Tranmere win sparks comeback memories

Alan Biley struck twice in the comeback win over Oxford
Alan Biley struck twice in the comeback win over Oxford

NINE second-half minutes turned the game on its head.

And the three goals which arrived in that time ensured Tuesday’s clash with Tranmere will go down as a memorable comeback win for Pompey.

Only time will tell the significance of the 3-2 success at Fratton Park, as Andy Awford’s men made it 14 points from a possible 18.

But the history books inform us of similar fightbacks down the years which have taken their place in the Fratton annals.

Arguably, the most famous of those had more to do with circumstances than the consequences of the result in 1984.

A Blues fan clad in a Father Christmas costume invaded the Fratton Park pitch to create the ‘Santa time’ needed to earn a famous win over Oxford.

Alan Biley nodded in both goals to give Alan Ball’s side a 2-1 success.

There is one huge contender for the most important comeback win, as the Great Escape was completed at the JJB Stadium in 2006.

A run of five wins and two draws culminated in Harry Redknapp’s side securing their place in the Premier League at Wigan.

Henri Camara had given the home side a lead in the 34th minute.

Benjani then opened his Pompey account at the 15th time of asking before Matt Taylor’s penalty got the party started.

There were similar scenes of chaos in Guimaraes in 2008 when two extra-time goals from Peter Crouch earned the Blues a 2-2 draw and 4-2 aggregate win in the Uefa Cup.

It was the victory over Nottingham Forest and two clashes with Liverpool which live on in Pompey folklore, from the glorious 1992 FA Cup run.

They would never have taken place without the fifth-round fightback at Middlesbrough, though.

Paul Wilkinson twice put Boro in front but two goals apiece from Colin Clarke and Darren Anderton sent Pompey through.

One of the key successes of promotion to the Premier League came at Crystal Palace in 2002.

Redknapp’s side were 2-0 down before he switched to the wing-back system which was key to Pompey storming to the Division One title.

Three goals in four minutes did the damage.