Fratton bades farewell to premier league
Well that's that then, as far as home fixtures go that was the last one in the premiership for a while, a year at least, probably more.
Wolves were the opponents, and as their fans revelled in their 'status' next season they quite rightly took every opportunity to have a dig at our situation, we would have done the same if it were the other way round, but I would like to point out to the Wolves fans that we acheived the double over you lot today!
Pompey took to the field with players that will in all probability be playing their last games in our City in our colours, one or two may remain, but the bulk will be moved on or sold.
David James was sporting the biggest haircut at Fratton since Chris Kamara in 1974, he was to have a stormer on the pitch however. Lenny Sowah gained more valuable playing time, while Dindane and Piquionne got another chance to hone their partnership for 15th May.
The game was open as you would expect from a match that had no real value, both teams decided to play football and go for goals, James was the first man in worthwhile action saving well from a deflected Bia effort and then bettering it with a flying save from Jones' free-kick, if Capello watches the highlights he will sleep easy tonight.
Dindane was looking lively on the right and it was he who broke the deadlock, Wolves first missed a chance when the ball skidded across James' goal line, then Brown floated a free-kick over a flat footed defence for Dindane to nod home unmarked. Boateng almost doubled it a minute later, he struck a volley from a half cleared ball and Hahnemann scrambled it away. Piquionne then tested the Yank, he drove forward and hit a low daisy cutter that was also parried wide, Pompey were on the up.
Wolves had another chance missed from another set-piece and then made one count, Zubar found the space that Dindane was granted at the other end but James saved well, his parry landed on Doyle's head but again Jamo saved, unluckily the ball dropped back to Doyle once more who was not so generous this time and blasted home, James was superb but must have questioned his defence who let Wolves have three unchallenged efforts at goal.
Pompey were not going to lie down though, John Utaka who was having one of his more lively games turned and hit a low left foot shot, Hahnemann was late going down and was beaten at his near post, Utaka had his goal and celebrated with a clumsy cartwheel.
Their was just enough time for James to deny Doyle once more and half time arrived.
During the interval, Jamie O'Hara took centre stage, he must have won 10 player of the season awards at the break, surely a first for a loan player, and then even clinched the player of the month award, I don't know how he managed that one as he has been injured!!
The second hal saw Pompey replace Mokoena with Ward and Dindane with Smith, Iwelumo replaced Bia for Wolves.
Doyle was first to threaten again, he tried a scissor kick from just inside the area, he mishit it slightly but this made it loop more towards the top corner, James though was on top form and he stretched to his full 6'4' and tipped it over.
Ebanks-Blake replaced Mancienne who was poor in a midfield role, and was straight in the action, Doyle was by far the best Wolves player on the pitch fired in another effort, Jamo seemed to get something on it and it hit the post, it bounced kindly for Ebanks-Blake, witht the goal gaping and James grounded he managed to roll his effort wide of the post, nice one son.
Hughes left the field with his hands over his face shortly after, my gues is his hamstrings have let him down again and he knows he has little chance of a final spot.
Pompey finished the game off with about 20 minutes to go, Smith flicked a header to Brown who then fired past Hahnemann to score his second goal in 5 years, both in the last two home games, Hahnemann will probably again question his part in (not)stopping it.
Smith almost added another as Boateng played him in, then Ebanks-blake missed another gilt-edged effort for the away side, I seem to remember him doing the same at Molineux.
Their was just enough time for Sowah to raise his stock a bit further with a couple of grat challenges near the end, hopefully he will get a greater chance next season in the blue of Pompey in a lower league.
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