Vital Football

Pompey 0-0 Newcastle

0 - 0


Sat 12-04-08, 5.15pm

Attendance: 20507


Newcastle were the next club that we looked to overcome as we looked to keep our good run going, and keep the pressure on Everton for 5th - and maybe even Liverpool for 4th? The barcodes came to Fratton and left with a point after an entertaining enough 0-0 draw.

Harry Redknapp made 3 changes from the win over West Ham, Arnold Mvuemba, Pedro Mendes and Dave Nugent dropped out - the latter two to the bench. The men that came in were Sean Davis, Kanu and Jermain Defoe. I think that Nugent can count himself very unlucky not to have kept his place alongside Defoe - but then again Kanu is 'the golden boy'…

Genuine clear cut chances were few and far between for both sides, so in the end once again we had to settle for another Fratton Park draw - but it was an enjoyable enough one really.

The Match
Obafemi Martins tried his luck 'Matt Taylor style' in the opening seconds but not even the sun could catch David James out as he safely claimed his effort from near half way.

It was a good opening to the game, nice and open with half chances to both sides in the opening 20 minutes, but they were coming from distance really and neither keeper being fully tested. Newcastle were looking to cause trouble on the break but were looking like a side that believed in their own ability again.

Chances remained at a premium for the remainder of the half but with half time approaching a strong claim for a Pompey penalty for a handball against Steven Taylor was not awarded by Phil Dowd. It seemed a nailed on one, with it coming up off his boot to his hand when blocking an effort from Kanu - but not nailed on according to the ref…

A good half, which was only lacking clear-cut chances, came to an end with the game locked in stalemate at 0-0.

James was having a bit of an off-day as early in the 2nd half he once again gave the ball away cheaply - as he had several times in the 1st half - but thankfully the attempted lob from distance by Geremi was off target.

Newcastle were increasing the pressure at the start of the 2nd half but suddenly we had a great chance to take the lead, against what would have been the run of play in the half. A fantastic ball through from Sulley Muntari went through to Jermain Defoe but his effort was off target, when really by his standards he should have done better. Then James had to save very well from Martins.

Good play between Glen Johnson and Kanu saw Johnson get his shot away but this was deflected away from the goal for a goal kick by Defoe, when it seemed to be hitting the target. Defoe was then denied by a Steve Harper save after a quick counter attack involving Johnson again.

As he has so often this season James once again saved us. Somehow he blocked a Michael Owen effort - how much he knew about it I do not know - for a corner. He then saved from Geremi moments after.

With around 15 minutes to go Harry Redknapp made his first change of the game with Kanu going off and Dave Nugent coming on, with him making an immediate impact putting the defence under pressure to win a corner.

As the game moved into the final 5 minutes again James came rushing out and did not get to the ball, but luckily he and we got away with it again…

With the game into injury time Niko Kranjcar beat several players - despite Joey Barton having a go at him, getting booked when the ball went dead - before laying back to Papa Bouba Diop who unsurprisingly did not hit the target and the game ended 0-0.

Match Summary
It was a good game, but we did not really offer enough in terms of clear-cut opportunities and Newcastle were marginally the better side - but it was a good game played between two good sides.

A few players did not really get into the game, if they had maybe we would have won but a draw was probably a fair result in the end. To be honest I thought Dave Nugent maybe could and should have come on sooner, I think that he was unlucky not to start in the first place to tell the truth. Had he been given more time maybe things would have been different?

With Everton dropping a couple of points earlier in the afternoon this was certainly a case of a missed opportunity and the gap stays at 4pts.


Pompey 0
Newcastle 0

David James
Glen Johnson
Herman Hreidarsson
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Papa Bouba Diop
Sean Davis
Sulley Muntari
Niko Kranjcar
Kanu (David Nugent 75)
Jermain Defoe

Substitutes Not Used
Asmir Begovic
Richard Hughes
Pedro Mendes

Join the Vital Pompey Debate

Date:Saturday April 12 2008
Time: 7:50PM

Best of International Football News


Newcastle played on the sun in the first half which effectively killed off our play. Then the second half was a half of a few missed chances. We should have had a penalty but Newcastle will feel unlucky they didn't score. I was impressed with Newcastle - they looked strong and pacey and man'ed up against us well but I thought we looked tired today. All in all happy with a point.
12/04/2008 20:02:00
I told you so, everyone predicting loads of goals so it had to be a 0-0. No matter, one less game until the dragon slaying day. Still need to sort the right midfield. Diop played well today though, shame Muntari didn't.
12/04/2008 20:41:00
Yea, I'd have taken a point I suppose, but I thought it was a dour affair. Week on week it's becoming more and more obvious how we desperately need to do something on the Right of midfield. Did'nt think we'd see Kanu play today. As he did, I thought he played for too long.....75 mins too long!! He looked more tired than normal, and nothing stuck to him. Still we lost no ground on Everton after their draw. Was pleased to hear a loud rendition of ONE HARRY REDKNAPP, ONLY ONE HARRY REDKNAPP.
12/04/2008 20:42:00
newcastle were just here for the sunshine though wernt they ;-). honestly, the highlight of the game was the referee seeming to egg on the fratton end when they were "subtly" hinting that he might possibly have put on a bit of wight recently...
12/04/2008 20:42:00
Just seen that Owen save again on MoTD; Jamo actually headed the ball over the bar! All in all, a point was about right and another clean sheet
13/04/2008 08:36:00
penalty? the ball hit the lads foot. ever heard of ball to hand!? ridiculous to think it was a penalty. we were the better side chances wise and looked more of a threat on the counter. score should have been 1-0 in all honesty. but a point is a point.
13/04/2008 10:14:00
The wind certainly did not help the game and the pitch seemed bumpy too. But if JD had buried one of his chances then who knows. Settle for a point though.
13/04/2008 10:22:00
"ever heard of ball to hand!?" - yes, i have. unfortunatly, it is not what is written in the law. quite why he had his hand sticking out like a monkey, other than to "try and make him look big" - by using his hands - would be a more intresting question. just becasue he had no time to react, his hand shouldnt have been there anyway!
13/04/2008 10:37:00
Toon4Life - maybe you're right but I think the second half showed the true measure of the game as we were no longer fighting the sun (neither were you). I also thought there was a lot of fatigue in our side. But hey you still couldn't score despite either of those reasons.
13/04/2008 10:50:00
i think a draw was ultimately a fair result, newcastle had the better 'clear cut' chances but we also had some decent ones, which on another day would have been finished better.
13/04/2008 17:21:00
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