Pompey winger relishing taking on friendly faces

Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe celebrates scoring against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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It was a day of contrasts which entered Pompey folklore and left a trophy in the Fratton Park cabinet.

Matty Kennedy was on the receiving end, stranded on the Blundell Park bench and a helpless onlooker following an earlier substitution.

Matty Kennedy in action for Plymouth against Pompey last season Picture: Joe Pepler

Matty Kennedy in action for Plymouth against Pompey last season Picture: Joe Pepler

On the final day of last season, the Blues were crowned League Two winners – while Plymouth’s 1-1 draw at Grimsby floored them at the death.

For Kennedy, that fateful afternoon represented the final match of a 17-game loan spell from Cardiff which yielded five goals and a Sky Bet Player of the Month nomination.

Now the Scot will line up for Pompey when his former club visit Fratton Park tomorrow.

The 23-year-old is hoping to keep the place on the left flank he regained at Peterborough in the week.

In theory I could play up against him tomorrow. I don’t know how I’d fare, though, he will probably make me laugh! He’s a funny guy

Matty Kennedy

Kennedy continues to make a notable impact during his season-long loan from the Bluebirds as Kenny Jackett weighs up a permanent deal at its culmination.

In his last Fratton appearance, he laid on the winner for Brett Pitman against Southend.

And the left-winger is relishing locking horns with those former team-mates he remains in touch with from the Pilgrims’ squad.

Kennedy said: ‘Gary Miller is one of my best mates and still there, while I was also close to Antoni Sarcevic.

‘I really enjoyed my time at Plymouth, winning promotion and making some good friends. They changed the squad in the summer but some are still there.

‘I’d never met Gary before, he is Scottish as well, we are both from the same area, and we clicked straight away. I keep in contact with him every now and again.

‘I was living down there on my own, he was living down there on his own and it went from there.

‘He is a right-back so in theory I could play up against him tomorrow. I don’t know how I’d fare, though, he will probably make me laugh! He’s a funny guy.

‘It’s a game I’m looking forward to, although I haven’t seen Plymouth this season so don’t know too much about them.’

Miller is currently out of Derek Adams’ side, serving as a non-playing substitute in their midweek victory over Northampton.

However, Sarcevic featured for the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 Home Park success and continues to be a constant first-team presence.

The Pilgrims have discovered timely good form of late, despite still languishing 23rd in League One.

They have lost one of the past eight matches – a remarkable turnaround having started the season with nine defeats and one win from their opening 12 league fixtures.

Last term Pompey beat them to the title on goal difference, now nine points and 12 places separate the clubs.

Kennedy added: ‘I’ve not seen them play but last year they were destroying teams.

‘I know it’s a big step up, but Portsmouth have done it so I don’t see why Plymouth can’t.

‘It’s hard to say whether they’ll stay up but, personally, I think they’ll be okay – although it’s easier said than done.’