Pompey 1-0 Southend - report & highlights
My first game in some weeks, Southend wasn't the best game yet it was by far the worse - most importantly the points were secured thanks to Brett Pitman's latest goal for Pompey.
Over to eastneydave now with his account of the game, which was initially featured in his Sunday Chimes column.
Pompey 1 Southend United 0
Pompey put an end to the longest unbeaten record in football when a Brett Pitman goal was enough to beat Southend. The Shrimpers had gone 27 games and eight years since last losing a league game in the 11th month of the year and Phil Brown - who had never been beaten as Southend boss in the league in November. This was not a straightforward win but one that was just about deserved in front of the biggest crowd of the season.
KJ went with the same side that won at Blackpool last time out meaning that Oli Hawkins continued at Centre Back with Matt Clarke at left back.
Pompey started well at Pitman went close as he attempted to reach a Ben Close cross. Southend were thwarted by a full length save from Luke McGee as Theo Robinson curled in a shot from the edge of the box.
Then as the first half entered added time came the most controversial incident of the game. Danny Rose and Clarke threw themselves to black Southend shots but the linesman was flagging furiously for handball and referee Boyeson pointed to the spot. Quite who committed the infringement was in doubt by all in the stadium and as no player was carded it seems rather strange. Nile Ranger obliged by smashing the spot kick high into the Fratton End.
Who was the handball given against, so far I have seen Matt Clarke, Christian Barnard and Ben Close given the blame. Having had the chance to watch the incident it was not Close but presumably it was for the follow up shot when both Clarke and Burgess threw themselves at the ball. Maybe the linesman saw a hand but was unsure who's hand it was and hence the referee could not issue a card.
At the start of the second half with Matt Kennedy on for Kyle Bennett Pompey looked strong and the little Scot put over a beautiful cross for Pitman's head to do the rest - an excellent finish which deserved to win any game which in the end it did.
Pompey seemed content then to sit back on their lead and defend too deeply at times with the threat of hitting the visitors on the break. Pompey's back four with three playing out of their natural position held firm without too much difficulty.
Other than the record run by Southend going how about another record? The total of the numbers worn by the three Southend players replaced was 129!!
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe (Thompson 87), Bennett (Kennedy 46), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 54
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, O'Keefe, Chaplin, Main
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 18,431 (1,422 away fans)
Wonderful stuff as ever Dave, what else would we expect though.
Now we can enjoy some short highlights, obviously including another superbly excited header from Pitman - where would we be without him?
This video shows the highlights from this game at Fratton Park.
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2017-18 Prediction League - November
Peterborough (a) Tuesday 21st November 2017 - click here.
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