So the end of a season is here.
That brings a huge sigh of relief for most of us after Pompey’s disappointments.
The ‘belly bounce’, as some hulking Pompey fans collided into each other as it all went wrong at Morecambe, was defiant if not particularly easy on the eye
But there were a few highs with the lows, so here’s my best and worst of the campaign.
Pompey’s fans have suffered long and painfully on the road, but it felt like they were in a parallel universe as their side doubled the season’s league away goal tally in 82 minutes at Cambridge.
The defeat at Aldershot – the first time Pompey have lost to non-league opposition in the FA Cup since joining the league.
Any number of Jed Wallace blockbusters would have been worthy, but Craig Westcarr’s delightfully-deft lobbed finish against Yeovil takes it.
Best supporter contribution
The ovation afforded Jed Wallace as he came off against York was moving.
Worst supporter contribution
John Westwood trying to shoehorn his thoughts on ‘PC fans’ and support of Andy Awford (He’s learning/we’re all learning) into chants at Dagenham and Redbridge. Lennon and McCartney it wasn’t.
Best subliminal message
Craig Westcarr changing his Twitter profile picture to a park bench when he was left in the cold after Matt Tubbs’ arrival.
Best indicator of progress
The amount of interest in the Pompey manager’s position – 60-70 realistic applicants – now the club is debt free.
Worst indicator of progress
Seeing the club slump to their worst-ever Football League finish in terms of both points and position.
Pompey’s youngsters were held back from giving their thoughts to the press for much of the campaign, but when Conor Chaplin, Jack Whatmough and Ben Close spoke it was as mature as their efforts on the pitch.
Newport County boss Justin Edinburgh launching into a bizarre tirade at myself in January.
No one had the faintest idea what was happening until it became clear he’d taken umbrage at his side being called ‘physical’ on a preview video with colleague Steve Wilson. I’ve called teams worse...
Shrewsbury’s Ryan Woods is going places.
Burton’s Lucas Akins’ unpredictable skills tormented Pompey as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at their place in September.
Whether you agree with the move or not, the handling of Alan McLoughlin’s departure left a bitter taste the hall-of-famer will take a long time to get rid of.
Andy Awford’s managerial departure was a decision the board didn’t take lightly. But they opened their doors afterwards, and were simply honest about the scenario. The outcome was a positive and sympathetic reaction to a tough scenario.
Best/worst dance moves
The ‘belly bounce’, as some hulking Pompey fans collided into each other as it all went wrong at Morecambe, was defiant if not particularly easy on the eye.
A rather merry Hermann Hreidarsson take to the mic for a rendition of ‘when Sol went up to lift the FA Cup’ against Oxford.
Paul Robinson. The fact he was named players’ player of the season says it all.
Any number of loan additions, but Cole Kpekawa’s two poor appearances before disappearing from view takes it.
Best use of a bad situation
Gary Waddock throwing in Adam May, Close and Chaplin to go with Pompey’s established first-team youngsters gave some meaning to a horrible campaign finale.
Fulham, Wolves or wherever it is – Jed Wallace is playing his football elsewhere next season.
Second worst-kept secret
Skipper Ben Chorley and manager Andy Awford’s relationship breaking down.
Best chairman’s input
James Collins, Reuben Reid and Matt Tubbs were all available in the summer and none arrived. McInnes made his feelings known about Tubbs as he topped the goal charts before he inked a two-and-a-half year deal at Fratton Park in January.