Accrington mauling leaves Portsmouth counting cost of heaviest league defeat in almost six years

Pompey’s 4-1 thumping at Accrington represented their heaviest league defeat for almost six years.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 10:42 pm

Kenny Jackett was forced to field a patched-up defence for Saturday’s trip to the Crown Ground, with an entire back four unavailable.

The outcome was a comprehensive loss, underpinned by shipping three goals in 14 minutes during an abject second half.

Not since a 5-1 defeat at Scunthorpe in February 2014 has a Pompey side been on the receiving end of such a crushing scoreline in league football.

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On that occasion, Dave Syers grabbed a hat-trick as the The Iron raced into a 5-0 lead by the 55th minute.

Richie Barker’s side, which included Jed Wallace, Sonny Bradley and Ben Chorley, snatched a consolation four minutes from time through substitute Michael Drennan.

Incidentally, Syers scored five goals in two appearances against the Blues during that League Two season, but managed just a further two in his entire Football League career.

That 2013-14 campaign, which marked Pompey’s first back in the bottom division, would see four or more goals conceded on a staggering five occasions.

Pompey's Trevor Carson is dejected after Scunthorpe's fifth goal in February 2014 - the Blues' previous heaviest league defeat before Accrington. Picture: Joe Pepler

In fact, the remarkable 4-4 draw at Bury in the penultimate match of the season was the most recent occasion of four goals let in during a league fixture – before Saturday.

Relegation-threatened Pompey had secured their Football League status the week before that April 2014 fixture at Gigg Lane.

Caretaker boss Andy Awford then oversaw a stunning comeback against Bury, the Blues fighting back from 3-0 down and then 4-2 behind.

They levelled with two goals in the final two minutes, Wes Fogden bagging an unlikely equaliser at the death.

In that first full season under fan ownership, there were three other instances of conceding four in a match, with defeats arriving in each.

On the opening day, Johnny Ertl was dismissed in 4-1 loss to Oxford United, despite Patrick Agyemang handing the hosts the lead.

Then, in September 2013, John Sullivan’s costly performance in goal heralded a 4-2 defeat at York, with loanee John Marquis scoring for Pompey off the bench.

Finally, there was a 4-0 thumping at AFC Wimbledon (November 2013), with future Pompey player Michael Smith among the scorers.