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Pompey edged out at the Boleyn

Pompey fans travelled en masse to Upton Park to play West Ham in a fixture that featured the last two teams to finish bottom of the Premier League, and were rewarded with a enthralling game that had everything a football game could ask for.

Portsmouth's main piece of team news was striker Dave Kitson absence from the matchday squad, replaced by Benjani who was making his first start for The Blues since returning to the club. West Ham also made changes, the most notable being Henry Lansbury making his debut after joining on loan from Arsenal on deadline day. Papa Bouba Diop didn't make the first 16, and Frederic Piquionne had to settle for a place on the bench.

One ex-Pompey player who did make the starting XI was Matthew Taylor, but he along with his new teammates could only watch as Pompey took the lead after a succession of early corners. A move straight from the training ground saw Liam Lawrence find Luke Varney in ample space 14 yards from goal, and his heavily deflected shot beat ex-England 'keeper Robert Green to put Pompey into an early lead. Incidentally, this was the first goal scored by Portsmouth in the first half in 20 games.

The joy was short lived however, as rather predictably a minute later, Super Matty Taylor lined up a free kick after Jason Pearce conceded a foul. There was only ever going to be one outcome as Jamie Ashdown was wrong footed after a deflection, which leveled the game.

Both teams looked up for it, and despite The Irons being on top for the remainder of the half it was the visitors who were cursing their luck after Pearce nearly nodded home from a corner, and shortly afterwards a well worked move saw Huseklepp force a fine save from Green, with no Pompey player on hand to poke home the rebound. 1-1 was the score at half time, but there was plenty of drama yet to unfold.

The second half started with the same tempo as the first ended, and West Ham took the lead for the first time 8 minutes in when Lansbury poked home via another fortunate deflection off Jason Pearce. Pompey were not going to take this lightly however, and after some dogged attacking deservedly found themselves level on the hour mark when David Norris headed home. The stadium announcer credited the goal to Benjani, who made sure the ball had crossed the line, but replays show that the linesman had given the goal after for Chuck's initial effort.

As with most games, there was going to be one crucial moment that decided this game, and this came on the 66th minute as another debutant for West Ham, David Bentley, was carelessly hacked down by Liam Lawrence, who was already on a booking. The Republic of Ireland international could have no complaints about being shown his second yellow and Portsmouth had an uphill battle on their hands.

This battle was not aided by Mr. East the referee, who 5 minutes later awarded West Ham a soft penalty after Lansbury dinked the ball onto Jason Pearce's hand. He had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Mark Noble duly hammered the penalty past Jamie Ashdown.

The game was put to bed 4 minutes later when a terrific cross from Matthew Taylor saw Carlton Cole rise high above the Pompey back line to make it 4-2.

Although the game was over, there was still more drama to follow in the dying minutes as ex-Pompey striker Piquionne came off the bench for the last 5 minutes, only to see himself receive a straight red card in stoppage time after an off-the-ball altercation with Greg Halford.

There was still more goals left in the game as well, as deep into stoppage time Tal Ben Haim went on a mazy run only to be brought down by Mark Noble. Ben-Haim seemed adamant to take the penalty himself, but was eventually talked out of it by Greg Halford, who converted with the last kick of an enthralling encounter which saw 7 goals, 2 sendings off, 2 penalties and many talking points.

Despite falling short against a strong Hammer's team, Cotterill will no doubt take positives from the match; the team moved the ball about well and our improved strikeforce showed that we have got goals in us. Of the 4 goals conceded, two were heavily deflected and another was a harsh penalty. From a personal standpoint, I feel Lawrence's suspension could prove to be a blessing in disguise after his lack of form of late.

STAR PLAYER: One man stood out today, and that was Benjani. He reminded us of the man we remembered from the Premiership days, chasing everything down and creating opportunities when given the ball. He could be a major factor in our season if he continues to regain his fitness.

Written by PompeyFrippy.

