Who was at fault for incident that will infamously go down in Portsmouth folklore? 

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Sports writer Will Rooney assesses the talking points from Pompey’s 3-2 defeat to Peterborough… 


Viv Solomon-Otabor's 73rd minute goal was ruled out for offside in a crucial moment during Pompey's 3-2 defeat to Peterborough. Picture: Robin Jones.

Viv Solomon-Otabor's 73rd minute goal was ruled out for offside in a crucial moment during Pompey's 3-2 defeat to Peterborough. Picture: Robin Jones.

When Viv Solomon-Otabor finished into an empty net in the 73rd minute, Brett Pitman immediately looked over to the assistant referee.

The flag was up for offside and Ivan Toney punished Pompey by going up the other end two minutes later to condemn Pompey to a League One play-off finish. 

The incident will go down as an infamous moment in Fratton folklore.

And the debate of who was to blame has been raging across social media. 

Could Pitman have looked up and recognised Solomon-Otabor was offside? 

Should the skipper have shot himself given his prowess in one-v-one scenarios? 

Was it naive of Solomon-Otabor not to have stayed level with play?

Ultimately, if Pitman took the chance on himself, he’d have come under a tirade of criticism if he failed to score.

But the former AFC Bournemouth man rarely misses. If that situation arose earlier in the campaign, he’d have likely gone for glory himself. 

Putting it on a plate for Solomon-Otabor was the easier and better option, though. 

The Birmingham loanee had an open goal at his mercy yet his over-enthusiasm saw him ruled offside. 

Jackett refused to pinpoint either were in the wrong when conducting his post-match interview. 

Fans will come up with their own conclusions but, ultimately, it’s a moment that won’t be forgotten any time soon. 


The tribulation of the play-offs is still vivid among the Fratton faithful.

It was only three years ago since that Home Park defeat.

Peter Hartley’s stoppage-time winner sent Plymouth to Wembley for the League Two final and left Pompey crestfallen, with their promotion hopes completely over. 

However, the Blues will again have to ride the emotional rollercoaster of the play-offs. 

Despite coming agonisingly close to taking the League One automatic promotion race to the final day, they came up short.

Kenny Jackett’s men did it the hard way by going two goals behind to Peterborough inside the half-hour.

But after levelling the scores, Pompey had all of the impetus behind them for a pulsating final 30 minutes.

Two incredible minutes were to decide the Blues’ fate. 

With Luton and Barnsley’s promotion now confirmed, it means just one spot is left available in the Championship next season.

If Pompey are going to return to the second tier for the first time in seven years then they’re going to have to do it the hard way.

Be prepared to experience an array of emotions in the coming weeks. 


Take the offside goal out of the equation – Viv Solomon-Otabor made a decent impact when he came off the bench.

Ronan Curtis’ dip continues, with the winger again looking short of the scintillating form he displayed in the first half of the season.

In the opening stages of the second period, Peterborough took the sting out of the game.

But Solomon-Otabor’s introduction for Curtis in the 54th minute injected energy back into the Blues.

His pace and power caused Peterborough plenty of problems and the hosts were level through Christian Burgess five minutes after the winger’s introduction.

Solomon-Otabor also flashed a shot narrowly wide of the post after cutting inside.

Making his first appearance in more than six weeks, he certainly looked to have the bit between his teeth.

Having a wideman of his ability and relatively fresh heading into the play-offs is a big bonus.