Portsmouth fans at Wembley celebrate the ‘perfect day’ as their team lifts Checkatrade Trophy
POMPEY fans are celebrating the 'perfect day' after watching their side life silverware at Wembley.
Portsmouth beat Sunderland on penalties to win the Checkatrade Trophy yesterday afternoon - sending the Blues fans in the stadium into an elated frenzy.
It was an early start for many, but as fans boarded the coaches to head up to Wembley - some of whom travelled for free with a Checkatrade offer from Zeelo - the Pompey faithful was in high spirits.
Some were not only looking ahead to a great day out, but also reflecting on the club's fortunes in the past decade.
Grant Hardy, 35 from Portsmouth, said: 'I'm really excited.
'I think it's going to be a great atmosphere with two good sets of fans.
'From being on the brink in 2012 to where we are now is just amazing.
'It's going to be a really good day.'
Ian Paull, 60, said: 'I'm up for it, most definitely.
'It's a good day out and we'll bring home the old two-bob cup.
'We've been spoiled a bit for Wembley trips - but I think Jamal Lowe is the man to look out for today.'
Bill Alderman, 67, added: 'I'm confident - it'll urge us on for promotion as well.
'I think the wide pitch will suit Ronan Curtis very well.
'I think we'll win 2-1.'
This high spirit continued up the road to London, with chants of 'Play Up Pompey' breaking out, and fans cheering to one another from their respective cars and coaches.
Arriving at the ground just after 1pm, thousands of fans piled into the ground, with excitement reaching a fever pitch.
Shaun McGee, 55 from Fareham, said: 'The last time I came to Wembley was for the FA Cup Final, so it's great to be back.
'It's fantastic, a really nice day out. Everyone's really enjoying it.
'This isn't exactly the biggest trophy but its a great atmosphere; everyone's really friendly and looking out for the youngsters, which is great.'
Kenny Jackett's side struggled in the first-half, going 1-0 down and fighting to even get a touch of the ball.
Kevin Jenkins, 50 from Portsmouth, was one of many disgruntled fans at the break.
He said: 'It's been a waste, we defended far too deep and have no outlet. They had all their players in the box.
'We need to run at them.
'The atmosphere has been cracking - you couldnt ask for two better teams to be here.'
Ian Divers, 49 from Waterlooville, is watching the game with his son Henry and his friend Charlie, from Waterlooville.
He said: 'We've had a lovely time so far; it's been great to spend the day with my son and the atmosphere is incredible.
'It's a shame that Pompey has been second best to every ball so far but they've got fantastic support behind them and I reckon they can turn it around.'
But frustration turned to elation as Pompey battled back into the game, going 2-1 up before a late Sunderland equaliser took the game to penalties.
Fortunately for Pompey fans, the Blues held their nerve to emerge victorious and lift the trophy in front of a jubilant crowd.
Gordon Ash, 65 from Portsmouth, celebrated the win with his grandson Malakai, 9.
Mr Ash said: 'I feel like it was a good game, they made it hard for themselves though.
'It was my grandsons first time at Wembley and he loved it.
'I thought Sunderland might have us on pens - what a great result.'
Nigel Gundy, 57 from Portsmouth, said: 'It was my first Pompey game today. I've lived here for 19 years and this was the first time I actually saw them play.
'The atmosphere was manic today; I'm really glad I came and I think I may well end up going to a few more games at Fratton Park in the future.'
Hayden Cumbes, 10 from Portsmouth said : 'Today was really good, I had a lot of fun.
'I thought Curtis was great. It was awesome watching us score in a cup final.
'I wasn't worried when Sunderland scored because I knew we were better than them.'