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Stoke 2 - Pompey 2

The Britannia

Sat 21-02-09, 3pm

Attendance:

Stoke 2-2 Pompey

The team was the same one which beat city last week, but with Nuge helping out more in midfield, so a 4-5-1 with Crouch upfront.

Neither team started brightly, with a drab opening 45 minutes. At times there were a few nice interchanges, mainly between Johnson and Pennant, but nothing to get out of your seat for. Stoke's tactic of booting it up to the Striker seemed to be effective, with Sidibe seeming to win every header. Davis and Basinas were two inconsistent with their passing, and Stoke were finding difficult to break down.

In the second half, more of the same, with Herman getting into a tangle with Lawrence, which resolved with both players earning a yellow card. We were defending a little better at the back with James having very little to do and the midfield helping out when needed. Stoke seemed to put all their effort on their huge striker and with him starting to lose energy we started to up the possession.

Around the midway point of the second half, Basinas, who had a very average game, was replaced by Mullins and for me that was a sound decision by Hart. Although he didn't do much better then Basinas he was the extra energy needed in midfield and a few minutes later we took the lead.

Kranjcar cut inside on the left, only to be tackled. The ball found its way to Nuge who played a neat passed into Kranjcar who had made a run back into the box, took it well and finished neatly into the bottom corner. Get In! Relieve flowed out of both fans and players and I expected a comfortable last 20 minutes!

However, 10 seconds later I had my head in my hands as we conceded a penalty! Straight from kick-off, a long ball was kicked all the way into our penalty area where Johnson, who was under no pressure appeared to handle the ball! From my angle, it was very difficult to tell, but the ref, who was swayed by the optimistic home support blew his whistle. Beattie kept his cool under chants of 'scummer' and buried it to make it 1-1. At this point, someone behind me kicked half my chair to pieces as Beattie taunted the away support.

It got worse before it got better as a few minutes after conceding the ball was played over to the right where bad marking and no tackling led to a Stoke player taking a volley from the edge of the area, which passed all the players except Beattie who headed home. I thought it was offside, the ref thought it offside as he immediately looked towards the linesman, but the goal stood. And yet again Beattie celebrated like a wild animal that he is in front of us.

At this point the Pompey fans and players were shocked and it's fair to say a little angry by the decisions of the referee and the immediate reply from Stoke. A ghostly image of Tony Adams crept into my mind at this point as we really did hit the self destruct button. However, Paul Hart and Brian Kidd had other ideas of how this game was going to finish, bringing on Belhadj and Kanu for Nugent and Kranjcar, with Herman pushing up to LW.

When we conceded the second, amongst all the confusion and complaints, one man took the ball from our net strode across our half of the pitch and placed it down at the centre. Gave encouragement to the team, and added reassurance that the game was not over, Sol Campbell may have his critics of late, but for me, is still a brilliant player, and worthy of the captains armband. Although I am a big fan of Sean Davis I also witnessed him ranting and raving and perhaps is a little too passionate to take up the position.

The game restarted, with the Stoke fans all singing along mocking our descent into abyss. However, good possession, and use of the kitchen sink managed to break the Stoke team, as a ball in from Pennant (who I thought had a good game) found Herman on the edge of the area, who's speculative effort took a huge deflection and went in the Stoke net. 2-2! We went wild, so did the players, and so did Hart. Took a glance at where Beattie was standing to see him beating the ground with his fists! Karma got him!

Full time came, and the team celebrated as if we had won. Although I thought once we scored, all three points where a certainty, a draw under circumstances is a great result.

The players left with great applause, and Beattie, who solemnly walked past us, got a raging response, who couldn't do anything except look on the floor, what a ____. The way Hart was congratulating with the players makes me wonder if he's just a stand in, and the way the players responded to Hart makes wonder if we should get a new manager in. He's had an immediate effect and although the performance today wasn't brilliant, Stoke have a great record at home, and coming from behind shows the character we need to stay in the division. Well done Pompey!

MOM: Got to be the Herminator, had Lawrence in his pocket most of the game and came up with the goods at the other end as well, what a legend!

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: Gleams Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 21 2009

Time: 5:01PM

Your Comments

Be interesting to see what Paul Hart has to say - he has to question the refs decisions, surely.
tracyc
yea but hes got 1 of the easiest team talks to give ever lol
pompeym@
Herms has obviously been eating his spinach, hasn't he! Wish he'd been playing all season (although I think Belhadj is a great prospect too)
hammersmithblue
Just waiting for the interviews on Sky Sports News now will paraphrase for those not watching.
eastneydave
Game is also main game on Football First for those with Sky Sports at 20:25. I am not paid by Sky Sports - shame!!
eastneydave
Paul Hart said on Sky Sports news he was delighted with a point after going behind. Disappointed not to get all three.

