The Pompey History Society looks back on what was making the Sports Mail headlines on December 8, 1973.
An out-of-the-blue goal from Ron Davies brought Pompey both points against Bristol City before a crowd of 13,178 at Fratton Park.
Pompey paraded record-signing Paul Went (£154,000) and Malcolm Manley – a £45,000 acquisition – and the pair gave the defence a rock-solid look.
City had a penalty appeal turned down before Davies volleyed the ball wide of the diving Len Bond from the edge of the area after 57 minutes.
Bristol City should have equalised in the 78th minute when Don Gillies, from no more than two yards, hit the underside of the bar.
And the visitors’ misery was complete when Gerry Sweeney had a goal disallowed.
Pompey: John Milkins, Phil Roberts, John Collins, Norman Piper, Paul Went, Malcolm Manley, Peter Marinello, Bobby Kellard, Ron Davies, Richard Reynolds, Mick Mellows.
Goalkeeper Eric Martin made a string of fine saves to help Southampton earn a point in a goalless draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford, watched by 31,648.
Goals by Terry Yorath, Mick Jones and Allan Clarke gave League leaders Leeds United a 3-0 win at Ipswich.
It meant that Leeds equalled Liverpool’s record of 19 consecutive matches without defeat.
Everton’s Joe Harper was booked for pushing the referee after a goal was disallowed in the derby match with Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Liverpool won the match 1-0.
Newcastle had two players carried off during the Magpies’ clash away to Birmingham City.
Irving Nattrass was sidelined after only three minutes, then acting captain Frank Clark was carried off a minute after half-time.
In Division Two, Orient scored three goals in a five-minute spell away to Notts County.
Three AFC Bournemouth players – Mel Machin, John Benson and Fred Davies – were about to follow former Cherries manager John Bond to Norwich City.
Before Bournemouth’s home match with Cambridge, which brought a 1-0 win for the Dean Court club, chairman Harold walker addressed the
crowd over the public address system.
Initially, there were cries of “Rubbish” but the jeers turned to applause when Mr Walker said that he had literally begged the players to stay but they had refused.
Brighton were beaten 4-1 at Tranmere in Division Three and Aldershot won their third division fixture with Halifax Town at The Recreation Ground 2-1.
Heavy snow caused havoc with the Scottish League programme.
Only three matches – all in the First Division – survived the Arctic conditions.
Waterlooville drew 1-1 with fellow Southern League championship contenders Weadstone at Lower Mead.
Their goal was scored by Barry Jack.