SEASON REVIEW: September
Things off the pitch were starting to get resolved by the start of September, with Sulaiman Al-Fahim confirmed as the new owner of Portsmouth FC, despite Peter Storrie's consortium looking like they were on the verge of a takeover. However, there was very little communication between Al-Fahim and the fans. He tried fitting in by wearing a jersey and sitting in the Fratton End, but this led to more criticism from fans as their frustration started to become apparent.
After a weekend off with the international break, Portsmouth looked to get their first points of the season with a winnable home match against Bolton, who were also without any points in the league. It was the visitors who struck first, with Tamir Cohen smashing the ball home minutes after Pompey favourite Matty Taylor should have scored. Taylor could have doubled the lead minutes later for Bolton, but at the other end it was Younes Kaboul who equalised with his (and the clubs) second of the season, heading home a O'Hara corner which sent Fratton Park bouncing. This elation soon turned to frustration and anger however as Bolton won a penalty for a foul on Davies by Ben Haim, despite the Israeli clearly winning the ball. Matty Taylor stepped up and as usual, scored from the spot and celebrated accordingly. Kevin Prince Boateng opened his Pompey account with a great equaliser midway through the second half but it was not to be Pompey's day. Both teams had chances to snatch it late on but it was Gary Cahill who nodded the ball past David James in the 89th minute after a bit of a scrap from a long throw which deflated the home crowd.
A tricky trip to Villa came next for Pompey, and the blues were slow out traps. They had a lot of defending to do in the first half and done it well, with Belhadj and Brown both making some vital last ditch blocks. Even when the defence was beaten, David James was there to pull off some great stops. But their resilience didn't last the half as just after the half hour Belhadj foolishly brought down Petrov, and Milner expertly finished from the spot. Gabby Agbonlahor doubled their lead 10 minutes later after a route one ball sent him one-on-one with David James and the speedy England international finished brilliantly. The game was far from over for Pompey though as they came out second half and put in a great effort, with Belhadj, O'Hara and Boateng all seeing their decent strikes well saved by Brad Friedel. But Villa held on and Pompey fell to their 6th defeat in 6, the worst in Premiership history.
Pompey had only tasted one victory this season and that was in the Carling Cup, and they had a chance for another with a nice draw away draw to League 1 Carlisle. But neutrals saw this as a potential banana skin and they must have been smirking when just 2 minutes in Aaron Mokoena conceded a penalty, which the veteran Ian Harte hammered past Jamie Ashdown. But Pompey's heads did not drop as Aruna Dindane, on his debut, showed his ability as he equalised with a decent strike. Danny Webber was next to open his account with a looping header which silenced the Brunton Park crowd. Pompey finished off the Cumbrians when Dindane set up Vanden Borre, who scored HIS first goal for the club. There were promising signs from Pompey, with Dindane looking like he could play a big part this season, and others such as Utaka and Vanden Borre having a good game.
But if Pompey thought they had turned a corner after defeating Carlisle then they were sadly mistaken after the visit of Everton. Pompey looked decent coming forward and had many opportunities to break the deadlock, with Boateng and Dindane both testing Howard. But Everton looked dangerous on the break, and after a slip-up from the usually dependable Kaboul, Louis Saha found himself through on goal and turned the ball past David James a few minutes before the break. Pompey pushed second half and Ben Haim came so close to equalising but was well stopped by a reaction save from Howard. Mokoena hit the bar, Baines had to clear off the line and a stonewall penalty was turned down but this was all becoming a familiar story for Pompey who had lost seven consecutive league matches, a record that no fan could be proud of.
SEASON REVIEW: Pre-Season - here.
SEASON REVIEW: August.
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