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The Journalist

Writer: eastneydave Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 10 2011

Time: 5:57PM

Your Comments

not long back, thanks again to Frippy for filling in for paultsmouth with this one - gotta be honest not even read it yet as shattered but have edited it in, sure it is fine!
pompeyrug
not long back, thanks again to Frippy for filling in for paultsmouth with this one - gotta be honest not even read it yet as shattered but have edited it in, sure it is fine!
pompeyrug
as for the game, thought we played well enough in patches with the sending off 'changing the game' as you would expect, altho tbh i think it could have changed it in our benefit but the penalty did for is...
all-in-all thought we played well enough and i was happy enough with what i saw, being ultra critical we could have 'perhaps' gone for it alittle more when 3-2 and then 4-2 down - we were losing anyway so why not go out for a blaze of glory and lose 5 or 6, then again do you want that? not alot between the sides and think we can be 'happy enough' with this despite defeat...
pompeyrug
as for the game, thought we played well enough in patches with the sending off 'changing the game' as you would expect, altho tbh i think it could have changed it in our benefit but the penalty did for is...
all-in-all thought we played well enough and i was happy enough with what i saw, being ultra critical we could have 'perhaps' gone for it alittle more when 3-2 and then 4-2 down - we were losing anyway so why not go out for a blaze of glory and lose 5 or 6, then again do you want that? not alot between the sides and think we can be 'happy enough' with this despite defeat...
pompeyrug
I don't think Westham realise they are not in the prem any more. All that falling over..... I thought we were OK in parts. Can't believe we actually scored a goal in the first half. When did we last do that?
gandor1
I don't think Westham realise they are not in the prem any more. All that falling over..... I thought we were OK in parts. Can't believe we actually scored a goal in the first half. When did we last do that?
gandor1
i thought we were better than 'OK' tbf Gandor, thought we looked really good at times - with alittle more attacking intent at home (as you would 'expect) if we can play in a similar vein more often than not then this was the 'benchmark'...
pompeyrug
i thought we were better than 'OK' tbf Gandor, thought we looked really good at times - with alittle more attacking intent at home (as you would 'expect) if we can play in a similar vein more often than not then this was the 'benchmark'...
pompeyrug
Cheers Fripps for doing report, just watched highlights, really harsh penalty and 2 massive deflections in their goals, could of gone the other way easily!
paultsmouth
Cheers Fripps for doing report, just watched highlights, really harsh penalty and 2 massive deflections in their goals, could of gone the other way easily!
paultsmouth
just can't believe how lucky they got to be honest, 2 wicked deflections and a penalty that should never have been, its cruel game sometimes, don't think they'll be going back up this season unless they start playing a lot better though cause we should of won that!
pompeym@
just can't believe how lucky they got to be honest, 2 wicked deflections and a penalty that should never have been, its cruel game sometimes, don't think they'll be going back up this season unless they start playing a lot better though cause we should of won that!
pompeym@
No problem Paul, I'm more than happy to cover anytime you're stuck. From yesterday's performance it's clear the team are starting to perform better, but our discipline has taken another nose dive.
PompeyFrippy
No problem Paul, I'm more than happy to cover anytime you're stuck. From yesterday's performance it's clear the team are starting to perform better, but our discipline has taken another nose dive.
PompeyFrippy
Potty Cotty HAS TO stop the ill discipline; it was an oft stated opinion at the game yesterday that Pompey are reaping what they have sowed with Ref's decisions. Equally common thought at the game yesterday that Pompey are best off without him until he grows up.
RussellM
Potty Cotty HAS TO stop the ill discipline; it was an oft stated opinion at the game yesterday that Pompey are reaping what they have sowed with Ref's decisions. Equally common thought at the game yesterday that Pompey are best off without him until he grows up.
RussellM
Maybe we were lucky not to be thrashed, after all we scored 1 through a wicked deflection and 1 from a penalty. A bit of blue-tinted glasses above, methinks. Benji could be an inspirational re-signing - he's a true blue!
PFCblue
Maybe we were lucky not to be thrashed, after all we scored 1 through a wicked deflection and 1 from a penalty. A bit of blue-tinted glasses above, methinks. Benji could be an inspirational re-signing - he's a true blue!
PFCblue
Did I read that we have amassed 18 YELLOW cards and 1 red this season already?!!!!?...Doesn't take a genius to work out that cannot go on.
pentonpompey
Did I read that we have amassed 18 YELLOW cards and 1 red this season already?!!!!?...Doesn't take a genius to work out that cannot go on.
pentonpompey
blue yes we got 1 through a wicked deflection but they had 2 that took as bad a deflection if not worse and a dodgy pen so no blue tint needed imo a draw would of been a much fairer result
pompeym@
blue yes we got 1 through a wicked deflection but they had 2 that took as bad a deflection if not worse and a dodgy pen so no blue tint needed imo a draw would of been a much fairer result
pompeym@
Well have just had a chance to watch the game on the footy league show, how refreshing, first up and probably 35 seconds worth, much better than the normal 5 second blip! Having seen the evidence it did look to me like Liam deserved to be sent off, both tackles looked like fowls from the angles shown, Im not quite sure why we are trying to get so many cards, its almost like some of the squad are building up to there enforced layoff or something! In anycase it looked like a good game, makes me feel sorry that I am missing yet another season.........never mind.
NZ_Portsmuff
oh yeh...go Benjani, good to see you back!!!
NZ_Portsmuff
Well have just had a chance to watch the game on the footy league show, how refreshing, first up and probably 35 seconds worth, much better than the normal 5 second blip! Having seen the evidence it did look to me like Liam deserved to be sent off, both tackles looked like fowls from the angles shown, Im not quite sure why we are trying to get so many cards, its almost like some of the squad are building up to there enforced layoff or something! In anycase it looked like a good game, makes me feel sorry that I am missing yet another season.........never mind.
NZ_Portsmuff
oh yeh...go Benjani, good to see you back!!!
NZ_Portsmuff
 

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