Portsmouth - Pompey cut off Bulls
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Pompey 4 - Hereford 1




Pompey cut off Bulls

Just returned from Fratton, sat in the blowy North stand for this one, and Pompey finally got their season up and running, ableit against a poor Hereford side who came to contain.
Pompey fielded a decent enough side, Ward stepped in for the 'injured' Distin, Borre returned to right-back and Basinas slotted into the centre with Hughes. Begovic deputised for the genuinely injured James.

It was apparent the game would be almost one way traffic as soon as the teams lined up, Hereford choosing 4-4-2, two banks of 4 and 2 midfield/attackers.
Pompey however were finding the kind of space you don't get at Arsenal, they pinged it around well at times, often over elaborating when it was not needed.
Adam Bartlett was certainly a busy man in the Hereford goal and he performed well at times, pulling off one great double save.
Piquionne was enjoying himself, he hit the post with one effort from an outrageous angle and then slotted home with time and ease from Kranjcar's pass.
Almost immeadiately it was 2, this time Piq crossed from the left for Utaka to slot home, Pompey were coasting.
Niko Kranjcar was next to fill his boots, jinking in from the left he fired home when Bartlett looked to have really saved his well struck shot, but his hand was not strong enough.
Second half and Utaka came off for Nugent who was eager to impress, so eager in fact that he didn't.
Now, a Richard Hughes goal is as rare as a Pompey takeover, but he smashed in a beauty tonight to cap what was until then a below par game, he should of rounded off a good move first half but stuck out his left peg when the ball was on his right.
It was game over really, Pompey played possesion football without really threatening again, and it was up to referee D'Urso to show why he officiates more lower league games than Premiership these days, Begovic who looked solid came out and performed a textbook slide tackle, but good old Andy pointed to the spot to the amazement of everybody in the crowd and Plummer fired home the freebie.
Pompey seemed irked by the decision and lost their way a bit adding no further goals when they really looked capable.

Star Player

Joel Ward stepped into the defensive breech well, he is not a silky defender in the Distin mould, but more a defensive warhorse who will do the simple stuff, really showed up well.

Player Ratings


Solid, sawn off by D'Urso though

Vanden Borre

Better second half after poor first, was bailed out by good Begovic save after very poor defensive header in the first 45


Should feature more regularly soon


Solid, may well be the senior man at the back soon


Got forward well, his pace certainly bales him out sometimes.


Loves a tackle and tries to drive the side on.


His passing was all over the place early on, great goal, but is so left footed he should be called Daniel Day Lewis


Didn't pass Hereford to death as we hoped, but did ok.


More up for it than of late, but tended to go for too many Hollywood passes.


Eager runner and good goal


Will be pleased with goal and didn't shirk on the night.


Could of scored, should of scored, looks really low in confidence.


Lit up the game with one run

Gautier Mahoto

Young Frenchman tried to get stuck in and show what he can do.

The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 25 2009

Time: 11:21PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Not too easy to judge anything apart from Piq is still not quite up to prem fitness but looks promising. nugent looks low on confidence, Borre looks low on quality so far. But a win is a win and you can only beat what's in front of you and the 50 odd spectators who like me bothered to turn up. Who would want to take over a club with that lack of support I asked my self
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25/08/2009 23:35:00

Great boost for this Sunday. I ma very pleased to hear that Ward had a good game, we might be needing him very much! Is Distin really injured, or is it another Defoe good-bye??
Pompey Malta
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25/08/2009 23:35:00

i wouldnt mind ward playing ok he hasnt got the experience but he sounds a good prospect. or maybe a late bid for mensah would do the trick ?? anyway good win and good to see the morale go up
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25/08/2009 23:41:00

Crowd was 6645 so I am told. But goals will be good for confidence and the 'kids' did well too.
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25/08/2009 23:44:00

crowd was very poor. Van den borre was about the quality you'd expect from an average championship defender. Although he showed more willingness to get forward as the game progessed.
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25/08/2009 23:50:00

