An ignored Portsmouth landmark achieved with minimum of attention - all very Lee Brown
Heralded with muted fanfare, announced with silenced tones – all very, very minimum of fuss.
Certainly few can be aware that Lee Brown has now reached a century of Pompey appearances.
It was a feat accomplished against Peterborough, marked by a 1-0 defeat which effectively signalled the end of automatic promotion aspirations.
Under the circumstances, it’s easy to overlook the left-back’s personal milestone. Not that he is one to crave attention and demand applause.
Since London Road there have been a further two matches, with a new management team installed, breezing into Fratton Park with captivating charm.
Our attention has been occupied elsewhere, not that anyone is complaining, of course.
Still, better late than never, and Brown’s landmark deserves to be recognised.
This term has seen Tom Naylor, Jack Whatmough and Craig MacGillivray reach 100 matches for Pompey, nonetheless it has been a relatively rare milestone over the last decade or so.
Brett Pitman (99 games) didn’t reach it. Nor did Michael Doyle (97), Ricardo Rocha (97), Peter Crouch (88), Joel Ward (96), Benjani (94), Johnny Ertl (88), Adam Webster (81) and Gary Roberts (80).
Not forgetting Enda Stevens, who, like Pitman, was stranded on 99 appearances.
Incidentally, Brown is the first left-back to reach a century of Blues games since Hermann Hreidarsson in January 2011.
Hreidarsson went on to total 123 outings and eight goals during a memorable four-and-a-half seasons on the south coast.
Unlike the former Icelandic international, there have been times when Brown has struggled to win over the Fratton faithful since his arrival in the summer of 2018.
His contributions have been underestimated if anything, with some not recognising the defensive solidity he brings, in addition to an excellent ongoing left-flank partnership with Ronan Curtis.
Yet the 30-year-old himself will concede that the effectiveness of his performances were impacted by an Achilles problem which dogged him for 18 months.
Having undergone surgery in Sweden in December 2019, he has returned a different player. At least in the eyes of Blues followers.
After fighting off the challenge of Charlie Daniels, Brown now appears to have reclaimed his left-back spot, bringing with it his special brand of professionalism.
Against Ipswich, there was the delaying of a throw-in near the corner flag in stoppage time, at one point making out he couldn’t find a ball.
Against Shrewsbury, there was his crumpling to the ground for treatment, an ‘injury’ delay which allowed team-mates to gather around Cowley for some late touchline instructions as they sought to cope with 10 men.
Cowley has already identified Brown as a trusted soldier in his dressing room and a voice and figure his colleagues respect.
This centurion’s Pompey innings is nowhere near over.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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