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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Pompey 2 - Sunderland 1

Fratton

23/1/10

Attendance:

Pompey find a pulse

Pompey overcame the resistance from the North East to march on towards the fifth round, our club is supposedly terminal with the life support machine flickering, but the team found the energy and drive to at least give all the waiting patients a glimmer of a miracle cure.

The march to Fratton had a few more present this time, the week's events had done little to convince fans that this was to be 'a week to remember'.

Pompey's team was not as decimated as we were lead to beleive, no James of course, but Begovic was fit, Kaboul was there, as were 'Celtic bound' Wilson and Utaka, Boateng had shaken off his calf injury and also made the 11.

Brown lasted only 5 minutes and had to depart with what looked like a dead leg, Basinas replaced him to at least give Pompey a more composed look in the centre.
The air of gloom and despondency had obviously got to the players, as Sunderland broke the status quo after only 15 minutes, iot was a simple goal that would have had the coaching staff cursing, a throw was flicked on and landed on the foot of dangerman Bent, he volleyed home and Pompey were up against it once more.

The half slipped into a series of misplaced passes, both teams as bad as each other, if Pompey have problems on the pitch, Sunderland were doing their damndest to match them.
Pompey had a shout for a spot-kick on 35, Da Silva appearing to handball from Boateng, but the ref was having none of it.
As the half ticked by, Sunderland had not being seriously threatened, but Pompey were about to be lifted by a man who was much maligned by most, both for recent effort and his supposed wages, Marc Wilson floated a long one in, and Utaka got in front of Bardsley and flicked past an out of position Gordon, the ball barely bobbled over the line, but the Otter had scored!
Basinas almost found Utaka again, but this time he was denied.

Half-time arrived and the mood had lifted, Pompey were competing and this in turn transpired to the fans who were appreciating the team trying to prove the critics wrong.

Utaka was a man on a mission, he killed a pass from Basinas and a flash of quick feet saw him strike at goal, Gordon doing well to turn his effort away.
Pompey had their backs up and Utaka was on hand to score once more, his goal was reminiscent of when he first arrived at the club, he outpaced the Sunderland defence before slotting past Gordon, if he is to leave shortly, he has found his form at the wrong time!!
Pompey were dominating preceedings now, Gordon was a busy man, saving from Piquionne and Boateng as Pompey pressed for a killer third, Basinas was the man in the middle acting puppetmaster.

Sunderland finally decided to press for an equaliser with the minutes ticking away, Begovic showing his class by tipping over Bent's powerful strike.
With a minute to go, Sunderland thought they had equalised, Boateng hacking off the line, the Cats thought it was over, but the ref was on Pompey's side and it was clearly a difficult call.

The whistle went and we were through once more, points in the league are obviously priority, but the cup is a welcome distraction whatever the cynics may say, and Poimpey have a love for it.

Star Player

Utaka is the man in form once more, before today he was looking more lively and his reward was found in his goals, if he stays he will be an asset towards the run in with this form.




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 24 2010

Time: 11:03AM

Your Comments

Tracy, Penton and all of the other Doubters. How does Utaka's humble pie taste????? I have been saying this for months! Put him in his correct position, give him games and he will perform. We are not out of the hole yet, but what a start. I am so pleased for John, please keep up the hard work John and may the goals keep coming! And a word for the much sidelined Angelos Basinas. Wow. Imagine what he can do with more games under his belt! Keep doubting you guys, you are making me look like a Footballing Almanac! Oh and yes, I started the poll for Utaka and was saying this months ago.
veccccio
utaka and basinas should start every game
ruffcider
Well said Ruffcider!
veccccio
veccccio, as the saying goes 'one swallow does not make a summer' - i DO NOT think that anyone has ever doubted his ability, we know that he has this but his inability to apply this ability is what frustrates so many, and playing as a striker or not he SHOULD be able to apply himself...i will not jump into the 'john utaka fan club' just yet, lets see if he can do this consistently over half a dozen games or so, then we can see some justification on this - then again will he even be here for that long, is this shop window exercise going to work? i HOPE that utaka keeps this up 'if' he stays, but like i say i am not getting too carried away by this just yet as the guy has let me down too many times over the years to get carried away just yet...
as for basinas, to be fair i do not think you will find many disagreeing with you on the whole with him so feel you are being unfair to say that we are 'doubting him' a recent poll proved totally opposite to that!