I would liked to have gone, but getting there from where i live isn't the easiest of tasks. Now, i hope we can go into the Citeh game, off the back of this one, and actually put up a fight, and go for a draw or a win.
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25/08/2009 23:52:00

the defence was untroubled though - the referee was poor throughot (not just against us - there were a lot of late decisions, seemingly based on crowd or player reactions, and he was also inconsistent with some of the laws. at one stage, he had them retake a freekick twice for no relevant reasons - but let a lot else go by. Oh, and he gave them a penalty that only prooved that EVERYTHING is going against us. even when things are seemingly going well. (put simply, it wasn't even close to being a foul!)
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25/08/2009 23:54:00

the midfield was shocking! Hughes scorred, but that was completly out of character, and shouldn't cover over the fact that he didn't pass the ball forwards once. (actually, he did skin a couple of players twice. but then gave the ball away). mokoena and basinas were the same. no creativity, and only passed the ball sideways. Mahoto though showed some nice touches. he might have had a few nerves when through on goal (though nugent did worse in a similar position), and he could actually controll the ball without it bouncing off him! he definatly has potential, but probably needs a bit more confidence (he gave an air of not wanting to do anything wrong).
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25/08/2009 23:59:00

Kranjcar played in a bit of a free role. He didn't really do much there - he didn't set much up, and although he got around the pitch quite nicley, he did nothing special. his goal should have been saved.
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Utaka and piq both played well, and were by far the biggest threat we posed. no-one even came close. the looked like they might strike off a decent partnership up front, as both are lightning quick, and have a good first touch (well, piqs is better)
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26/08/2009 00:02:00

kanu showed some stunning touches, that were almost hilarious. he just teased the hereford players, and walked right past them. Nugent though was dissopoint. when through on goal, he stopped, let the defneders catch up, then cut back, and passed to someone in a worse position (who promptly lose posession).
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26/08/2009 00:03:00

that's about it really. the 4-1 score line flatered us - 2-0 or 1-0 would have been more apropriate, as they certaininly didn;t deserver there goal, but we created very very little. Oh, and did I mention? the attendance was shameful.
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26/08/2009 00:06:00

Begovic was good. D'Urso rubbish as usual. I'm worried about Vanden Borre, he seems to be fairly rubbish - hope I'm wrong. Ward good, Kaboul good. Basinas was ordinary and I can see, now, why hart won't play him more. Piq was good but was VERY frustrated at the lack of balls down the channels. He constantly pulled up throwing his arms about and shaking his head at the lack of vision and ability in the Pompey midfield. He left the field being subbed but . . . . . Even Crunchy refused to try through balls down the left channel - why? it would have provided a more realistic scoreline had he done so. Utaka wasn't useless so that's a bonus. Mokeanna was pretty good, i thought and I loved Kanu's show-boating. Well done Pompey. Hart, ring Stoke tomorrow morning.
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26/08/2009 00:29:00

Sorry, PompeyCarpet but 8-1 wouldn't have flattered us - were we at the same match?.
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26/08/2009 08:02:00

no idea... :-). I thought we genuinly created very little, aside from a short spell in the first half. UNLESS of course, something happened in the first 5-10 minutes in which we should have scored 6 goals. (I had a ticket problem, along with several other people, so they wouldn't let me in!)
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26/08/2009 10:40:00

I did think hereford were awful though, and there goal definalty flattered them. But the only half chances we seemed to get, we scorred, and I don't think we created much else. i might watch the highlights... but I wasn't that impressed.
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26/08/2009 10:41:00

joel ward was absolutely superb! the tackle on the line by the fratton end was similar to distins at old trafford, good riddance distin, welcome joel
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26/08/2009 11:25:00

I'm with Et_tu 8-1 wouldn't have flattered us, you can only beat the team thats out there but Pompey did a thoroughly professional job and with only slightly better finishing the score could've hit double figures. Hughes should've had a hatrick alone. There were promising signs from a number of players and for me Kranjcar should be played in the free role more often, he's far more involved with the game that way.
Steve C
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26/08/2009 13:04:00

pompeyhaz - that was incredible! i have no-idea how he got back, when two hereofrd players were closer to the ball than he was! Steve - yes, you can only beat the team in front of you. but we still didn't create much, and our midfield only passed it sideways!
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26/08/2009 17:07:00

Let's hope Van den Borre just needs time to adjust to the English game, and isn't just totally carp. Getting more and more frustrated with Nugent. Nice to hear how promising Joel Ward is, I understand he's a local boy?
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26/08/2009 17:41:00

Ward is Pompey born and Bred, not many of those eh?
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26/08/2009 21:58:00


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