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Pompey 2 - West Brom 2

Fratton

Sat 11-04-09, 3pm

Attendance: 20376

Pompey 2-2 West Brom

Before the game a minutes silence was held in memory of those who died at Hillsborough 20 years ago. This was almost immaculately observed except for a few idiots in the West Brom end.

The game started at a rapid pace at a rainy Fratton Park with both sides showing clever movement and innovative play. The first chance of the game came to makeshift right-back Kaboul, who had a decent left footed effort seen past the post by Scott Carson. West Brom came back well though with, in my opinion, one of their better players, Robert Koren testing James with two fizzing shots.

A touch of controversy entered the match on 20 minutes when a penalty appeal against the West Brom defence was turned down after Mike Dean decided it was more ball-to-hand than hand-to-ball. Again, West Brom decided enough was enough and fought back, although the next chance was courtesy of Mullins and Campbell who got in each others way whilst attempting to clear the ball out of the box. The ball broke to Morrison who unleashed a shot which James dealt with. This riled the home side who turned pressure into a real chance on 25 minutes. Pennant and Kaboul combined well down the right flank and an attempted cross resulted in a corner. Pennant fired into the middle and was the chance was headed away, however, the unmarked Kranjcar took a pot-shot which might have got the slightest of deflections. For all the world the shot looked in, but as Carson looked on, the ball struck the post, bounced out, and was cleared to safety.
The cracks soon started to appear for Pompey and in all honesty, did not go away for the entire match. Mullins was poor and offered little in midfield, with too many casual mistakes. The partnership with Hughes simply did not work. They were much of the same and really didn't combine or offer the required service to Crouch or Kranjcar. Pennant showed much willingness down the right but lacks the quality of crossing which he was loaned for. It's easy to see why Rafa doesn't rate him at times.

However, Pennant was in the mood for a shot or two and had a good effort from outside the box on 28 minutes which only narrowly missed the post. Pompey were pressing and showing their attacking prowess, in particular when a Kaboul cross could have so easily lead to a goal, but a lack of communication or maybe selfishness caused Crouch and Kranjcar to collide, leaving the ball to simply roll away. Nonetheless, the home sides pressure paid off on 33 minutes with a superb individual effort from big Younes Kaboul. The right back decided to have a go himself ignoring possible options in Pennant and Kranjcar and cut inside Paul Robinson, curling the ball into the top corner past the despairing Carson. Cue pandemonium in the stands!

The fans may have wanted to put the brakes on their celebrations though, when just a minute later, West Brom's number 11, Chris Brunt, fired in a swerving shot which was pushed around the post by James. The resulting corner caused mayhem in the box with no one being able to get the ball away successfully. West Brom were pressing and Pompey's poor defending was not helping to maintain their narrow lead. Soon after, both sides were put out of their misery when Mike Dean blew the half time whistle.

Portsmouth had been poor by all accounts with the two opportunities painting over the cracks. Overall, the midfield was too defensive with only Kranjcar able to push on. Nugent, Hughes and co. had been content to hold and clear up any defensive mistakes, of which there were plenty!

The second half started in the worst possible fashion for Pompey fans when a comedy error from the defence resulted in James not picking the ball up, but blasting it straight at Distin and Campbell. James then pulled off a marvellous save but the rebound fell kindly to Greening who blasted in a low shot from a tight angle.

West Brom extended took the lead on 62 minutes when Chris Brunt blasted in a great 25-yard free kick which left James dumbfounded and the away support in raptures. Nevertheless, it wasn't to last long. On 66 minutes Mullins was fouled and awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. In the middle of this, the quiet Nugent was brought off and replaced by Belhadj down the left. Kranjcar stepped up to take the free kick after much deliberation with Belhadj and Hughes. It absolutely shot in, leaving Carson no chance. Anyone who hasn't seen the goal - think a typical David Beckham free kick, and you will get the picture.

Just a few minutes later it could have been so much more for Kranjcar and Portsmouth. A ball was whipped in and Kranjcar just had to keep his volley low and a certain goal would follow. However, from just five yards, he blasted high into the Fratton End. Portsmouth showed their dominance again soon after with a cross sent in from the right which left Crouch with a fairly comfortable header, but he couldn't get it on target, in the end heading high and wide.

Possibly Portsmouth's best chance to win the game came on 84 minutes, when a misplaced goal kick from England reject Carson fell to the feet of Pennant who had the option to shoot from 30 yards into an empty net or square the ball to Kranjcar. Pennant took his shot and should have done far better than sky the ball into the stand.

