Remember the last derby at Fratton? Lua certainly does

Lomana Lualua performs his trademark goal celebration after scoring his first in the 4-1 win over Southampton in 2005, as Steve Stone looks on
Lomana Lualua performs his trademark goal celebration after scoring his first in the 4-1 win over Southampton in 2005, as Steve Stone looks on

For Lomana Lualua, it is a legacy for his children.

They won’t remember the occasion, far too young, of course.

Yet the event has been preserved forever.

Downloaded on to Lualua’s laptop, stored away in his DVD collection, one of daddy’s finest moments in football is there for all to see.

Sunday, April 24, 2005, is permanently inscribed on the memories of Pompey fans.

For the current Blackpool forward, it is an occasion he regularly revisits.

Last Saturday night was the most recent airing in the Lualua household.

It was six-and-a-half years ago when he wrote his name into Fratton folklore.

In 28 minutes he had scored two, won the penalty for another and then limped off with a hamstring injury.

Crucially, it came at Fratton Park against Southampton.

And vitally, it was part of a glorious 4-1 triumph.

The sides have not met on Pompey turf since.

That is until the fierce rivals take to the field on Sunday.

And for Lualua, that last meeting will be something his children can marvel over long after he has hung up his boots.

He said: ‘I still watch the game now. It is one of my best memories in football.

‘Last Saturday night I went on Facebook and a friend had posted a highlights clip, so I watched it.

‘I’ve also got the game on my laptop and on DVD.

‘At all the clubs I’ve played for, I always try to keep my best memories.

‘When my kids grow up I want to be able to show what dad used to do.

‘That Southampton match was a special game.

‘I would say that was my best game for Portsmouth and it ranks as one of the top three in my career so far.’

Pompey opened the scoring after four minutes when Southampton keeper Antti Niemi fouled Lualua.

Yakubu stepped up to net from the penalty spot.

On 17 minutes, Arjan De Zeeuw headed home a free-kick to extend the home side’s lead.

Henri Camara reduced the deficit on 20 minutes – before Lualua took over.

The former Newcastle forward netted in the 22nd and 27th minutes to make the scoreline 4-1.

And it was game over.

Lualua added: ‘The first goal for me was amazing. I was not even looking.

‘The keeper jumped and I decided to dummy it. I wanted to jump as well to make him scared.

‘It worked and he missed the ball and I swivelled and put it into the goal.

‘The second goal was my usual trick when shooting.

‘I would say that most of my goals have come from bending the ball.

‘There were players trying to block it but I decided to bend it around them and into the corner.

‘It didn’t go into the corner but hit the inside of the post and went in.

‘For the penalty, it was a mistake from the keeper.

‘He came out trying to win that ball and I knew he would not have the chance to get it – and he fouled me.

‘Yak scored the penalty and what a player he was.

‘He was the best partner I have ever played with and I still speak to him nearly every week.

‘We were a good partnership on and off the pitch.’

A minute after his second goal, Lualua would leave the pitch to a standing ovation.

A hamstring problem curtailed his presence in the match after just 28 minutes – although the forward insists that had nothing to do with his trademark somersault celebration.

Despite Lualua’s early exit, though, his heroics ensured he had already been crowned man-of-the-match having seen off Southampton.

And the Congolese had ensured his name would forever be remembered by Pompey supporters.

Lualua added: ‘God knows what would have happened if I had stayed on or how many more goals would have been scored!

‘As an attacker, when you score goals so early your confidence goes up and you feel on top of the world.

‘But I was feeling my hamstring all the time, it was nothing to do with my celebration.

‘It started out as just a niggle in the week. I was feeling a little bit of pain.

‘I always try to play as much as I can so I kept quiet.

‘The problem was there before the celebrations.

‘I know I once picked up an ankle injury doing flips against Arsenal, but not on this occasion.

‘I didn’t want to come off but it was really hurting me. I could not do any movement.

‘It was a great 28 minutes, though.’

No doubt Lualua’s children will agree.