He thought his team had worked very hard and defended like Trojans. Stoke is a tough place to come to and the pitch is bobbly with a swirling wind made it not a game for the purist

It was not a penalty but having looked at the second goal it may have been a good decision. Overall he was happy with resilience of the team and the desire to get a result.
eastneydave
I'll take a point for sure. I would have been pig sick to have lost 2-1 after the decisions given. We know that's football but sometimes it's just too much to take. Still... we got our just deserves in this one. Thank God for Herman, that guy never gives up. Herman for captain??
cornypomp
herman for a contract extension! love the guy. that was a hard game to take......still chelsea at home next week so three points in the bag!!!!
ruffcider
Herman for Lord Mayor! Think what he'd look like in the chain!!
hammersmithblue
Cast your vote now Corney.. The poll is up there..although I think we'll not change skipper this side of the summer .. Sol played well today from what I could gather on the radio though..


'Spose I happy with a point considering we could have lost it .. but although our lead was short lived I really thought we had it in the bag.. the defence (apart from the odd flutter) seemed solid .. still no accounting for refs I reckon !
Chix
Whooooooooooooops! don't I feel a berk for being made to leave 2 mins early!
Squee
Just got back to Liverpool from Stoke, what a game. or rather what a finish. Real roller coaster ride, but i will settle for a point after nearly being robbed of anything. We are showing some spirit at last and hopefully this will help us to survive.
Owenspompey
I would love 2 shoot beattie cant stand the w***er.Hermann again saves us what a legend. He should be captain he plays till the whistle and is vety commiteed
stfc ballboy
Thought we would win & hoped to get a least a point so was quite gutted at 1-2. I'll watch MOTD to judge the ref but sky sports questioned the hand ball & scummer **** Beattie may have offside for the second.
storagematt
that ref doesnt know his mouth form his arse! cost us 2 points.. PRICK! Marvelous, to see us score in the death, tides are turning :)
nodster
Great report Gleams - we expect nothing less!
eastneydave
Must be the honeymoon period. If Adams had been playing 4-5-1 with Nugent in midfield against a team who set out to spoil, everyone would have been criticizing his poor tactics. Honeymoon period or no, I'm going to say what I think, and I think we had the wrong tactics today. The penalty wasn't one, but the second goal was good. However, we played nearly 70 minutes without creating much, and for that alone, we probably didn't deserve more than the draw we ended up with. If we're going to play 4-5-1 against a team who doesn't want to attack, what are we gonna play against the so-called top four? 5-5-0?
PhilTaglia
A draw at Stoke is pretty damn good. If Tony was still in charge I think we would have lost. The committment and work rate has returned. There are still winnable games remaining (4 from 12 should see us across the line, with some draws thrown in, as 40 pts may not be enough this term). West Ham will still remember going down on 42. The question remains who do we support in the Hull v Tottenham game. I guess a draw won't harm us...whilst not wanting Redknapp to gloat over a win, I still see Hull in the dogfight over the next 13 weeks.
pompeygray
Good result in the end, but refereeing decisions have hardly gone with us this season, we had Diop's handball at Liverpool where he actually missed it as well, ans Crouch has to be attacked with an axe for us to win a penalty ourselves!
paultsmouth
Chix...i polled for Herman as captain, i truly like the guys spit and determination. Could have been robbed but a point is better than nothing. Should be an easier game against Chelsea. I can see 31 points on the board by next sunday!!!
cornypomp
i agree with phil, the sooner we get a 'proper' manager the better, Hart's lack of tactical knowledge really showed, although we looked more solid, the game was crying out for some natural width down the left. all our play was down the right and it became far too predictable with pennant havin 2 men on him wenever he got the ball. if you're gonna play 4-5-1 then please put a natural winger like belhadj down the left i felt sorry for nugent as he didnt have a clue what he was doin down the left. I like Hart and i think he's done wonders for our youth academy but we shouldnt let a poor referee decision cover for Hart's poor tactics.
pompey88
hiya lads just thought i would congratulate you on a draw that should have been a win, that was never a handball! doing well now lads i hope u keep it up, best of luck for the rest of the season!
boros_finest
Really good display from the players and sound tactics from Hart. I would like to see Belhadj and Hermann on the left eventually but, with our resources, I think it's more important to get Nugent playing regularly. Fingers crossed, we stay clear of injuries and can appoint a new manager before the summer as we are going to struggle keep players
Pompeyscum
Nugent did well on the left at times. Not his strongest position. Hart made, in my opinion at least, a few dodgy decisions. At the ground I was cursing the 'attacking' subs on 89 mins, they should've been brought on earlier. Our left hand side was virtually non-existant aswell: switching play to the right is brilliant with Pennant but we can't switch to the left because nobody's there!! With a 5 man midfield, there really ought to be someone there! That said, I think 4-5-1 is utterly wrong, and Hart should play 4-4-2, or if he wants Kranjcar in a free role, get a 4-3-1-2 going. I don't think that we can have a both ATTACKING an DEFENSIVE team out, so it's either or, and personally I think we're better at attacking. I would have the 4-3-1-2 myself, see how it goes. Crouch was useless yesterday, for a 7ft giant he can't head the ball properly!! Can't believe its taken me this long to figure that out lol.
PFCGino
i think paul hart has done good as manager, play up pompey :D
LaurenKranjcar
I think on the back of the last few perfornmances Herman should be skipper!
zav
some of you guys really didn't go/see the match and are naive if you think Hart is the solution
pompey88
 

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