As the 4th official indicated 4 minutes of time added on, those around me wondered if and when Theo Gekas would make his long awaited debut. Well, it did eventually come, but far too late in my opinion. Pennant was the man to make way on 93 minutes with the Greek star getting a rousing reception. Nothing could be done though with so little time left on the clock and West Brom pressed more but the match ultimately petered out into a draw. A result the away side will be happiest with.

Ratings:
James - 4 Too many mistakes and at fault for the first goal in my opinion.
Kaboul - 8 Fantastic performance, capable as a replacement for Johnson. Great goal.
Campbell - 5 A couple of mistakes. Seemed to lack the motivation today and didn't inspire others.
Distin - 7 Certainly better than earlier in the season. Controlled the defence.
Hreidarsson - 7 Played really well. Controlled the left side and showed real passion.
Nugent - 5 Very quiet. Playing left wing doesn't suit him.
Mullins - 4 Too many mistakes and must be more creative at times.
Hughes - 4 Must learn to pass forwards. Didn't show his usual determination.
Pennant - 6 Probably his best game for us. Improved greatly in the second half. Crosses became better.
Crouch - 5 Ran and ran but got nothing from the midfield. Conceded too many free kicks.
Kranjcar - 8 Great game. Posed a big threat and scored a magnificent goal.


'In it to win it no.2' - Question no.6...
Jermaine Pennant, now of course on loan with Pompey, once scored a hat-trick against with team? His only goals for Arsenal on his full debut no less, I believe.

If I said think 'Pompey's biggest rival' it might give it away, oops...

Do not shout out the answer! Mail it to me by clicking
here.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeygrant01 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 11 2009

