The Cross Word: A belly bounce, singalong and other highs and lows.

Craig Westcarr, centre, scored a stunner against Yeovil. Picture: Joe Pepler
Craig Westcarr, centre, scored a stunner against Yeovil. Picture: Joe Pepler

So the end of a season is here.

That brings a huge sigh of relief for most of us after Pompey’s disappointments.

The ‘belly bounce’, as some hulking Pompey fans collided into each other as it all went wrong at Morecambe, was defiant if not particularly easy on the eye

But there were a few highs with the lows, so here’s my best and worst of the campaign.

Best game

Pompey’s fans have suffered long and painfully on the road, but it felt like they were in a parallel universe as their side doubled the season’s league away goal tally in 82 minutes at Cambridge.

Worst game

The defeat at Aldershot – the first time Pompey have lost to non-league opposition in the FA Cup since joining the league.

Best goal

Any number of Jed Wallace blockbusters would have been worthy, but Craig Westcarr’s delightfully-deft lobbed finish against Yeovil takes it.

Best supporter contribution

The ovation afforded Jed Wallace as he came off against York was 
moving.

Worst supporter contribution

John Westwood trying to shoehorn his thoughts on ‘PC fans’ and support of Andy Awford (He’s learning/we’re all learning) into chants at Dagenham and Redbridge. Lennon and McCartney it wasn’t.

Best subliminal message

Craig Westcarr changing his Twitter profile picture to a park bench when he was left in the cold after Matt Tubbs’ arrival.

Best indicator of progress

The amount of interest in the 
Pompey manager’s position – 60-70 realistic applicants – now the club is debt free.

Worst indicator of progress

Seeing the club slump to their worst-ever Football League finish in terms of both points and position.

Best interviews

Pompey’s youngsters were held back from giving their thoughts to the press for much of the campaign, but when Conor Chaplin, Jack Whatmough and Ben Close spoke it was as mature as their efforts on the pitch.

Worst interview

Newport County boss Justin Edinburgh launching into a bizarre tirade at myself in January.

No one had the faintest idea what was happening until it became clear he’d taken umbrage at his side being called ‘physical’ on a preview video with colleague Steve Wilson. I’ve called teams worse...

Best opponent

Shrewsbury’s Ryan Woods is going places.

Burton’s Lucas Akins’ unpredictable skills tormented Pompey as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at their place in September.

Worst PR

Whether you agree with the move or not, the handling of Alan McLoughlin’s departure left a bitter taste the hall-of-famer will take a long time to get rid of.

Best PR

Andy Awford’s managerial departure was a decision the board didn’t take lightly. But they opened their doors afterwards, and were simply honest about the scenario. The outcome was a positive and sympathetic reaction to a tough scenario.

Best/worst dance moves

The ‘belly bounce’, as some hulking Pompey fans collided into each other as it all went wrong at Morecambe, was defiant if not particularly easy on the eye.

Best/worst singalong

A rather merry Hermann Hreidarsson take to the mic for a rendition of ‘when Sol went up to lift the FA Cup’ against Oxford.

Best signing

Paul Robinson. The fact he was named players’ player of the season says it all.

Worst signing

Any number of loan additions, but Cole Kpekawa’s two poor appearances before disappearing from view takes it.

Best use of a bad situation

Gary Waddock throwing in Adam May, Close and Chaplin to go with Pompey’s established first-team youngsters gave some meaning to a horrible campaign finale.

Worst-kept secret

Fulham, Wolves or wherever it is – Jed Wallace is playing his football elsewhere next season.

Second worst-kept secret

Skipper Ben Chorley and manager Andy Awford’s relationship breaking down.

Best chairman’s input

James Collins, Reuben Reid and Matt Tubbs were all available in the summer and none arrived. McInnes made his feelings known about Tubbs as he topped the goal charts before he inked a two-and-a-half year deal at Fratton Park in January.