half-hour mark – handing Ball’s side a route back into the tie.

But after the interval the striker was sent-off after apparently elbowing former Pompey player Steve Foster.

And with the Hatters having the extra-man advantage, they restored their two-goal cushion through Mick Harford on 88 minutes.

Nearly 40 years prior to that meeting, Luton once again came out on top when they defeated Bob Jackson’s reigning division one champions 2-0 in the 1950-51 season’s third round – also at Kenilworth Road.

Among the Blues team that day were Jimmy Scoular, Reg Flewin, Jimmy Dickinson, Peter Harris and Duggie Reid.

Back in the 1921-22 campaign, it took the Hatters two attempts to knock out Pompey – also in the third round.

The first game at Fratton Park on January 11, 1992, finished 1-1, with Frank Stringfellow on the mark in front of 22,437 fans.

However, they lost the replay 2-1, with Stringfellow again on the scoresheet.

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