Prized club record still in distance for undefeated Portsmouth

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Pompey’s unbeaten league start now spans an impressive nine matches.

Yet they still have some distance to travel before matching the 13 registered by the 1948-49 side which went on to capture the Division One title.

Jimmy Dickinson was part of the Pompey side undefeated for 13 matches in 1948-49.

Jimmy Dickinson was part of the Pompey side undefeated for 13 matches in 1948-49.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe ensures Kenny Jackett’s team have equalled a feat now achieved five times.

In terms of league games undefeated from the beginning of a campaign, the tally of nine has previously occurred in 1967-68, 1986-87, 2002-03 and 2015-16.

Yet in post-war Blues history, Bob Jackson’s all-conquering team hold the record – and will be tough to overhaul.

It was a 13-match period which consisted of nine victories and four draws, before ended on October 23, 1948.

Wolves defeated Jackson’s men 3-0 at Molineux, kicking off a spell of indifference which resulted in three losses and now wins over five matches.

Still, Pompey went on to claim the top-flight crown for the first time in the club’s existence, five points ahead of second-placed Manchester United.

They retained their title in 1949-50, but lost three of the opening six league matches in the process.

The 1961-62 campaign under George Smith saw Pompey secure the Division Three title, having been unbroken for the opening 12 league fixtures.

Led by the ever-prolific Ron Saunders, it was a racing start for the Blues, who in addition beat Barrow and drew against Derby in the FA Cup.

However, they were undone at Notts County on October 7, 1961, slipping to a 2-1 defeat, with Johnny Gordon netting the visitors’ consolation.

Pompey finished the campaign three points clear at the top, ahead of a Grimsby side which had completed the double over Smith’s men.

The third – and final – time in Pompey post-war history that an undefeated run has reached double figures arrived in 1984-85.

Although Alan Ball’s men still didn’t earn promotion, missing out on goal difference to Manchester City to finish fourth.

That unbeaten 10-game Division Two spell ended in farcical circumstances at Plough Lane on October 20, 1984.

A 3-2 loss at the hands of Wimbledon would forever be eclipsed by Noel Blake’s backpass entering the net, with keeper Alan Knight distracted as he rubbed his knee.

Ball did steer Pompey to promotion in 1986-87, off the back of a nine-game unbeaten start to the Division Two campaign.

A 3-1 loss at Leeds on October 18, 1986, ended that period, yet there was joy to come with a place in Division One secured with a match to spare.

The Blues also had a strong start in 1967-68, with Nick Jennings in tremendous goal-scoring form for Smith’s Division Two side.

That nine-fixture period was halted on October 28, 1967, with a 1-0 loss at Middlesbrough.

Harry Redknapp oversaw the nine-game run at the beginning of the 2002-03 season which would yield promotion and the Division One title.

Yet defeat at Norwich on September 21, 2002, courtesy of Iwan Roberts’ 81st-minute header, inflicted the first of only six league defeats.

Finally, Gareth Evans and Christian Burgess were mainstays of Paul Cook’s side which went nine unbeaten during his maiden season as Pompey boss.

Exeter won 2-1 at Fratton Park on September 29, 2015, to inflict a first league loss – with current loanee David Wheeler among the scorers.

Pompey finished sixth that season, losing in the League Two play-off semi-finals to Plymouth on aggregate.

Now Jackett’s team head to Rochdale on Saturday, seeking double figures and retaining an interest in that admirable post-war record of 13.