Date:Saturday April 4 2009
Paul Hart's mission was obviously not to lose, we achieved that, but with a bit more ambition it could have been so much more.
The only change from the Everton match was Hughes in for the injured Sean Davis, Kaboul stayed on the right, with Johnson in front of him once more, all this with the fit Pennant left to sit on the bench.
Paul Hart is obviously a stickler for staying with a winning team, he likes to name the same 11 every week, but Hughes in for Davis smacked of a negative attitude.
Both teams played tentively, neither really bombing forward in fear of over exposing fragile defences, trouble is when both teams look to counter-attack the onus is one of them to start an attack first!
Pompey had the best chances in the first half if not the greater share of possesion, Crouch headed tamely at Duke when he looked likely to score, and Kaboul missed the chance of the half when he headed over after Crouch flicked on.
Hull had their chances also, but James was never really threatened in the goal, Geovanni fliring wide from distance, and Manucho over the bar.
Second half and the stalemate continued, Crouch showing his frustration by hoofing the ball away after his touch let him down, Chris Foy then made him the second Pompey to go in his book.
Hayden Mullins gave Hull their best chance of the game, his back header lacked weight and Fagan seized on the ball, but James stayed big and made a great block to deny him.
Kranjcar who was having a below par game had the next effort, but scuffed wide when well placed, Belhadj replacing him soon after.
And then came the talking point of the match, Johnson who had been walking the high wire since the 23rd minute, fell from grace without a safety net when Foy deemed him guilty enough in a clash with Marney to flash him the red card, it seemed harsh but was probably just part of an accumulation of minor offences that got him the bums rush.
So Pompey were back in their usual position of defending for their lives for 10 minutes, 9 men went behind the ball, but Hull never seriously threatened, James claimed a couple of crosses well, and Pompey tried to keep ball with Kanu up front, and keep ball they did, with 4 minutes injury time closing to the last 30 seconds and Pompey had a free-kick deep in the Hull half, Belhadj sent one over and Hermann connected as he so often does with Duke a spectator, the ball crashed into the post however and it was one point apiece, the match was dull perhaps, but it had its flash points and both teams were probably grateful in another point as they both make real hard work of clawing away from the drop zone.
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Date:Saturday April 4 2009
|16. Bristol Rovers||35||10||12||13||-2||42|
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