Memory Match: Blackpool 5-0 Portsmouth, 1973

Matt Scrafton trawls through the archives to take a look back at Blackpool's 5-0 thrashing of Portsmouth on November 3, 1973.

Thursday, 9th August 2018, 12:23 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 11:32 am
Alan Suddick gave Blackpool the lead with a trademark free kick


Blackpool climbed up to seventh place in Division Two with a deserved thrashing of Portsmouth.

The Seasiders bombarded the visitors’ goal from kick-off and were altogether too lively for a hesitant Pompey rearguard.

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Winger Mickey Burns also got in on the act

Blackpool showed that their great display at Bristol City the previous week was no seven-day wonder and built up a 2-0 first-half lead.

While they were a threat in attack all day, the defence were also in fine form with Peter Suddaby taking care of Portsmouth’s leading goalscorer Ron Davies.

Up front, meanwhile, Mickey Walsh had a field day against Pompey’s helpless backline.

Pool were just two places above Portsmouth in the table before the start of the game.

The away side paraded their expensive signings Alan Stephenson (ex-West Ham), Peter Marinello (ex-Arsenal) and Ron Davies (ex-Southampton) in their line-up and fielded an unchanged side for the third successive game.

Blackpool, meanwhile, fielded the same side that beat Bristol City 1-0 away from home last Saturday leaving John Burridge in goal, Bill Bentley in midfield and Keith Dyson at centre forward.

The Seaisders were awarded an early free kick which Suddick floated into the box, but a flick by Burns was cleared by the Portsmouth defence.

At the other end of the pitch, Portsmouth looked to break quickly and Piper thumped in a hard left-footed shot which Burridge dived to his right to save well.

With just 18 minutes on the clock, Pool took the lead as Alan Suddick slammed home a free kick with one of his special “banana” efforts, bending his shot neatly into the corner.

Blackpool went two up with a brilliant goal from Walsh, who retrieved a seemingly lost cause in another promising move.

Bill Bentley seemed to have wasted a chance to break through when he sprayed a square ball across the box when most people expected him to shoot. But Walsh tackled fiercely to rob Collins, survived another tackle, swerved inside the advancing Milkins and calmly drove a left-foot shot low into the net.

In the second half, Blackpool continued where they left off and Portsmouth were stretched to clear from Walsh and Milkins saved a Suddaby header.

Suddick went close to increasing Blackpool’s lead when he flashed a left-footed volley just wide of the post.

Pompey hit back and Piper clipped a firm right-footer inches over the Blackpool bar.

To their credit, the visitors refused to give up and for a 10-minute spell seized control of midfield and forced Blackpool back.

But Blackpool at last broke the spell and after a swift break initiated by Curtis and Suddick, Dyson narrowly failed to connect with a chance in the six-yard box.

Burns eventually put Blackpool three up with a beautifully taken goal after perhaps Blackpool’s finest move of the game.

Bill Bentley started it by cutting out a Portsmouth attack and setting up a Blackpool raid which was carried on neatly by Suddick, Dyson and Walsh to Burns on the left and the winger cooly smacked home a left footer.

A fine save my Milkins kept a Burns rocket from putting Blackpool four up after 75 minutes.

With three minutes left, Burns latched onto a Dyson pass to thump home the fourth, before Alcock scored Blackpool’s fifth after 88 minutes.

“This was the best we have played at home this season,” said Blackpool manager Harry Potts.

“We really looked like a team.

“The only other time we came near to this was in the friendly against Manchester City in the first half when we really turned it on.”

He added: “For the first 20 minutes especially the lads were great, shoving the ball about and playing really well.

“I thought we let it slip a little after half time but we came back strongly and took our goals very well. The third goal was beautifully worked.”

But Potts was disappointed with the attendance, adding: “It’s a shame the crowd was only 6,000 or so to see such a good performance, but that’s football.”


Blackpool: Burridge, Curtis, Hatton, Alcock, James, Suddaby, Burns, Suddick, Dyson, Bentley, Walsh

Sub: Parker

Portsmouth: Milkins, Roberts, Collins, Piper, Stephenson, Hand, Marinello, Kellard, Davies, Mellows, Foggo

Sub: Lewis

Attendance: 6,535