On this day: Sports Mail returns but Portsmouth begin era of fan ownership with defeat to Oxford United at Fratton Park

On this day in 2013, the Sports Mail made a welcome return after a 10-month absence, writes Roger Holmes.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 9:00 am
Portsmouth's Johnny Ertl (number 13) is shown the red card by the referee during the Sky Bet League Two match at Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

After 109 years, The News had been forced to bid a sad farewell to its weekend sport newspaper the previous October because of dwindling sales.

But the outpouring of emotion from readers prompted a U-turn.

And with 10p of every copy being donated to Pompey, Trust chairman Ashley Brown believed the community had every reason to support the refreshed Sports Mail.

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Pompey fans celebrate ownership of the club. Picture: Joe Pepler

He said: ‘I am absolutely delighted the paper has returned.

‘For The News to give 10p towards the community club is absolutely fantastic.

‘And I hope that encourages people around the area to get back on board and start buying the Sports Mail again.

It was not a happy start to the fan-owned era for Pompey, though, as Oxford United came from behind to thrash the Blues in the League Two season-opener watched by a crowd of 18,181 fans at Fratton Park.

The Sports Mail front page from Saturday, August 3, 2013

The hosts had the best of the opening exchanges and Patrick Agyemang headed home Andy Barcham’s cross to put them ahead after 25 minutes.

But Deane Smalley levelled when he turned and shot past John Sullivan in the 34th minute.

And Alfie Potter put the visitors in front from six yards four minutes later.

Pompey’s Johnny Ertl was sent off for an elbow on Danny Rose before Potter increased Oxford’s lead with a fine low shot from the edge of the area on 64 minutes.

Smalley sealed the rout eight minutes later.

POMPEY: John Sullivan, Yassin Moutaouakil, Joe Devera, Sonny Bradley, Dan Butler (Ricky Holmes, 65min), Jed Wallace (Romain Padovani, 71min), Johnny Ertl, Simon Ferry, Andy Barcham, David Connolly, Patrick Agyemang (Tom Craddock, 71min).

AFC Bournemouth began their Championship campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Charlton Athletic.

Lewis Grabban scored both goals.

Also in the second tier, Brighton went down 2-1 at Leeds.

Fareham Town enjoyed a winning start to the season – beating Bemerton Heath Harlequins 2-1 in the Wessex League premier division at Cams Alders.

Both goals were scored by Sam Knight.

AFC Portchester lost 2-0 at Folland Sports in the first round of the Wessex League Cup.

Meanwhile, the Hawks overcame a difficult journey to the New Forest to beat Bashley 2-0 in a friendly.

The match was delayed by 15 minutes following an accident on the M27.

Gosport Borough cruised to a 5-0 victory in a friendly at Frome Town.