Vital Football

Pompey triumph in States

Pompey triumph in States

Pompey fielded only Richard Hughes and David Nugent as first teamers, the emphasis was on youth and the average age 21.

This was an exercise in fitness and tuning, that is in no doubt, but a win is a win whichever way you look at it, Nugent once more found the net and Marlon Pack also scored to give Pompey a win after a tough match.

As you can appreciate, coverage of the game is limited, so below is Mark Storey's match report from Pompey's official site.

David Nugent`s spectacular free-kick secured Pompey the first win of their North American pre-season tour against Ventura County Fusion.

The striker curled home into the top corner to seal a 2-1 win over a side in the fourth tier of American soccer.

That was the main moment of inspiration on a baking afternoon with Marlon Pack giving Pompey the lead before a stinging Hakop Avesyan strike levelled things up for Ventura.

Nugent and Richard Hughes were the only senior players in Pompey`s starting line-up as boss Steve Cotterill gave starts to teenagers Perry Ryan, Billy Goddard and Peter Gregory, making the average age of the side just 21.

The Blues were backed by around 20 travelling fans at Oxnard College, an hour north of Los Angeles, including John Westwood, who drew attraction with his bell, hat, wig and clown boots.

The US and UK flags fluttered behind one of the goals as the Blues kicked off - and were immediately put under pressure by their opponents.

It took vital interceptions from Perry Ryan, Stephen Jordan - who played against Ventura for Burnley a year ago - and Peter Gregory to stop the hosts getting in on goal as Pompey were opened up.

But on 18 minutes Steve Cotterill's side went ahead from their first meaningful attack. Matt Ritchie collected a short corner, jinked inside onto his left-foot and swerved a shot that keeper Bryan Hill could not hold. Pack was the grateful recipient from two yards out, tapping home.

Pompey should have doubled their lead when Nugent, skipper for the second time in three matches, raced clear. But with just the keeper to beat, he fired over.

Hayden Mullins replaced the injured Peter Gregory shortly before the break and straight after it they had another FA Cup finalist was on the pitch when Michael Brown took over from the injured Billy Goddard. But before the experienced pair could make an impression Ventura were level through Avesyan's strike.

It was the signal, however, for Pompey to take control as Mullins and Brown got a grip on midfield.

Nugent was timing his runs perfectly only to be twice denied by substitute goalkeeper Sam Hayden. He made amends with 14 minutes left after Ritchie, a regular threat pushing forward from left-back, won a free-kick on the edge of the box. Mullins touched it to Nugent and the striker found the top right-hand corner of the net with an exquisite bending shot to send the Blues fans away happy into the California evening.

Pompey: O`Brien; Gregory (Mullins 42), Ryan, Jordan, Ritchie; Goddard (Brown 46), Pack, Hughes, Kilbey, Nugent(c), Ciftci,

Ventura: Hill; Becerra, Riley, Scope, Guerrero; Rose, Guzman, Hustedt, Barrrera, de Baros, Jagne

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

Date:Sunday July 18 2010
Time: 9:16AM


Plenty of plusses, mainly Nugent's form and Ritchie's lively display
18/07/2010 09:20:00
I see David Nugents reward for having another good game was to have his wheels removed from his Land Rover, lol!!!!!
18/07/2010 09:33:00
Sorry Range Rover.
18/07/2010 09:39:00
He should of known better considering where he left it, I wonder if the irony of having his car left on bricks will be lost on a Scouser?
18/07/2010 09:39:00
He scored a great goal by the looks of it, but he also missed when he was one to one with the goalkeeper. I just don't understand why he was captain again. Ritchie is going to be our star youngster this season, just as Wilson was last year!
Pompey Malta
18/07/2010 11:58:00
So it looks as tho perhaps Nugent is in the right frame of mind? I hope so and I hope he stays! (I hardly recognised any of our players on the pitch last year, I am certainly not going to recognise any this year either.......)
18/07/2010 12:11:00
Great report Paul. 20 fans make game one hour north of LA that is true support.
18/07/2010 14:39:00
All good, keep it a secret though or Lampitt & AA we will sell them.
18/07/2010 17:01:00
Highlights are on YouTube. No commentary, decent quality considering it seemed like it was done on someone's camcorder. Still better than what we usually got on MotD.
18/07/2010 17:30:00
Thanks for that link, Frippy. Shame about Nugent's miss, but I spose that's what these pre-season training games are all about.
18/07/2010 19:07:00
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