Vital Football

Pompey's nightmare ends

Pompey's nightmare ends

Pompey finished off their tour of the America's much the way they started it, playing a match after travelling for hours on end and with little sleep.

DC United thrashed Pompey 4-0 on the day on the hottest day of the year, Pompey were flat, knackered and out on their feet, rarely has pre-season been so punishing on their minds and bodies.

Below once more is Mark Storey'sreport from the official site, like before, coverage this end is very restricted!

No training, no sleep, no kit - no big surprise Pompey got drubbed at DC United.

Danny Allsopp`s hat-trick put the knife into the leg-weary Blues, who could not have arrived in worse shape for this friendly in the United States` capital.

A cancelled flight - blame a lightning storm - left the Blues stranded at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Friday night. The players got just four hours sleep and were unable to train in preparation for the game. In fact, they didn`t kick a ball from Nadir Ciftci's winning penalty in Edmonton, Canada, on Wednesday night until stepping out for a warm-up at the JFK Stadium in Washington three days later.

It took the Blues 27 hours to get from Edmonton to Washington, wrecking training plans.

And then 14 bags went missing en route, including the ones containing Pompey's kit. It meant Steve Cotterill's side had to borrow DC United`s change strip of all-white.All this after a trip which began with a 42-hour journey to San Diego, California, from Britain.

Pompey, backed by about 100 fans, tried as hard as they could in the sweltering heat - at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, Washington's hottest day of the year. And they had their strongest side yet on tour with Tommy Smith, Richard Hughes, Jamie Ashdown and Hayden Mullins all back from injury but they looked exhausted from the kick-off and were carved open by a side currently bottom of the MLS with three wins in 17.

Allsopp's first came on 21 minutes when he got between two white shirts to nod in Branko Boskovic`s cross. Worse followed on the half-hour when Allsopp, a 31-year-old Australian who spent several seasons in England with Manchester City, Notts County and Hull, took advantage of sluggishness in Pompey's defence to prod past Ashdown.

The only bright note of the night was that the Blues could have been level with better finishing. Matt Ritchie capped a brilliant run down the left with the perfect ball for David Nugent. But the striker, having got in front of his marker, side-footed wide. Nugent then swapped passes with Ciftci but was denied from close range by keeper Troy Perkins.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when Mullins and Santino Quaranta saw straight red for an off-the-ball incident that no-one in the stadium except the referee appeared to see.

The misery piled up for the Blues (playing in White) when substitute Junior Carreiro and Boskovic combined to give Pablo Hernandez a tap-in on 56 minutes.

Allsopp squandered two great chances for his hat-trick before finally delivering with 25 minutes left, racing onto a through ball to slide home past Ashdown.

The Pompey keeper and team-mate Joel Ward collided, leaving Ashdown needing treatment. He struggled on but was eventually replaced by Liam O`Brien - sparking more injury worries for the Blues.

Julius James was sent off for fouling and then pushing Michael Brown in the last minute, before Ritchie had a free-kick superbly saved by substitute keeper Bill Hamid but it was all an irrelevance given the larger picture.

Pompey: Ashdown (O`Brien 79); Mullins, Ward, Wilson (Martin 69), Ritchie; Pack (Gregory 60), Brown (c), Hughes; Ciftci, Smith, Nugent (Ryan 83)

DC United: Perkins (Hamid 46); Talley (King 60), Rice, James, Graye (White 75); Khumalo (Carreiro 46), Simms, Quaranta; Boskovic (Morsink 60), Allsopp (Najar 87), Hernandez (Rivas 67)

Attendance: 8,987

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

Date:Sunday July 25 2010
Time: 10:52AM

Best of Vital Network


could pompey have had a worse preperation for a season? Miles from home while legal cases rattle on, lack of players and injuries galore! Matt Ritchie seems to have shone though, while Joel Ward should scare a few strikers if our goalies are any exception!
25/07/2010 10:55:00
Whoever arranged this tour needs shooting. The players are knackered and the season's not yet started!
25/07/2010 11:13:00
The nightmare is that the first team of any substance Nd Pompey got trounced . The rest of it is hot air drama queen drivel. Tours happen, injuries happen. Stortie planned to publicise the team in the states , it didn't work : get over it.
25/07/2010 11:42:00
uefa cup anyone?
25/07/2010 12:50:00
I feel so bad for the players... as bad as it sounds it might be time to start looking for a new club to support because I can't see Pompey being around in a few years.
Vanilla Ice
25/07/2010 16:52:00
If only the nightmare had ended - but its only the nightmare tour. Its turned out an awful preparation for a tough season ahead, but to be fair, whoever arranged it could not have known how it would turn out. Perhaps it will teach some of our youngsters about strength in adversity - they're going to need that this season.
25/07/2010 19:28:00
Who did disorganise this trip!!! (Sorry organise this trip) Did we make any money out of it?
26/07/2010 16:47:00
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