delighted to see us play some football again, coventry away seems ages ago now! bring on whoever in round 5, wherever and whenever it is i will be there!
pompeyrug
oh yeah and only if utaka is upfront, its been proved time and time again he is a not a wing man but a striker, and bas is better than all others in the middle, lets hope its not too late.
ruffcider
Even Leeds had a team too good.
Lysimachus
The doubters said no sell him, dont play him. This was months ago. I have rated Utaka since before he came here. His pace is terrifying. But, stupid Adams and Hart only used him on the wing. May as well put Jamo up front. Pointless. Utaka has frustrated at times but he will pay back if given the chance.
veccccio
Vecccio; I will praise Utaka, as and when he can be bothered to earn his extortionate wages. No doubt about it, he earn't them yesterday but that does not excuse the months and months of non-commitment! As far as basinas goes, i've never understood why he doesnt get more game time. Our management team must see more than us?! Vecccio; we had a guy on here not long back who rammed Krancjar down our throats, mainly to deaf ears, i'm afraid you do the same with Utaka. Utaka like Krunchie has talent, it's how the players deliver that that counts to us; and these two represent an extravagance to 90% on here. I'll willingly admit i'm wrong at the end of the season when he's helped keep us up. Until then i'll reserve judgement...Lysimachus; dead right mate! did anyone else on here think Leeds played some quite exquisite football yesterday? I'm bloody glad it wasn't us they were playing!
pentonpompey
Thanks Penton. Fair enough!
veccccio
Certainly pleased to see us win & for my daughter to witness her first Pompey win at the 4th attempt. I think Basinas coming in was the difference. Yes Utaka took his chances & Kaboul was outstanding. If we can win our battle of the pitch we have some hope of winning it on it.
storagematt
Been calling for the got no legs but got a cool head Basinas for a while. As for Utaka it's got nothing to do with ability the issue is application and I think for once the ACoN effect is benefitting us. being left out the Nigeria team and some harsh words from their national manager has had a desirable effect. let's see how he performs for a couple of games and let's hope Grant plays the same formation that injuries have forced on him. Nothing wrong with route one occaisionslly an occaision being when your in the relegation zone.
russellm
hope this puts him in the shop window and someone comes in and signs him ... then we can buy someone else... benni mcathey before hammers nick him..
pompeyhussler
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=730567&sec=transfers&cc=5739
pompeyhussler
yeah i saw that hussler, and we get rid of nugent!!
ruffcider
Utaka playing off Piquionne could be very key to any kind of survival hopes. He's like a new signing for us.
stillthewhizz
Pessimism replaced by Penton-ism...
Lysimachus
Veccio I never said Utaka didn't have the talent, that was obvious on the rare occasions he showed it, like against Bolton that time. But time after time he had not shown it. I'm glad that he is doing so now, and will agree that it helps that he's playing in his correct position now. I hope he keeps it up. But, in the current situation of the club, we can't afford to keep him, not on the wages he's reported to be on.
tracyc
Have to say, I really enjoyed this match, the atmosphere was great and the team delivered the win. Its great to see a few of the players stepping up to the mark, including Utaka, and also Basinas now that he's been given a chance. And now we've seen who we've got next round, I've really got cup fever!
tracyc
tracy .. Having seen the draw I think your cup fever may just have intensified .. Agree with enjoying the match too..
Chix
As probably the only other Utaka supporter on Vital Pompey I have to say that I was happy to see his re-awakening at the weekend. As Russell said above and I pointed out a week or so ago, being left out of the ACoN must have hit him hard and may just be the wake up call that was needed. he has had a poor last year, and confidence was probably shot to pieces being played only occassionally and out of position. Let's hope he can turn it on again against the Hammers tomorrow.
sneakay
those were some VERY nicely taken goals... are you lot SERIOUSLY arguing about who was and wasn't right? I'm happy to admit Brown is a damn sight better than the criticism I was giving him. For myself, quietly I always hoped we'd give Utaka a run up front - personally I've always thought it was Harry's pride at thinking he could turn him into a winger that prevented him playing there... right now aftrer those two goals - who else in the club can finish better
jim4pompey
Jim; There is no one else at the club who can finish...FULL STOP.
pentonpompey
Gordon Brown has warned clubs Pompey, Man Yoo and Scouse against going into debt and generally making things *****tier for the permanent party of the club (ie. us). Well, Mr. Brown would know all about sinking into massive debt and generally making things *****tier for the permanent population of a nation (ie. us).
Lysimachus
 

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