Portsmouth challenged to conquer their Scunthorpe United hoodoo

Away-day kings Pompey will be challenged to overcome a Glanford Park hoodoo as they bid to strengthen their table-topping position.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 4:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 5:21 pm
A dejected Trevor Carson after Pompey concede their fifth goal in a familiar Glanford Park defeat in February 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler
A dejected Trevor Carson after Pompey concede their fifth goal in a familiar Glanford Park defeat in February 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues have never won at the venue which has served as Scunthorpe's home since August 1988, a blank period stretching four previous encounters.

In fact, a 1-1 draw in May 2011 represents the sole point collected at any ground belonging to the Iron since 1979.

And to deepen the dark concerns, the Blues' last Lincolnshire win is approaching 56 years, with seven fixtures since played.

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Still, Kenny Jackett's men will approach Saturday's encounter perfectly primed to end that abject run and enhance promotion credentials.

With 11 matches unbeaten on their travels during the campaign so far, Pompey have established a club record in the Football League which has underpinned their progress.

Broken down, that's nine victories and two draws in all competitions from a side which possess the finest away form outside of the Premier League.

Certainly they will back themselves for a positive outcome against Stuart McCall's team, who are presently in 17th spot following one win in their last seven League One outings.

Nonetheless, Glanford Park, in particular, has proven to be an unhappy hunting ground for Pompey.

The Blues' maiden visit was the final match of the 2010-11 season, with David Nugent's leveller nine minutes from time earning a 1-1 draw.

It proved to be the one-time England cap's farewell appearance for Steve Cotterill's men, subsequently out of contract and departing for Leicester City.

Since that match, Pompey have suffered three-straight defeats at the venue which replaced the Old Showground as Scunthorpe's home.

In February 2013, with Guy Whittingham installed as caretaker boss, Liam Walker appeared to have earned the visitors a 1-1 draw with his maiden goal for the club.

However, Akpo Sodje swooped five minutes from time to break Pompey hearts during what proved to be a club-record winless run of 23 matches.

There was even worse to come for the Blues when Richie Barker took his side to Glanford Park for a 5-1 hammering in League Two in February 2014.

Substitute Michael Drennan's late goal ensured a sliver of respect, but they were already 5-0 down by that stage, the result leaving them 21st in the table.

Pompey's most recent trip to Scunthorpe arrived last season, with the match effectively over after 33 minutes.

Lee Novak and Duane Holmes handed the Iron a 2-0 lead which remained intact at the final whistle in the September 2017 encounter.

Of Jackett's starting XI that day, only Jamal Lowe, Nathan Thompson and Matt Clarke can expect to line-up against Scunthorpe on Saturday.

As for Pompey's last win, albeit at the Old Showground, that occurred in an FA Cup third-round replay in March 1963.

Ron Saunders grabbed both goals in a 2-1 triumph, played in front of 9,765 supporters.