At last! We’re back to debating events on the pitch.

Ryan Bird heads straight to the Pompey fans to celebrate his equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Torquay ' but the final result sparked plenty of debate among fans  Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Bird heads straight to the Pompey fans to celebrate his equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Torquay ' but the final result sparked plenty of debate among fans Picture: Joe Pepler

It was a year ago last week when Pompey were entering their longest winter of discontent.

The clocks were just about to go back as Michael Appleton’s side fell to a disappointing 2-1 midweek defeat to Stevenage in the October gloom at Fratton Park.

That, as we can remember all too well, marked the start of a club-record equalling 23-game winless run.

Seventeen defeats and six draws provided the backdrop as a seasonal chill descended on the club’s bid to remain in League One.

Of course, that wasn’t the only bleakness being felt as Pompey, and those who love the club, fought for its life.

It was also 12 months ago around now they, the high net worths, were being asked to prop up the Blues with their own hard-earned cash.

That was to be a battle taken to the High Court’s Rolls Building in April earlier this year.

By then, winter had resided into spring as Mr Justice Peter Smith ratified the agreement which would make Pompey the biggest fan-owned club in the United Kingdom.

The green shoots of recovery were being seen on the pitch by that stage, too.

The final weeks of Greenwich Mean Time had seen Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford oversee a 2-1 win at Crewe, sparking a run of a single defeat in nine games over the season’s finale.

It seems poignant a year on from the start of that longest winless run, the current state of on-pitch affairs for Pompey is still a talker among fans.

The performance at Torquay has prompted a varied response from those in and outside of the club.

Whether what was seen at Plainmoor constituted a good performance, and whether a point was a reasonable return lies at the heart of that debate.

Whittingham pointed to his side’s domination when it came to possession as evidence there was a case for a greater Pompey points haul.

The statistics point to 10-per-cent greater time on the ball for his men, while the shot count favoured Pompey 12 to five.

But there was little doubt the clearer opportunities arrived in those carved out by the home side.

And, yes, it was the Blues who laid claim to ball, particularly in the second half – but did their potency in the final third reflect that?

So, we arrived at a situation where a fair few of the 1,500 supporters who travelled to Devon made their way from the English Riviera with conflicting views on what they had witnessed.

You can argue the merits of the case forwarded by the dissenting voices.

But the fact they arrived as Pompey extended their unbeaten run to five games had resonance.

Six points separate the team from the play-offs, with a game in hand over most following the Wycombe washout.

It’s the best run the club have been on for 31 months, yet we still find cause to grumble.

It’s now been six months since the Pompey Supporters’ Trust took the club out of administration and Sheffield United were sent packing on one of the brightest days in the club’s modern history.

Perhaps it’s worth remembering where this club stood a year ago, as we debate the merits of a point which would have been greedily accepted back then, regardless of how the performance rated.

And the real cause for celebration, of course, is we have now finally returned to debating Pompey’s progress on the pitch.