Infamous moment for Viv Solomon-Otabor that's still vivid - but Portsmouth can help eradicate disappointment against Peterborough

Say the name Viv Solomon-Otabor and it brings back a memory that still haunts Pompey fans.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 7:38 pm
Viv Solomon-Otabor had a goal disallowed the last time Pompey faced Peterborough. Picture: Robin Jones.
Viv Solomon-Otabor had a goal disallowed the last time Pompey faced Peterborough. Picture: Robin Jones.

Supporters have a vivid recollection of the what-if moment that could have completely changed the Blues’ fate last season.

When Peterborough visited Fratton Park back on April 30, Kenny Jackett’s side still had a chance of League One automatic promotion.

They sat four points behind leaders Luton and second-placed Barnsley, but a victory over the Posh would have kept the Championship race alive until the final day.

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And with Peterborough also still chasing the play-offs, the meeting had all the ingredients for a rip-roaring affair.

That’s exactly what ensued.

Jackett's men found themselves 2-0 down after just 27 minutes, but clawed themselves back with half-an-hour remaining through goals from Ben Close and Christian Burgess.

Solomon-Otabor played a key role in that fightback.

Viv Solomon-Otabor

He made a big impact after replacing Ronan Curtis in the second half, with his raw pace causing the visitors plenty of problems.

The Birmingham loanee would go on to etch himself into Fratton Park history – but, in honesty, for all the wrong reasons.

With so much on the line, both sides went gung-ho for a winner.

On 74 minutes, Pompey thought it went their way.

The Blues conjured up a swift counter-attack, with Brett Pitman only having the keeper to beat.

Instead, he squared to Solomon-Otabor, who finished into an empty net.

Yet wild celebrations were quickly curtailed.

The assistant referee's flag was up, with Solomon-Otabor ruled offside.

There were few complaints about the decision, either. And weren’t the Blues punished for it.

Peterborough went up the other end a minute later, with Ivan Toney firing beyond Craig MacGillivray to put pay to Pompey's top-two hopes.

The Blues boss didn’t pin blame on either Solomon-Otabor nor Pitman for the infamous moment that still sends chills through supporters’ spines.

Yet It was a sucker-punch they never recovered from.

The Blues finished fourth in the table after being held to a 1-1 draw to Accrington five days later.

Then, in the play-offs, Jackett’s men crashed out to Sunderland after two lacklustre performances in both legs.

Failure to reach the Championship was the pre-cursor for a summer that would see key trio Matt Clarke, Jamal Lowe and Nathan Thompson depart.

By Jackett’s admission, an unsettled summer had an impact on how Pompey started this season and they’ve been playing catch-up on their rivals ever since.

Results and performances have slowly improved, though, with the Blues now unbeaten in nine and winning their past six games in all competitions.

The 3-2 victory over Rotherham last week represented a significant fillip – evidence Jackett’s troops are capable of mixing it with the best sides in the division.

Now Peterborough travel to PO4 on Saturday, with Pompey aiming to eradicate some of those gut-wrenching feelings.

While there are still some supporters still unconvinced by Jackett, a success would thrust the Blues just a point behind the high-flying Posh.

That would mean fans leave Fratton Park in contrasting spirits from seven months ago, with hope promotion could in fact be achieved.