On this day: Ipswich send Portsmouth sliding towards the drop
The Pompey History Society looks back on what was making the headlines in the Sports Mail on April 27, 1996.
Pompey were left needing to win their last match of the season at Huddersfield to stand any chance of avoiding relegation after they lost 1-0 to Ipswich Town at Fratton Park.
In front of a crowd of 12,954, Alan Knight twice denied Paul Mason before the decisive goal came in the 80th minute.
Simon Milton’s pass found Alex Mathie on the left and he cut inside before directing a ferocious cross-shot just inside the post.
Pompey, for all their hard work, never managed a shot on target throughout the whole match.
And they were grateful to Andy Awford for preventing further damage when he cleared Andy Marshall’s effort off the line.
Pompey: Alan Knight, Sammy Igoe (Lee Bradbury), Andy Awford, Alan McLoughlin, Andy Thomson, Guy Butters, Jason Rees, Fitzroy Simpson, Deon Burton, Paul Hall, Jimmy Carter (Lee Russell).
Goalkeeper Knight had been voted the Pompey player of the year by supporters for the second successive season.
Guy Butters was second in the voting but Knight was such a clear winner it was almost a non contest.
Neither Manchester United or Newcsatle United were in action but the former led the Premiership table.
They were five points ahead of the Magpies.
Southampton relegated Bolton Wanderers from the top flight after Matt Le Tissier scored the only goal at Burnden Park.
Manchester City and Coventry City both won – sending Queens Park Rangers down, despite the Hoops beating West Ham 3-0 at Loftus Road.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s home match with York City was abandoned after fans invaded the pitch.
The match was only 16 minutes old when hundreds of angry Seagulls fans ran on to the playing surface to protest at the sale of the Goldstone Ground and the club’s proposal to share with Pompey.
David Connolly scored the fastest goal of the day when he found the target for Watford against Norwich City after 1min 50sec.
In Division Two, AFC Bournemouth won 2-0 against Chesterfield at Dean Court.
Preston North End won 2-0 at Hartlepool to remain top of Division Three.
Waterlooville’s dream of promotion was shattered as they lost 2-0 at Clevedon.
Adie Miles and Michael Birmingham were the goalscorers in Bognor’s 2-0 victory at home to Wokingham.
Eurshall Fearon scored both goals in Newport’s 2-0 win over Tonbridge at St George’s Park.
Havant Town went down 3-2 at Margate with David Wakefield netting both goals for the visitors.
Fareham Town lost 2-1 at Ashford – with Paul Odey the goalscorer.
- ROGER HOLMES