Unbeaten Portsmouth reach 57-year high

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Pompey are savouring their best unbeaten start to a Football League season for 57 years.

Tuesday night’s 1-0 success at Coventry marked an 11th match undefeated for the League One table-toppers.

Pompey's players celebrate Ronan Curtis' decisive strike at Coventry. Picture: Philip Oldham

Pompey's players celebrate Ronan Curtis' decisive strike at Coventry. Picture: Philip Oldham

In the process, they have now collected 27 points from a possible 33 since the 2018-19 campaign kicked off.

Although in terms of points over the opening 11 fixtures, Harry Redknapp’s 2002-03 team possess the larger haul.

Still, Kenny Jackett’s unconquerable troops boast the finest unbeaten record since Pompey’s 1961-62 side – and third-best in post-war history.

That team, masterminded by George Smith, registered 12 league matches without defeat from the beginning of their Division Three campaign.

They went on to finish as champions, with Ron Saunders (26 goals) and Johnny Gordon (13 goals) topping the club’s scoring charts.

The first of eight league losses arrived on October 7, 1961, with a 2-1 setback at Notts County.

It wouldn’t be until April 7, 1962, before they tasted defeat at Fratton Park, with a 2-0 reverse to Grimsby – a first home loss in all competitions that term.

The post-war league record, of course, belongs to the 1948-49 Division One title-winning team under Bob Jackson.

They went through the entire home season unbeaten in all competitions, instead a total of 10 defeats occurring away from Fratton Park.

The maiden loss arrived after 13 games – a 3-0 reverse at Wolves on October 23, 1948.

Jackett’s men will themselves be eyeing forthcoming fixtures against Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon with ambitions of at least drawing level on 13 matches.

In the meantime, there is one aspect in which the current crop have been surpassed over the last 57 years – points.

The Blues have registered eight wins and three draws over the opening 11 games, totalling 27 points.

Yet compared to the same period, the side which won the 2002-03 Division One title to reach the Premier League earned more, despite losing once.

Redknapp’s men accrued 28 points from nine wins, one draw and a defeat as they topped the table, a position they would not relinquish.

With all three of the aforementioned campaigns culminating in promotion and title successes, the Fratton faithful will be hoping Jackett’s troops can follow suit.