Time: 8:11PM

Your Comments

thanks for the report pompeygrant01, nice to have a new face onboard that wanted to do this - think you really should have been reporting on a win tho, not that we did enough to warrant this...
pompeyrug
thanks for the report pompeygrant01, nice to have a new face onboard that wanted to do this - think you really should have been reporting on a win tho, not that we did enough to warrant this...
pompeyrug
Excellent match report Pompeygrant. I am just so gutted. A draw was never going to be enough today. Chix, Gandor and those of you who have been telling me my faith in Hart was misplaced - OK, I give in, I'm over on your side now. Its a rare thing when you leave the ground and everybody you hear says the same thing, and its exactly what you are thinking too. - why are we playing for a draw against West Brom at home. - why wasn't Basinas in midfield for either Hughsie or Muggins, because they both struggled - why make an injury time substitution when you need to go on and win the match, its a time-wasting move - why wasn't Gekas brought on earlier with time to make a difference. I've seen the match interview with Hart and he's happy with the point, as we're 'creeping up' the table. Fortunately some of the other results went our way, and we have crept up the table a bit. Another 2 points dropped today, 2 points we can't afford to lose. And we should never be conceding 2 at home to West Brom! Feel like we lost and feeling quite down about it right now.
tracyc
Excellent match report Pompeygrant. I am just so gutted. A draw was never going to be enough today. Chix, Gandor and those of you who have been telling me my faith in Hart was misplaced - OK, I give in, I'm over on your side now. Its a rare thing when you leave the ground and everybody you hear says the same thing, and its exactly what you are thinking too. - why are we playing for a draw against West Brom at home. - why wasn't Basinas in midfield for either Hughsie or Muggins, because they both struggled - why make an injury time substitution when you need to go on and win the match, its a time-wasting move - why wasn't Gekas brought on earlier with time to make a difference. I've seen the match interview with Hart and he's happy with the point, as we're 'creeping up' the table. Fortunately some of the other results went our way, and we have crept up the table a bit. Another 2 points dropped today, 2 points we can't afford to lose. And we should never be conceding 2 at home to West Brom! Feel like we lost and feeling quite down about it right now.
tracyc
It's fair to say that the drunken burke from WBA making noise at the beginning of the silence was quickly silenced by angry Baggies who were just as irritated as everyone else. Nice to see Belhadj get a run out but I really wanted to see Fanis Gekas get a decent crack at the game. Putting him on at 90+2 was just taking the mick not just out of him but of all of us there. Come on Harty, pull your finger out mate.
hammersmithblue
It's fair to say that the drunken burke from WBA making noise at the beginning of the silence was quickly silenced by angry Baggies who were just as irritated as everyone else. Nice to see Belhadj get a run out but I really wanted to see Fanis Gekas get a decent crack at the game. Putting him on at 90+2 was just taking the mick not just out of him but of all of us there. Come on Harty, pull your finger out mate.
hammersmithblue
Of course the big positive was Krunchie's free kick goal. Cracking! And he did it again against Carson! Yesss!
tracyc
Of course the big positive was Krunchie's free kick goal. Cracking! And he did it again against Carson! Yesss!
tracyc
Excellent report grant. Pennant tired and should have been replaced with 15 minutes, not 15 seconds when we wanted to keep the game flowing. As for Gekas he did nothing ;D
eastneydave
Excellent report grant. Pennant tired and should have been replaced with 15 minutes, not 15 seconds when we wanted to keep the game flowing. As for Gekas he did nothing ;D
eastneydave
There is nothing than playing safe football. For me, Hart does not want to lose any matches. Keep on getting points and we will be safe. That's his mentality, and that is what we need. WBA are not the bad team everybody thinks they are. I would have loved a win, but the only concern is to remain in this division. I am sure that Hart will keep us up. Lads, lets get behind our manager who is playing safe for just one reason - our safety!
Pompey Malta
There is nothing than playing safe football. For me, Hart does not want to lose any matches. Keep on getting points and we will be safe. That's his mentality, and that is what we need. WBA are not the bad team everybody thinks they are. I would have loved a win, but the only concern is to remain in this division. I am sure that Hart will keep us up. Lads, lets get behind our manager who is playing safe for just one reason - our safety!
Pompey Malta
Nice one grant and spot on as well tracy. What on earth is wrong with Hughes, I have defended him many times at work, but his constant passing back began to do my head in today, not only that I can't believe a Premiership player can only use one foot, surely he should practice with his right as well. He should have come off with Belhadj on instead at half time, along with Bassinas replacing Mullins. Thought Krankie was superb today and never gave up and got his just reward by getting that cracking goal, well done! Think the crowd made there opinions known when Gekas came on, the lad should have been on at leat 20 minutes earlier in a 4-4-2 formation. In fairness dave the guy had about 60 seconds of play time on the pitch and I think the only time he touched the ball was when the ref blew up and he picked the ball up. Lets just hope that by bringing him on Hart has paved the way for maybe giving him more of a run out next week against Bolton.
blarmy
