Portsmouth and Southampton to lock horns at Fratton Park after intriguing cup draw

A south-coast derby now occupies Pompey’s fixture list in the forthcoming season.

Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 11:00 am

The Blues and Southampton have been drawn against each other in the second round of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

And the September 12 encounter will take place at Fratton Park.

It represents the first time the sides have met since Southampton’s 4-0 win in the Carabao Cup in September 2019.

Although, on this occasion, first-team involvement will be kept at the minimum, with youthful sides likely to take part.

Certainly the Blues last season largely relied on Academy players during progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Liam Daish’s young side were eventually eliminated 4-0 at Farnborough in February, with Toby Steward, Alfie Bridgman, Harry Jewitt-White and Dan Gifford in the starting line-up.

National League South side Farnborough went on to lift the trophy, beating Eastleigh on penalties in the final after the clash finished 2-2.

James Bolton battles with Southampton's Danny Ings when the sides met in the Carabao Cup in September 2019. Picture: Joe Pepler

In contrast, Southampton didn’t participate in last year’s Hampshire Senior Cup, with this year’s competition signalling their return.

Pompey, Southampton, Bournemouth, Aldershot and the Hawks are among those to have been granted byes to the second round, thereby avoiding the preliminary round and first round stages.

It’s an intriguing early test for Pompey Academy’s new under-18 coach Zesh Rahman having replaced Daish this summer.

During an Academy overhaul of its backroom staff, he has been joined by former Aston Villa and Derby youth coach Sam Hudson, who serves as assistant.

The prospect of any Southampton side taking on Pompey at Fratton Park will inevitably boost the attendance considerably.

In December 2021, Jay Sadler’s Pompey Women were watched by a bumper 1,450 crowd when they clashed with Southampton FC Women.

Yet the National League Southern Premier Division fixture ended in heartbreak for the Blues.

Captain Danielle Rowe's unfortunate own-goal on 83 minutes settled matters in an agonising 1-0 defeat, although the hosts were still given a rousing reception at the final whistle.

Coincidentally, Pompey Women were back at Fratton Park on Monday night when they faced Brighton.

Almost 3,000 were present to watch them run out 3-2 winners, through goals from Mae Goulden, Emma Jones and Mia Adaway.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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