The he­roes of Portsmouth’s run to the FA Cup semi-fi­nal in 1991-92

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Neil Fissler

WAR­REN NEILL ad­mits that noth­ing comes close to the feel­ing of be­ing three min­utes and 25 sec­onds away from Wem­b­ley and hav­ing it snatched away from you.

Neill was part of the Pom­pey side cru­elly beaten on penal­ties by Liver­pool in an FA Cup semi-fi­nal af­ter com­ing so close to reach­ing the Twin Tow­ers.

Pom­pey had seen off Ex­eter City, Ori­ent, Mid­dles­brough and then Not­ting­ham For­est in the quar­ter­fi­nals to earn a place in the last four against Liver­pool.


Neill says his last­ing mem­ory of the run was Jim Smith tak­ing them on a golf­ing break be­fore ev­ery round be­cause he didn’t want to break the habit they had got into be­fore beat­ing Ex­eter.

Neill says it was af­ter beat­ing For­est, who were one of the lead­ing sides at the time, that they started to dream about a trip to Wem­b­ley.

“For­est had a very good side,” he said. “When you look at the play­ers they had – Stu­art Pearce, Des Walker, Roy Keane – you think ‘blimey’.

“We got an early goal through Alan McLough­lin and then we were hang­ing on a bit, but we were play­ing well.

“And you ob­vi­ously think that, if you can beat them, you can beat most teams. I re­mem­ber think­ing: ‘We’ve got a real chance now’.

The draw handed them a clash with Liver­pool at High­bury and ev­ery­thing ap­peared to be go­ing to plan when Dar­ren An­der­ton opened the scor­ing in the 110th minute.

But then, seven min­utes later, Ron­nie Whe­lan lev­elled for Liver­pool to take the tie to a re­play and break thou­sands of hearts from the South Coast.

Neill went on to miss a penalty in the shoot-out af­ter the re­play at Villa Park had ended goal-less af­ter ex­tra time.

“I put a pass through for Dar­ren An­der­ton to go through and slot it into the cor­ner,” he said.

“Then, I re­mem­ber look­ing at the clock and there was only about three min­utes and 25 sec­onds left.

“Andy Aw­ford gave away a free kick away. He was abit tired and they scored from it.

“That was the worst feel­ing in the world, I have got to say. It’s the worst I've felt in a game.


“We were play­ing Liver­pool and you don’t get too many chances to beat them. Even though we hadn’t lost, it felt like we had.

“Then, in the re­play, we should have won the game.

“We hit the bar in the last ten min­utes. Then, when it went to penal­ties, I wasn’t down to take one.

“But a couple didn’t want to take one and Jim (Smith) looked at me and I said I’ll take one, but we had missed two be­fore it got to me.

“It in­creased the pres­sure and that was it. Even if we had scored them all it wouldn’t have mat­tered.”

1. Mark Cham­ber­lain: Eng­land winger and fa­ther of Arse­nal’s Alex has man­aged Fare­ham Town and coached at Portsmouth’s acad­emy.

2. Lee Rus­sell: An elec­tri­cian run­ning an elec­tri­cal in­spec­tion com­pany, RSL, in Paign­ton, Devon.

3. Guy Whit­ting­ham: Striker who has man­aged Pom­pey. Now an FA coach ed­u­ca­tor.

4. Colin Clarke: North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional who has set­tled in the United States where he has been in charge of Carolina Rail Hawks for four years.

5. Alan Gough: Repub­lic of Ire­land U21 keeper who has man­aged Long­ford Town, as well as Bal­lina Town, and is a goal­keep­ing coach.

6. Shaun Gale: Full-back who man­aged Ha­vant & Water­looville, where he now runs the com­mu­nity pro­gramme and is as­sis­tant man­ager, as well as act­ing as a sports­wear agent.

7. Darryl Pow­ell: Ja­maican in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder who runs Para­mount Sport Man­age­ment, which he formed when he fin­ished play­ing in 2006.