Nice one grant and spot on as well tracy. What on earth is wrong with Hughes, I have defended him many times at work, but his constant passing back began to do my head in today, not only that I can't believe a Premiership player can only use one foot, surely he should practice with his right as well. He should have come off with Belhadj on instead at half time, along with Bassinas replacing Mullins. Thought Krankie was superb today and never gave up and got his just reward by getting that cracking goal, well done! Think the crowd made there opinions known when Gekas came on, the lad should have been on at leat 20 minutes earlier in a 4-4-2 formation. In fairness dave the guy had about 60 seconds of play time on the pitch and I think the only time he touched the ball was when the ref blew up and he picked the ball up. Lets just hope that by bringing him on Hart has paved the way for maybe giving him more of a run out next week against Bolton.
blarmy
Very poor, grateful for a point which before the game seemed unthinkable. What the fck is this 451 crap. Crying out for 2 up front & Basinas in the middle. A massive opportunity to get a win which was desperately needed. Our next 5 games will be much harder! The tactics were bollox & asks a lot of questions from those in charge! It needed sorting at ht not in injury time.
storagematt
Very poor, grateful for a point which before the game seemed unthinkable. What the fck is this 451 crap. Crying out for 2 up front & Basinas in the middle. A massive opportunity to get a win which was desperately needed. Our next 5 games will be much harder! The tactics were bollox & asks a lot of questions from those in charge! It needed sorting at ht not in injury time.
storagematt
doesn't Gekas look a bit like Zelda from the terrahawks
harrissman
doesn't Gekas look a bit like Zelda from the terrahawks
harrissman
Come on Tracey things could be worse we are 14th and Bolton next on the menu. Then of course things get harder, but you and I will be celebrating if we finish 17th or higher. Personally I hope it is decided before we play Sunderland, but a trip to Wigan brings on familiar territory when survival is at stake. Hart has only lost one game as Manager and that is a big plus. Back him till the end of the season at least and he would have done a good job if we survive. Fair go.
pompeygray
Come on Tracey things could be worse we are 14th and Bolton next on the menu. Then of course things get harder, but you and I will be celebrating if we finish 17th or higher. Personally I hope it is decided before we play Sunderland, but a trip to Wigan brings on familiar territory when survival is at stake. Hart has only lost one game as Manager and that is a big plus. Back him till the end of the season at least and he would have done a good job if we survive. Fair go.
pompeygray
Certainly will celebrate Pompeygray if that happens. Bolton next? Have you seen MOTD? They came back from 4-0 down at Chelski to lose just 4-3. 3 points against WBA was not a 'nice to have' it was essential for our survival. I've been feeling confident we'll stay up till now - not any more if we carry on like this. But I will always back our manager and our team, lets hope we do pick up a couple more wins. I think Wigan away is going into the diary this season!
tracyc
Certainly will celebrate Pompeygray if that happens. Bolton next? Have you seen MOTD? They came back from 4-0 down at Chelski to lose just 4-3. 3 points against WBA was not a 'nice to have' it was essential for our survival. I've been feeling confident we'll stay up till now - not any more if we carry on like this. But I will always back our manager and our team, lets hope we do pick up a couple more wins. I think Wigan away is going into the diary this season!
tracyc
to all the people who said 6-9 points this month - are you prepared to eat humble pie? i put 3-6 pts and now im not so sure. 2-2 against wba, 2-2 against hull and 2-1 against stoke at home ... all very poor results in my opinion. this is whats upsetting me - why are managers so ruddy stubborn?!?! yes, harts job is to keep us up, but pompey 1) never are boring to watch, 2) always try and win a match ... neither are happening now. at least we could enjoy parts of adams games. football is a sport, its a business but its also ENTERTAINMENT. i dont enjoy watching my team, who have just gone 1-0 up in the first half, to come out and play with such lack of motivation. at 1-1 hart should have replaced nugget for gekas and gone 442. at 2-1 hart should have replaced mullins/hughes with basinas. jeez, how can 20000 people see this and he just sat there. i kept looking over at 70 mins, with every attach wba did i thought 'thats it, NOW he will do a substitution'. why have subs/bench if youre not going to use them?!?!? this, in my eyes was a 'banker' - dare i say that 'he' would have demolished wba today? even i could have done somthing EXCITING today as manager ... i know il go 4-4-2 and give gekas his first start ... give him some ... er ... MOTIVATION/BELIEF etc etc. james was getting peeved off with the back 4 pushing back all the time, herman was getting beat quite a lot, kaboul was often out of position, mullins/hughes barely touched the ball, crouch did his best but was knackered after 65 mins, nugget was 1on1 at least once but can never control the ruddy ball and have a shot! this is not a time to be like 'him' and have your favourites ... play gekas and go 4-4-2, even mccloughlin said so!!!!! draws are NOT enough, and are ruddy boring to watch, be 'entertained' by. only 4 pts ahead of relegation and the teams below us are at least trying to get wins. personally i think we were lucky to even draw today ... great fk from krunchy ... but who thought when we gave them the fk at 1-1 that they would score ... i just felt it was going to happen. take off the pompey tinted glasses ... look at this objectively and say ... do we DESERVE to stay up. personally im on the fence, we have given too many points away, and with the third manager of the season, this STILL hasnt been resolved. you can go back to basics ... but nothing will change until the season is over. so lets just HAVE A GO against bolton, get 3 points then get on with our lives!!! pessimist out
