Pompey striving for five-and-a-half year high

Jamie Ashdown kept his sixth consecutive clean sheet against Sheffield United
Jamie Ashdown kept his sixth consecutive clean sheet against Sheffield United
Luke McGee. Picture: Joe Pepler

Four Pompey players who need to hit the ground running in pre-season

0
Have your say

POMPEY are eyeing registering a fourth consecutive league victory without conceding a goal.

And doing so would represent a first time in five-and-a-half years for the Blues.

Goalscorer Hermann Hreidarsson & Co celebrate during the 1-0 win against Sheffield United in March 2011

Goalscorer Hermann Hreidarsson & Co celebrate during the 1-0 win against Sheffield United in March 2011

Not since Steve Cotterill’s Championship side in February 2011 have the club produced such a consistent run of positive league results.

Granted, caretaker boss Andy Awford conjured up five straight wins at the tail-end of the 2013-14 campaign to keep Pompey in the Football League.

Yet that crucial sequence consisted of two clean sheets out of a potential five on the path to a 13th-placed finish.

Instead it is Cotterill’s accomplishment which stands out as the one to challenge during these years outside the top flight.

Wycombe Wanderers must firstly be negotiated, however, as they are Saturday’s Fratton Park opposition.

Gareth Ainsworth’s squad is injury-hit and currently residing one place above the relegation zone, clutching the single victory.

In contrast, three successive wins have lifted Pompey into fourth spot following a stuttering start to the campaign.

Another triumph would maintain that surge up the table – and if accompanied with a clean sheet would make it a five-and-a-half year high.

Under Cotterill, the Blues actually recorded six consecutive victories from February 12 to March 5, 2011.

During that period not a single goal was let in, ensuring Jamie Ashdown broke the post-war record of 636 minutes without conceding.

It was a remarkable run which lifted them from 18th to 11th in the Championship to stoke hopes of a late push towards the play-offs.

However, following a 2-1 defeat at Bristol City, they won just once more during the remaining 11 matches to finish 16th in the first campaign since Premier League relegation.

Regardless, that winning streak is a benchmark for Paul Cook’s current side to emulate as they strive to maintain pressure at the top of the League Two table.

Cotterill’s side kicked off that period with Joel Ward and Dave Kitson netting in a 2-0 victory at Doncaster.

Although the visitors finished with 10-men following the second-half dismissal of loanee Jonathan Hogg for two bookable offences.

The following match was a 1-0 victory over Barnsley at Fratton Park, substitute Kanu heading home a late winner from Greg Halford’s cross.

David Nugent then registered his 10th goal of the campaign to see off Crystal Palace in a Tuesday evening game, again at Fratton Park.

The fourth successive win was achieved at Portman Road on February 26, 2011, in front of a crowd of 23,345.

Nugent maintained his outstanding personal scoring record against Ipswich by grabbing the opener, with loanee David Cotterill sealing the 2-0 triumph.

The Blues also went on to defeat Scunthorpe (2-0) and Sheffield United (1-0) during that period.

Now Cook’s class of 2016 are seeking to cap a similar string of results.