Pompey off the bottom at last
Well what was everyone worried about then?
Pompey strolled home in the end, in doing so we can now look at a table without seeing our team at the bottom for the first time in well over a year!
Let's get things in perspective though, we have had some shocking refereeing so far in this division, last nights was no different really, this time though the decisions went our way, the penalty was as clear cut as you will ever see, the red card was as harsh. The second decision obviously gave us a nice push, but as the old adage goes 'you can only beat what is put in front of you'
Pompey reverted back to the same line-up that played so well in the Sheffield utd defeat, Leicester meanwhile kept faith with Logan in goal, Steven Howard came in up front.
Tuesday's defeat certainly had Pompey fired up in the last 15 minutes and they decided to exert the early pressure, all the possesion was not finding a way through though, that is until Michael Morrison did one of those handballs that only he will know why, it was as clear to me in the south stand as it no doubt was to the SkySports cameras, the ref pointed to the spot and up stepped Lawrence. In recent seasons it always felt that Pompey wouls miss these penalties, not so with Lawrence who smashed it to the right with logan flying the other way.
Pompey had a flying start, but Leicester then enjoyed their best spell of the whole match, first Dyer skipped down the right and centred for Andy King to fire well wide, then he slipped in Waghorn who did find the net only for the flag to go up, looked tight to me, but who is complaining?
Pompey retorted next, Lawrence had as hot threaten the top corner, and Mokoena hooked over from a corner.
The ref then flashed two yellow cards in quick succession only to outdo himself, Nugent got ahead of 3 defenders and made the edge of the area, Vitor gave a tug and saw red, very harsh decision, but then again Pompey will take anything in their favour right now.
The ball was on the edge of the area and Lawrence was the man to take aim, he struck well, the deflected off the wall and bounced wickedly over Logan who had gone low, 2-0 and all rosy.
Utaka fancied a goal now, a centre from the right missed both Nugent and Kitson, but like all good wide men he arrived at the back of the box, his header though lacked direction and he has to wait for a season's first.
Utaka was looking lively enough though, his skill in turning his man was being recognised by the crowd who have waited a long time to enjoy his potential.
Half-time and never has Bovril tasted as good, the banter was more light-hearted and less gallows for a change.
Second half and Leicester came out all fired up, they were moving forward with intent, but Pompey were closest to score again though, Dickinson marauded down the left and clipped a shot up over Logan and flicked the bar, from my seat it looked deliberate, replays may prove otherwise, but if it was it would of been a contender for goal of the season.
Pompey were not to wait for long though, Kitson displayed a proper centre forwards roll and turn, his shot was parried and Nugent followed up, his first effort was blocked once more, but this time a little bit of luck befell him and he was left a tap-in as it landed back at his feet. The crowds reaction must have lifted him, for all his missed efforts on goal, his willing running and determination will always be recognised at Fratton, and his name rang out.
4 goals were to be chalked up straight away, Nugent all adrenaline now robbed the centre back, he slipped in a reverse pass and Kitson lifted over Logan, Fratton was wall of sound.
Pompey were rightly buzzing, Utaka even got in the book for a tackle, something we thought we never see!
Howard did pull back a consolation on 70 odd minutes, a loose ball was fired home and Leicester had something, it gave them a little fillip and Howard again rose in the box but headed over.
Ciftci and Kanu both came on, Mullins who had a solid game limped off, and Nugent left top raptuous applause.
Ciftci being no shrinking violet himself smashed in a shot with his first involvement, Logan pushing away well.
Dave Kitsin was to double his tally for the night shortly after, some loose defending ended with the ball at his feet, he smashed home and the crowd cried for more!
And more was to come, talk about about saving the best for last as well, Michael Brown picked up the ball in midfield and decided to run at the defence, he was Moses to the Leicester Red sea, he glided past three challenges, past the hapless Logan and slotted home from an acute angle, a great goal that will sit amongst his favourites I'm sure.
So 6-1 on the night, the crowd sang for Milan to come home and Pompey were off the bottom and actually up to the heady heights of 20, the play-off positions must be quaking!
Nugent can have the accolade after getting some reward for perseverance.