Vital Football

Pompey eek out a draw

1 - 1
West ham





Pompey shared the spoils with West ham tonight, but it was another chance to drag ourselves nearer our rivals gone once more, with 3 very tough away games to follow, you really felt Pompey would of gone for broke, but another wingless line up designed to suffocate the other team was ultimately our own undoing.

Steve Finnan returned to right back in front of the more attack minded Vanden Borre, while Basinas took his place in midfield with Mokoena, Mullins and Boateng, Matt Ritchie finding his way onto the bench.

The match got under way and immeadiately settled into a scrappy affair, neither team grabbed the game by the scruff and possesion frequently changed, Hreidarsson almost squared for Piquionne on 15 minutes, but the Frenchman lacked a couple of vital inches to his right leg to convert.
After 20 minutes came a frenetic burst of action, first Begovic showed why we are prepared to let James go, Nouble burst clean through and our Canadian/Serb spread himself to save, the ball broke to Diamanti but Asmir was back on his feet and diving full stretch to save once more, quality keeping. Not to be outdone however was Green, he had to go full length to save from Mokoena of all people!
As the tables turned back up the other end, Begovic outdid anything that had passed so far, Collison played a one-two and curled for the corner, out came a Canadian oak of an arm and saved once more, truly outstanding once more.
The pendulum swung once more and Boateng hooked a half cleared ball back over Green, but Noble was on hand to clear off the line.
After 5 minutes of blood and thunder, a curtain of mediocrity fell down once more, Pompey looked very narrow and any long balls pumped over the top were being easilt dealt with, Utaka was a shadow of the man who tormented Sunderland at the weekend, but this in turn was a result of poor distribution from the deep.

After half-time we expected Grant to have delivered a sermon, but the same line up appeared and with it the same formation which was narrower than Specks lane 10 minutes before kick off.
West ham took the lead in curious fashion almost immeadiately, a corner hit a cluster of players, but it appeared to just bundle off of Upson and into a gaping net, poor defending but ultimately a direct response to Pompey's lack of ambition.
On the hour Pompey should of been level, Basinas swung in a corner and Wilson headed over from about 4 yards, a golden chance for his first notch for the club.
Grant obviously awoke to Pompey's lack of an outlet, Vanden Borre replace Mullins and it almost led to an equaliser, Utaka got wide and his pass found itself at the feet of Boateng, with no-one challenging he snatched his shot and scuffed wide, Green really should of been beaten.
With quarter of an hour to go, Webber came on with Cole for the Hammers, but is was the Pompey man who shone, equalising just 2 minutes later, Utaka finding his new partner and he finished between Green's legs (oo-er!)
Webber almost repeated the dose minutes later, Utaka crossed again and his flick flashed over.
Both teams pressed for a winner, but neither had the quality, Utaka exploding to life in the final seconds to skip past a couple of bodies and flash in a drive that Green held comfortably.

1-1 and all over, another chance gone, but playing it safe at home is surely not the way to claw ourselves up off the bottom, especially against the teams around us.

Star Player

Begovic wins this hands down, he pulled off about 4 quality saves and it took a bit of a freak goal to beat him.

Manager Rating

Grant got it wrong on the day, I don't want to join on Macca from the Quay's bandwagon, but even my 12 year old son said after 15 minutes that Pompey were too narrow!

Date:Tuesday January 26 2010
Time: 11:06PM


Reading back over my report the game sounds quite entertaining, sorry for misleading we were awful for long periods!
26/01/2010 23:09:00
you guys REALLY need to win your game in hand now to stay in touch
26/01/2010 23:17:00
Begovic was amazing today!So sad that he can few times made crazy saves,but lost so idiotic goal.But i think it mostly Wilson fall and next time will be better that Ben Haim play on his possion. BTW It's my 1 message on this site :)
Stanley (Moscow)
26/01/2010 23:20:00
Not the best game ive ever seen but atleast we didnt lose to one of our biggest relegation rivals.
26/01/2010 23:42:00
hey stanley and welcome. re their goal it came off kabouls head then happened to hit upson's chest without him knowing anything about it, really unlucky and i'd say undeserved, we were the better team tonight, not by much but by enough. and actually Paul i thought it was a pretty entertaining game but i could have had my ultra blue specs on again XD
26/01/2010 23:45:00
oh and as for grant, i can't say i'd have done much different with the bunch he had to choose from but yea i'd have start vanden borre on the right, cause once he came on we looked a completely different side.
26/01/2010 23:47:00
Don't think it's a disaster - More of a must-not-lose at this stage than a must-win after all. Gained abit of ground of the pack and maintained our unbeaten run, which is four games now. Little things like that can be a big confidence boost, particularly as we've come from behind in all of them. If we go down a goal now, the players will know they have enough to turn things around.
27/01/2010 00:46:00
hi stanley - I completly agree. when ben haim is back in the squad, along with yebda and (hopefully!) o'hara (and maybe a few others), we will have a significantly better team. for now, it's just damage limitation. a defeat would have been unthinkable!
27/01/2010 00:50:00
Any point will do. We'll probably go down but we'll go down fighting (not literally I hope)
27/01/2010 00:54:00
Not good enough .. West Ham were there for the taking and we didn't do enough.. Far too narrow .. some big players went missing for long periods and got frustrated too often (KPB & FP) .. Utaka should have scored, Wilson should have scored, KVB should have scored, Herman should have scored.. Agree with comments re Begovic and that AVB should have started.. This was a game we all had down for a win.. West Ham, Sunderland, Hull, Stoke at home etc... a missed opportunity I affraid.. home draws will not keep us up
27/01/2010 07:22:00
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