UK time is: 00:21:00
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

2008/09 Pompey in review - March

The Carling Cup Final saw the match between Portsmouth and Man United moved to a later date, which meant Portsmouth's next match was a tough home tie against title contenders Chelsea, who were finding form under new manager Guus Hiddink. However, the hosts were also under new management and looking good under Hart and Kidd. It was a rainy evening at Fratton Park, and conditions made things awkward for both goalkeepers, in particular David James, who was playing his 100th Premier League game for Pompey. Malouda and Lampard nearly caused the England keeper embarrassment, only for his defence to come to the rescue. Pompey had a few decent chances at the other end when Davis hit a beauty from well outside the box, and Nugent had a chance when John Terry's touch let him down, but both times Petr Cech was on hand to keep the scores level. The game was back and forward second half, Kranjcar had the best chance to win it for Portsmouth, but his disappointing shot went harmlessly wide. With about 10 minutes left on the clock, Didier Drogba scored the games only goal after Ricardo Quaresma, who was brought on as a sub and brought a breath of fresh air to Chelsea's attack, sent in a cross which made its way all the way through to Drogba, who had time to take a touch and drill a shot into the bottom corner. Portsmouth bombarded Chelsea's defence in the last 10 minutes, but were unable to get the point that their performance deserved.

Portsmouth had a week off for FA Cup Quarter Final day, so their next match was 11 days later at the Riverside. The first chance of note came from David Nugent, who was starting to look like the striker Pompey paid around 6 million for. He teamed up well with Crouch but saw his shot strike the post, meanwhile Tuncay was just wide of the post minutes later at the other end as he rippled the side netting. Portsmouth did take the lead shortly after, Crouch striking on the turn through a crowd of players from a quick Johnson corner. He could have doubled the lead from a Belhadj cross, but couldn't get enough contact on the ball to steer it past Brad Jones. During the second half, Krancjar curled a wicked free kick inches over the bar from 25 yards, whilst Sylvan Distin was on hand to deny the on-loan Marlon King. Portsmouth started to sit back and absorb Boro's attacks. When Matthew Bates got his second yellow card for diving with 15 minutes left on the clock, it looked like Pompey would stroll home and pick up their first 3 points on the road since beating Sunderland in November. But once again, the curse of the late goal was to deny Portsmouth, with Marlon King was on hand to punch home a rebound. It could have been worse if Alves finished when 1-on-1 with David James seconds later, but Jamo came out on top and the game ended 1-1.

Off the pitch, the Portsmouth Website released plans on the design to increase the capacity of Fratton Park to 30,000, reverting to their old idea of rotating the pitch 90 degrees and adding new stands. This was said to be temporary solution to increase the capacity whilst the new stadium was being built. Pompey fans would be forgiven for thinking this wouldn't happen anytime soon, as this was far from the first time a new stadium idea was brought to the attention of the fans.

With an international break at the end of the month, Portsmouth's last game in March was a home game against Everton. A win here would cement Hart and Kidd's steady start and pull the club away from the relegation zone. Everton were in great form going into the match, with the Champions League a common topic all across the Merseyside area. It was the visitors who took the lead with barely 5 minutes on the clock. Leighton Baines curled a beautiful free-kick around the wall and left David James flat footed as the ball went in off the foot of the post. Portsmouth had to fight for their chances and looked dangerous from their set pieces. Peter Crouch was the focal point for most of Pompey's attacks, and it was that man who converted Kranjcar's cross to pull the scores level. Portsmouth were the better team and had chances after the break to take the lead, with Crouch and Nugent both testing Tim Howard. Portsmouth's persistence finally paid off with 15 minutes left on the clock, Everton were unable to cope with the presence of Peter Crouch, and he rose highest to nod home the corner from Sean Davis. Davis nearly turned from provider to scorer, when he hammered a stunning volley past Howard, but saw his effort bounce back off the upright. It was not a comfortable finish to watch given Portsmouth's record of conceding late goals, but the defence stood strong to give Portsmouth 3 points which took them clear of the relegation zone.

It was a fitting end to short footballing month, with Portsmouth only playing 3 games in both February and March, as opposed to the 7 games a month they played in both November and December. Only 2 points separated Portsmouth from the drop-zone, and it was going to be a nervous end to a season, which started with high hopes. It was not over for all players however, with David James, Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch all called up to represent England, and a whole host of others taking off to represent their respective countries, something that was becoming a common practice.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Boot the Sun out of Pompey!




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



For the very latest Premier League odds

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: PompeyFrippy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday July 16 2009

Time: 7:19AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Playing Everton at Fratton was probably the best home game last season, and trashing them apart at their home (0-3), also, was probably the best away game we played. If only we could have played that well all season!!
Pompey Malta
Report Abuse
16/07/2009 23:59:00

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Portsmouth Articles

Fulham defender signs up (Thursday January 29 2015)

Pompey loan Fulham defender (Thursday January 29 2015)

On this day in history...29th January (Thursday January 29 2015)

McCallum facing possible 4-match ban (Wednesday January 28 2015)

We've seen you before... (Wednesday January 28 2015)

Pompey MOTM - Southend (h) (Wednesday January 28 2015)

On this day in history...28th January (Wednesday January 28 2015)

Holmes on his way (Tuesday January 27 2015)

On this day in history...27th January (Tuesday January 27 2015)

AA stays! (Monday January 26 2015)

Archived Portsmouth Articles

List All Vital Pompey Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. gentleman jim 135
2. pompeyrug 116
3. Pompeytim 61
4. cornypomp 43
5. storagematt 40
6. eastneydave 36
7. Emsworthianblue 34
8. Copnor43 26
9. mslorna48 25
10. pompeyweller 18

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
15. Accrington 26 10 3 13 -8 33
16. Oxford 27 7 9 11 -6 30
17. Cheltenham 27 7 9 11 -13 30
18. Portsmouth 26 7 8 11 -5 29
19. York 27 5 13 9 -5 28
20. Mansfield 26 7 7 12 -12 28
21. Dag & Red 27 7 6 14 -11 27

Breaking League News

Former striker released
York : 29/01/2015 22:55:00
Moke deal collapses
York : 29/01/2015 22:51:00
Buckle Pleased With January So Far
Cheltenham : 29/01/2015 21:07:00
Flitcroft On Mayor amp; Transfer Deals
Bury : 29/01/2015 20:57:00
Bell Tolls For Fergus
Mansfield : 29/01/2015 16:51:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Wycombe v Pompey?
Suggested By:  pompeyrug
Pompey win 0%
Draw 25%
Wycombe win 75%