8. War­ren Aspinall: Striker who works for Sains­bury in their dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in Bas­ingstoke. He also scouts for Brighton and works as a sum­mariser for BBC Ra­dio Sus­sex.

9. Ray Daniel: De­fender who has set­tled in the Hull area, where he has coached in schools and is a sports ther­a­pist.

10. Gor­don Neave: For­mer Pom­pey player who spent 40 years be­hind the scenes as coach, physio, trainer and kit man. He died in Au­gust 2003, aged 78.

11. Dar­ren An­der­ton: Eng­land winger who has worked as a tele­vi­sion pun­dit and an­a­lyst. Also, di­rec­tor of a nurs­ery and has property in­ter­ests.

12. Chris Burns: De­fender who is work­ing as a brick­layer and is man­ag­ing Brock­worth Al­bion.

13. Graeme Hogg: Scot­tish cen­tral de­fender who is a HGV driver in Scot­land.

14. Alan Knight: Goal­keeper at Portsmouth, FC Dal­las, Bournemouth, Alder­shot and Dorch­ester Town who is a ground worker near Heathrow Air­port.

15. Andy Gos­ney: Goal­keeper who is now liv­ing in Torquay, where he works in the build­ing in­dus­try.

16. Guy But­ters: De­fender who is a coach and men­tor for Brighton’s com­mu­nity scheme and is a lounge host at the Amex Sta­dium.

17. Kit Sy­mons: Welsh in­ter­na­tional de­fender who went into coach­ing with Crys­tal Palace, Colch­ester and Ful­ham, where he was man­ager un­til ear­lier this month.

18. Gary Stevens: Eng­land de­fender who went into in­sur­ance. He also worked for me­dia out­lets and has been head coach of Port FC in Thai­land since June.

19. Neil Sil­lett: Physio who is the son of for­mer Coven­try boss John and is now a play­ers agent and also tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor of Puerto Rico FC.

20. War­ren Neill: Right-back who coached at QPR and then Lu­ton Town. Now a Lon­don taxi driver.

21. Steve Wigley: Winger who has man­aged Alder­shot and Southamp­ton. Cur­rently Ful­ham’s U18 man­ager. 22. Kenny Black: Mid­fielder who has man­aged Air­drie United and been as­sis­tant man­ager to Stu­art McCall at Mother­well and Rangers. 23. Andy Aw­ford: De­fender who man­aged Portsmouth un­til April this ear and is now work­ing for Lu­ton Town as Youth Acad­emy and De­vel­op­ment Man­ager. 24. Gavin Maguire: De­fender who be­came a per­sonal trainer and is now run­ning his own hair, skin and beauty busi­ness in Som­er­set. 25. Gra­ham Pad­don: Went on to be­come as­sis­tant man­ager at Stoke and scouted for Derby, Liver­pool and Le­ices­ter. Died in Nor­folk in Novem­ber 2007. 26. Jim Smith: Later re­turned to Portsmouth as Harry Red­knapp’s as­sis­tant and is now re­tired af­ter sit­ting on Ox­ford’s board. 27. Martin Kuhl: Mid­fielder who joined the coach­ing staff at Alder­shot and Wy­combe and is cur­rently pro­fes­sional phase coach at Read­ing. 28. John Beres­ford: Left-back whose fa­ther John played for Ch­ester­field. This John won a Di­vi­sion One ti­tle with New­cas­tle United and has since worked as a tele­vi­sion pun­dit. 29. Stu­art Dol­ing: Mid­fielder who is now the man­ager of Lyming­ton Town, a place where he is also the owner of a fruit and veg shop 30. Mickey Ross: For­ward who has worked in the sales in­dus­try. 31. Shaun Mur­ray: Mid­fielder who is now liv­ing in Bing­ham, Not­ting­ham, where he is work­ing as a driv­ing in­struc­tor.
































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