The Manor of defeats hard to take for Portsmouth fans

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There are only so many consecutive columns you can get out of recalling miserable days at Sheffield United, so after one last word I shall declare the subject ‘Bramall Pain’ well and truly closed.

I’ve not even mentioned an injury-time ten-men 4-3 defeat of 2002, nor Halloween Horrors of 1989 at the home of the Blades, but Graham Fletcher’s memories from this corner of south Yorkshire go back further.

Oxford United's former Manor Ground Picture: Steve Bardens /Allsport

Oxford United's former Manor Ground Picture: Steve Bardens /Allsport

From December 1980 he recalls: ‘Losing 1-0, then the ball is squared to Jeff Hemmerman, standing on the goal-area line with an open goal gaping at him, and he skies it over the bar! I’m still receiving therapy; it’s still painful to this day! B***** awful!’

From there, we head pretty much due south to the Manor Ground, the next ground where we need a few sessions on the couch to exorcise the ghosts.

The opening gambit on Misery at the Manor goes to Simon Parker. ‘I went to a Full Members Cup tie there,’ he says. ‘Held up in traffic, so only arrived for second half, had to pay full price still and lost 1-0 to a goal that had already been scored.

‘It’s not in the top 10 of best nights out!’

I don't think much can beat the night at Oxford in November 1992 we drew 5-5 after being 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2 up. But my worst trip to the city of dreaming spires would have to be my first – for a League Cup quarter-final in January 1986.

There were so many Pompey fans there, it took an age to get in. When we did we were squeezed so far over in the corner we couldn’t see a thing. We were one down almost before they’d started and lost 3-1 – a third loss in three vital away games in 10 days.

Manor memories will not feature next week – it’d be tempting fate with today’s Blues Oxford-bound. But sadly we will have to return to the subject soon.