Portsmouth - Friend Or Foe
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Pompey 1 - Sunderland 1




Friend Or Foe

Pompey played out one of the most eventful matches I have witnessed for a good few years, the ref took centre stage, waving around cards left , right and centre and making penalty decisions every couple of minutes.

Pompey fell behind after 10 minutes, Bent broke clear and went down under the gentlest of touches from Rocha John Rocha, the penalty may have been so, but from where I was sat Bent was offside as he broke, trouble is the linesman had his head up his arse on the halfway line, to emphasise how badly placed Lino and Ref were, Yebda was originally shown the red, Rocha having to own up to save the raging Algerian. Bent smacked the penalty home and Pompey were a man down, could any one moment capture Pompey's year more perfectly? I will now make a profound statement, I reckon Rocha's sending off could be a galvanising moment in Pompey's season, from then on in every player seemed to put in that little bit extra, Dindane was waspish, O'Hara was, well O'Hara, Basinas threaded and prompted, our defence creaked and groaned as usual, headers were missed but Pompey's 10 men still pushed for an equaliser and looked the more likely.

Dindane had a good chance around the 25 minute mark, Piquionne found him with a header, but his shot was saved by Gordons legs when he really should of buried it.
O'Hara almost found the net with a blast from wide on the right, and then Pompey had a penalty shout of their own, Dindane moved the ball from right foot to left and then tumbled over, hard to see from the lower South stand but the Fratton end was convinced.

As the teams trudged off for half-time, Avram Grant endeared himself to all Pompey fans by storming onto the pitch to confront a beleagured ref, his fury was evident, he got a red card himself for his troubles, all down in the stand out of the fans view of course.

Second half and parity in numbers was restored, Cattermole followed a yellow for tripping Dindane by cutting Basinas in half on the edge of the box, all to play for.
Pompey, O'Hara in fact scuffed his shot onto the wall, as much as I love the bloke does he ever look threatening when shooting for goal from dead balls?
On the hour the man in black made another call aginst Pompey by waving away Piquionne's pleas after he appeared to be dragged down, Friend was definitely not acting hospitable to his hosts.
Just after the hour James reinstated himself in Pompey fans good books, Bent broke clear once more but this time Jamo got down and saved when Bent should of doubled his tally. Kilgallon smashed the resulting corner against a post with a great strike and Pompey exhaled.

Piquionne scuffed a header wide from six yards and we looked destined to another unlucky defeat, but Meyler who had been on for what seemed like seconds got himself red carded without touching the ball, what for I could not see.
Belhadj who had come on for compatriot Yebda was firing in quality crosses from the left with no-one connecting and the board went up for 6 minutes bonus time.
Pompey had a flurry of corners and much goal mouth scrambling and then with barely a minute remaining came what maybe this seasons Mendes moment..
O'Hara swung in the deepest of deep crosses and in smuggled Dindane to head home from a tight angle, my larynx finally departed my mouth and Pompey were level, richly deserved but still maybe not enough in the long run.

Star Player

I was going to go with Dindane before he had scored, he ran his heart out down the channels, but the goal clinched over O'Hara who again displayed a passion for his adopted club that a few contracted players would do well to replicate.

Manager Rating

Passion from the man with the poker face, just what we need.

Opponent Rating

I'm all for fair play, but when I see Bruce screaming for Reid to pretend to be injured and Gordon to throw the ball out so he can substitute him, should we really return the ball?

