Date: Saturday, 5th April 1986.
Venue: Fratton Park,
2 Leeds United 3.
Blake (2). Leeds United: Ritchie (2), Baird.
Portsmouth: Knight; Swain, Hardyman;
Ball, Blake, Gilbert; O’Callaghan, Kennedy, Quinn, Channon
Leeds United: Day; Aspin, Robinson;
Snodin, Ormsby, Rennie; McCluskey, Sheridan,
Baird, Swan, Ritchie. Unused sub: Stiles.
Referee: Mr. J.
Ball (Kirby Moxloe)
Ritchie struck twice for United to dent Portsmouth's promotion bid in April 1986. He
also dented his hopes of a move to Portsmouth by turning on the style against the
club who desperately wanted to sign him. The United favourite
struck twice to ruin Pompey's chances of promotion and, despite being
impressive, the goal feast almost certainly ended his hopes of playing First
Division football with the Fratton Park outfit the following season. Former
Manchester United star Ritchie had seen a £70,000 switch to Pompey fall through
in the summer of 1985, but with the south coast outfit sitting pretty in the
division he remained a target for their summer strengthening programme.
Those plans were shattered, though, as United belied their lowly Second Division
status to complete a rare double over Portsmouth with Ritchie proving chief
destroyer. In a season full of low points, United saved their best for Portsmouth. Unknown teenage debutant Lyndon
Simmons netted twice when United beat the south coast side 2-1 at Elland Road in November and his team-mates
followed that in April by over-turning the form book once again.
put Pompey 1-0 up after eleven minutes and the writing was on the wall for
United. However, Ian Snodin and John Sheridan led a
revival that saw United steal a memorable victory. Andy Ritchie levelled with a superb lob before Ian Baird turned the game
around with his first goal in ten games. Ritchie rubbed further salt into the
wound when he added a third, following great work by Ronnie Robinson, and
United were in dreamland. Blake, who was later to join Leeds, did pull another
goal back but Billy Bremner's side hung on to record
their first away win since a 3-0 success at Wimbledon the previous December.
whose original move to Pompey collapsed because of a slight knee injury, showed
little remorse afterwards but admitted the move still interested him. "If Portsmouth win promotion and come in for me
again then the offer of First Division football has got to interest me,"
said Ritchie. "I told Portsmouth when I had my medical that my
injury was not serious, but they wanted someone to go into their side straight
away. My display proved a point in relation to my fitness."
on a week to week contract with Leeds and he added: "The ball is in Portsmouth's court." That week to week
contract at Leeds was to continue for another twelve
months before Ritchie finally left for Oldham in the summer of 1987. At the same time, Portsmouth were
finally celebrating their return to the First Division, although they were
relegated that same year and took fifteen years to bounce back.
Reports: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
summary: Andy Ritchie clenched his fist and thumped his right knee, “Nothing
wrong with that,” he said. Pompey discovered that when the Leeds striker rattled in two goals to
send their promotion drive into a temporary tail-spin. Just a few weeks earlier
Ritchie had been rejected by Portsmouth because od doubts about the knee. Ritchie said, “The deal was
arranged then Pompey’s medical experts said there could be a problem and I was
sent home. But as soon as I arrived back in Leeds I was told to train on it.” Ritchie’s first
goal was a stunner flying over Alan Knight’s outstretched arms from a difficult
angle, but he put the record straight. “I tried to cross it and was as
surprised as anyone when it went in. Ian Baird got Leeds’ other goal and Noel Blake scored
twice for Pompey. Mick Kennedy, the Pompey skipper, faces another ban after
being booked for the ninth time in the season.
version: What a difference a month can make in football. A month before, Andy
Ritchie had left Fratton Park disconsolate after a £70,000 move
to promotion-chasing Portsmouth had been wrecked by a minor knee
injury. In this game he was still a member of a Leeds team too near the Third Division
for comfort. But this time when he left, his face was wreathed in smiles after
scoring four goals in the last three games. Not surprisingly, for Ritchie had
poached the two sharp goals to prove his point to Alan Ball and seriously dent
the home club’s hopes of returning to the First Division. Portsmouth were still
favourites to go up but this defeat and performance
must question their ability to stay there if they get there. Leeds exposed the slenderness of
turned in midfield where Portsmouth had no-one to match the driving
runs of Ian Snodin and the delicate distribution of
John Sheridan. An equal part in Leeds’ success went to the defensive web spun by the
three centre backs. They held Mickey Quinn and Mike Channon
so tightly that one glancing header by Channon was
the sum of Portsmouth’s threat to Mervyn
Day apart from Noel Blake’s two goals. Leeds’ defensive discipline faltered only once in
the eleventh minute when Blake was totally unmarked as he nodded Portsmouth ahead from Kevin O’Callaghan’s
free-kick. Leeds’ frustration showed as Ian Snodin was booked for a reckless challenge on Vince Hilaire. As he was on seventeen points, it was likely to
lead to a suspension.
Ian Snodin and John Sheridan got their act together and long
before half-time the signs were ominous for the home side. Eventually ten
minutes into the second half Leeds were level as Ritchie, who was still in
dispute with the club and on a week-to-week contract, caught goalkeeper Alan
Knight off his line with a delicately flighted cross
shot. The second Leeds
goal underlined the confidence which was beginning to flow. Ian Snodin began it with a run from deep in his own half,
signaled David Rennie to feed it back to him and when
he did so, Snodin was away to set up a simple tap-in
for Ian Baird. Portsmouth began to throw men forward and become
increasingly vulnerable on the break. Seven minutes from time they were exposed
again as Andy Ritchie’s shot took a slight deflection to leave Alan Knight
helpless. Within three minutes, Noel Blake had forced home his second goal, but
it was too late to deny Leeds
the double they deserved.
Match Action: (Courtesy Mark Ledgard)
Blake, who later played for Leeds, got both Portsmouth goals and Andy
Ritchie (2) and Ian Baird scored for Leeds
John Sheridan and Ian Snodin
led the Leeds revival
Ronnie Robinson did great lead-up work for Leeds third goal
Lyndon Simmons had got two goals for Alan Knight was in the Portsmouth
goal Billy Gilbert was in
central defence with Noel Blake
Leeds in the earlier game at Elland Road
Kenny Swain and Paul Hardyman
were the full-backs
Leeds player Vince Hilaire was on the left wing
Kevin O’Callaghan and Mick Kennedy were in midfield
Mickey Quinn and Mike Channon were the
Nicky Morgan came on as substitute