The surprising Portsmouth game which sums up the Fratton faithful for Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle pinpointed the one game that stuck with him during his two years at Pompey.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 5:30 pm

The former captain revealed the Blues’ 3-3 draw with Morecambe during the 2015-16 season as one of his favourites because of the ‘unbelievable’ atmosphere the Fratton faithful created.

Doyle moved to PO4 on a free transfer from Sheffield United in the summer of 2015 and was appointed captain by Paul Cook.

Pompey’s League Two campaign got off to a flying start, beating Dagenham and Plymouth before being held to a point at Crawley.

When Morecambe visited the south coast on the fourth weekend of the season, the Blues were fully expected to pick up three points.

Things began quite the opposite, however, with Cook's men finding themselves three goals behind after 38 minutes.

Yet Doyle highlighted rather than the fans turning on Pompey, they instead rallied behind their side.

And it inspired a Blues fightback, with Gary Roberts firing a double and Jayden Stockley notching a 95th-minute equaliser after Enda Stevens had been sent off.

Michael Doyle lifts the League Two title during Pompey's celebrations on Southsea Common. Picture: Joe Pepler

Doyle, who now plays for Notts County, told the club’s Youtube channel: ‘I was 34 when I went down there. The manager first and foremost was such a character and straight away he said “This is the way we're going to play and this is where you're going to play. We aren’t going to change for anybody and will play attacking football”.

‘Talk about being true to your word. It was two years of playing attacking football on the front foot, playing against brick walls every other week.

‘Teams would just drop off and have everybody behind the ball but it was so enjoyable.

‘The atmosphere of Fratton Park was unbelievable. There were 17,000-18,000 there every week in League Two just supporting their team from start to finish.

Jayden Stockley heads home the equaliser against Morecambe in August 2015. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘The one game that sums up the club the best was in my first year when we were playing Morecambe the fourth game of the season.

‘We probably went out with a bit of arrogance because we started quite well. Before you knew it, we were 3-0 down and were thinking “What's going on here, we're meant to be beating these”.

‘We were 3-0 down in the first half and usually the knives are out, but you just hear the bell from the crowd and it gets louder and louder.

'The crowd just starts rocking and the atmosphere that day just lives with you.

‘Instead of the knives coming out, as they say in football with the crowd, they went totally the opposite way and supported the team.

‘We ended up coming back and drawing 3-3 with 10 men and that game stood with me for my two years there.

‘It was the positivity from the fans, effect they have on the team and the passion for their team.’

Doyle would skipper Pompey to the League Two title in 2017 before returning to Coventry that summer.

And with Kenny Jackett's side now pushing for a spot in the Championship, the Irishman is proud to have played his part in the Blues’ revival.

He added: ‘Portsmouth fans are a different breed. They're special and it’s great to see them going from strength to strength.

‘Kenny Jackett is doing a great job. They're in another cup final and look like they’re on course to try to get promoted again.

‘It's nice to have played a part of that journey and it’s two years in my career I’ll never forget.’