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Pompey vs Cherries... a brief history

CHERRIES make the short trip down the south coast as they take on Portsmouth in the FA Cup fourth round tomorrow.

We have enjoyed some fruitful encounters at Fratton Park in recent years with the two sides passing each-other during Bournemouth’s magnificent rise up and Portsmouth’s downwards spiral down the Football League.

This includes the 1-1 draw when both sides met as equals in League One just four years ago.

To refresh your memory, Shwan Jalal dropped a clanger to give the hosts the lead but then Lee Barnard equalised for Cherries late on much to the disgust of the Pompey faithful - because he was a loan signing from bitter rivals Southampton who had only signed on loan earlier in the day.

In the same season the two sides were thrown together in the Johnstones Paint Trophy, where they could only be separated by a penalty shout-out. Portsmouth walked away as winners that day.

But Cherries more than got their revenge with a 2-0 win at Dean Court later in the season, and then made it back to back home wins the next season winning 1-0 in the League Cup putting out a relaxed cup side. Eunan O’Kane was the only scorer.

Fast forward three years later and the two sides are no longer equals. We seem to have entered some sort of parallel universe with Portsmouth in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, and Bournemouth in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.

Historically, Portsmouth have of course been the top flight team whist Cherries slept in the lower divisions, and Pompey may just feel they have something to prove when the two sides meet tomorrow.

This is not to say that Portsmouth vs Bournemouth is a rivalry, in fact it is entirely the opposite. It is not long ago that “Play Up Pompey” was chanted from the North Stand at Dean Court as our neighbours went on an incredible run at the end of the 2012-13 season, beating off a number of League One promotion rivals, ensuring Bournemouth secured an automatic promotion spot that season.

There are also friends on both sides, defender Sylvain Distin who is likely to play in a rotated Cherries XI tomorrow is a Portsmouth legend and helped them achieve FA Cup glory in 2008.

Portsmouth also boast the likes of Danny Hollands and Matt Tubbs in their squads, the former of which helped pull off the League Two great escape and probably the biggest result in Cherries history and the latter is a self-confessed Cherries fan who has been apart of a promotion winning squad.

Fratton Park has one of the best atmospheres in English football and is an incredibly hard place to go and get a result, especially with a Pompey side feeling they have to prove their status as a bigger club over their smaller neighbours and with Howe likely to pick a rotated squad.

I’m going for a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park with Lewis Grabban to net the first goal of his second spell with the club. Cherries to win the replay.