pompey--pessimist
to all the people who said 6-9 points this month - are you prepared to eat humble pie? i put 3-6 pts and now im not so sure. 2-2 against wba, 2-2 against hull and 2-1 against stoke at home ... all very poor results in my opinion. this is whats upsetting me - why are managers so ruddy stubborn?!?! yes, harts job is to keep us up, but pompey 1) never are boring to watch, 2) always try and win a match ... neither are happening now. at least we could enjoy parts of adams games. football is a sport, its a business but its also ENTERTAINMENT. i dont enjoy watching my team, who have just gone 1-0 up in the first half, to come out and play with such lack of motivation. at 1-1 hart should have replaced nugget for gekas and gone 442. at 2-1 hart should have replaced mullins/hughes with basinas. jeez, how can 20000 people see this and he just sat there. i kept looking over at 70 mins, with every attach wba did i thought 'thats it, NOW he will do a substitution'. why have subs/bench if youre not going to use them?!?!? this, in my eyes was a 'banker' - dare i say that 'he' would have demolished wba today? even i could have done somthing EXCITING today as manager ... i know il go 4-4-2 and give gekas his first start ... give him some ... er ... MOTIVATION/BELIEF etc etc. james was getting peeved off with the back 4 pushing back all the time, herman was getting beat quite a lot, kaboul was often out of position, mullins/hughes barely touched the ball, crouch did his best but was knackered after 65 mins, nugget was 1on1 at least once but can never control the ruddy ball and have a shot! this is not a time to be like 'him' and have your favourites ... play gekas and go 4-4-2, even mccloughlin said so!!!!! draws are NOT enough, and are ruddy boring to watch, be 'entertained' by. only 4 pts ahead of relegation and the teams below us are at least trying to get wins. personally i think we were lucky to even draw today ... great fk from krunchy ... but who thought when we gave them the fk at 1-1 that they would score ... i just felt it was going to happen. take off the pompey tinted glasses ... look at this objectively and say ... do we DESERVE to stay up. personally im on the fence, we have given too many points away, and with the third manager of the season, this STILL hasnt been resolved. you can go back to basics ... but nothing will change until the season is over. so lets just HAVE A GO against bolton, get 3 points then get on with our lives!!! pessimist out
pompey--pessimist
Proper gutted with this result, ok we are harder to beat now, but we have forgotten how to win as well! Pompey are really limping over the finish line for safety, the future isn't looking to bright right now and the club needs a lift, I know everyone can point to the sales of Diarra, Muntari and Mendes, but I feel the player we miss the most got into double figures for Bolton yesterday.
paultsmouth
Proper gutted with this result, ok we are harder to beat now, but we have forgotten how to win as well! Pompey are really limping over the finish line for safety, the future isn't looking to bright right now and the club needs a lift, I know everyone can point to the sales of Diarra, Muntari and Mendes, but I feel the player we miss the most got into double figures for Bolton yesterday.
paultsmouth
Funny thing is Paul, I feel we miss Mendes terribly, we let him go FAR too cheap, but...he wouldn't fit into Harts plans right now anyway, being as he actuallt has the vision to play a forward pass!
pompey4me
Funny thing is Paul, I feel we miss Mendes terribly, we let him go FAR too cheap, but...he wouldn't fit into Harts plans right now anyway, being as he actuallt has the vision to play a forward pass!
pompey4me
Was a good game, Kranky to the rescue. I think if we had sold him to Real Madrid, Arsenal or whoever in Jan, then we would have been screwed by now. Out of interest, where has Armand Traore been lately? Play Up Pompey! We will escape the dreaded drop again! Blue Army!
.Andrew.
Was a good game, Kranky to the rescue. I think if we had sold him to Real Madrid, Arsenal or whoever in Jan, then we would have been screwed by now. Out of interest, where has Armand Traore been lately? Play Up Pompey! We will escape the dreaded drop again! Blue Army!
.Andrew.
2.5m (plus Clauses) for Mendes was an insult. He's an absolute beast of a player, and is showing that at Rangers! Should have sold Utaka instead of Mendes.
.Andrew.
2.5m (plus Clauses) for Mendes was an insult. He's an absolute beast of a player, and is showing that at Rangers! Should have sold Utaka instead of Mendes.
.Andrew.
Andrew...it was a good game??? Not so sure there matey.
pompey4me
Andrew...it was a good game??? Not so sure there matey.
pompey4me
Well, apart from the silly errors from a couple of our players, i think it was a good game to watch. I mean it was better to get the 1 point, instead of finishing with 0 points. Kranky's freekick was the icing on the cake. Should have been a win against WBA, but hey, beggars can't be choosers etc...
.Andrew.
Well, apart from the silly errors from a couple of our players, i think it was a good game to watch. I mean it was better to get the 1 point, instead of finishing with 0 points. Kranky's freekick was the icing on the cake. Should have been a win against WBA, but hey, beggars can't be choosers etc...
.Andrew.
We shouldn't be beggars, though, we are packed with international players. We have the pedigree to be choosers. We need the manager to be a chooser too, not a loser.
hammersmithblue
We shouldn't be beggars, though, we are packed with international players. We have the pedigree to be choosers. We need the manager to be a chooser too, not a loser.
hammersmithblue
if you were to look closely enough you 'might' find question no.7 here...
pompeyrug
if you were to look closely enough you 'might' find question no.7 here...
pompeyrug
 

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