The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 9 2010

Time: 11:05PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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O'Hara was outstanding, easily the best man in a blue shirt. The defending is comical and I hope we don't have that lot next season be it in the Premiership or the Championship. Avram was one of us tonight and I hope he stays with us whatever the outcome, a Pompey legend.
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09/02/2010 23:13:00

Ohara by far the best player for pompey, belhadj best impact player!
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09/02/2010 23:18:00

the one fault that i would have for grant/the coaching staff tonight - not making the changes, at least belhadj's change 10-15 minutes earlier...
all in all tho, whilst admitedly the quality was lacking - not being unkind, to be fair it has all season - but the spirit and fight WAS NOT! its not over until the fat lady sings, she might be clearing her throat and preparing the first notes but WHEN we get through tomorrow's hearing the fight goes on!
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09/02/2010 23:19:00

We may not have the quality, but the boys almost ran themselves to a standstill. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, just wish we could have won.
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09/02/2010 23:29:00

F**king right!!!!, come on, we r not going down and out until it is final!!! Tonight's match has made me furious in so many ways but I can't give in until we r officially dead and buried. Keep the faith and Pompey will still live! PUP!!!
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09/02/2010 23:30:00

Avram's rant was brilliant .. It was what every Pompey fan wanted to do .. Agree with rug about the timing of the subs.. we should have pushed forward a good ten minutes earlier .. What did we have to lose ... The ref was a joke .. a serious joke and I hope the TV exposes how bad a game he had .. . still we pick ourselves up and dust our selves down and go again .. PTID
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09/02/2010 23:47:00

oh.. As well as O'Hara and Dindane.. I thought Basinas was worthy of a mention too ...
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09/02/2010 23:48:00

I was at the Mendes moment and we won, we couldn't manage a win this time, and I think it is now too many home points dropped against too many low quality teams, even if the Pompey quality was bad- and it was- you can't fault that fighting spirit
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09/02/2010 23:52:00

Have to give it to Dindane. Yes Jamie was great but this is the effort I was looking from Dindane, so he gets it from me. Can't fault the players just lacking that bit of quality. Ref had some hard calls to make. Tv makes them much easier.
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09/02/2010 23:58:00

And at the other end Wilson seemed to be everywhere. PUP
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10/02/2010 00:10:00

i really dont like papa much, but tonight he worked hard, Freddy is not as good as kanu and i wuold play dindane and kanu up top
plymouth graham
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10/02/2010 00:15:00

Dindane & O'Hara were both Fantastic! Sept the Wigan game, that probs was Dindane best game for the club.
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10/02/2010 00:30:00

What a game! Meyler got sent off for an elbow in the face of Finnan.
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10/02/2010 00:46:00

Just watched it on sky, we left it too late to make the necessary changes again. Valiant maybe but still 2 points lost
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10/02/2010 00:48:00

Have a read of the ratings in the Bun, Dindane gets 5, as did Reid for them who i thought was their best player!
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10/02/2010 07:26:00

See Paultsmouth, that's your first mistake, you read the sun...
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10/02/2010 09:24:00

Good result, but you should have beaten them, definitely! Looks like Pompey might be on the up after all :)
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10/02/2010 11:35:00

Looks like either Granty and Steve Bruce were not safe to be left alone with the ref
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10/02/2010 12:21:00

Wonder what Rocha is like? Will we ever see him long enough to find out?
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10/02/2010 12:22:00

Blimee - Yebda has got a paddy on him. Jamo couldn't get him to calm down!
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10/02/2010 13:28:00

At the risk of sounding controversial, I thought the ref had an ok game. Trying to send off the wrong guy was not something I was aware of at the time and 99% of the other decisions I thought were correct.
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10/02/2010 16:24:00

I loved Avram for going and challenging the ref, who had an absolute shocker in the first half! Avram's saying all the right things, and seems to be really on the fans side, so even if there are a few decisions and tactics that could be better I'm glad he's here and hope he stays. What an eventful match it was. And at the end, the way all the players got together in a huddle, then came away applauding the fans, a couple of them chucked their shirts into the crowd. I thought they must know it was going to be all over, but we've scraped through the court hearing - for now! The team's fighting spirit and Avrams attitude are both starting to bode well for Saturday.
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10/02/2010 19:07:00

It seems that being bottom of the table makes the refs think that you are constantly at fault and decisions therefore go against us
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10/02/2010 22:18:00

That was one of the best finishes i've seen in a PL game for ages - well done and good luck Pompey.
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11/02/2010 06:32:00


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