Portsmouth - Run ended at Pride park
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Derby 2 - Pompey 0

Pride park



Run ended at Pride park

All good things come to an end they say, Pompey's proud unbeaten run came crashing to a halt yesterday, and we can have little complaint, Derby were far superior on the day, slicker and more fluent, while Pompey resembled the team from early August.

Pompey were struck a blow before kick-off when Nugent was forced from the team with a knee knock he picked up at Hull, this really did highlight Pompey's lack of depth, Steve Cotterill opted to put Lawrence on the left with Halford pushing forward on the right and Utaka playing as second striker. It was a ploy that failed, with Matt Ritchie scoring again in a shining loan period at Swindon, it also made that move seem a little foolish.
I'm not going to have a pop at our manager after one slip up, but I bet he is questioning his line up on this one.

Swindon came at us all fire and brimstone, for all Michael Brown's talk of a quick start, it was Derby asking the questions.

Pompey had Jamie Ashdown to thank after only 11 minutes, Derby got to the by-line on the left too easily, the cross found Commons who sidefooted and was almost off on a lap of honour, Ashdown though first got a toe to the ball and then pushed the ball away with a strong right arm, if it was Jamo, Capello would of been getting to recall him.

Pompey were looking ill at ease, balls were being misplaced and tackles missed, Mokoena got an early booking after twice clattering in from behind.

Pompey had a brief flurry where Kitson clipped in a shot that was turned around the post, the resulting decision to award a goal kick highlighting what was to become a grim day.

Derby took the lead on 22 minutes, Cywaka got away from Dickinson and Mokoena slid in to make a tackle, our captain only found ankle though and a spot kick was awarded. Up stepped Savage to dispatch and Derby had a well deserved lead, the only saving grace was that Mokoena was still on the field when could of easily walked.

Lawrence was finding life on the left little fun, Utaka was doing a fine impersonation of Tommy the Tortoise by hiding in his shell, while Mullins and Brown were chasing shadows in the centre, not the perfect recipe for success on the road.
Derby had further chances to add to the tally, but luckily their radar was bust, Kuqi in particular wayward with his efforts.

Second half and Pompey must be better, but Derby were to score again, the goal was almost a carbon copy of the Commons chance first half, the cross made its way through 4 Pompey defenders from the left, Green who looked uncannily like a young Ritchie Cunningham slotted home and Pompey were really up against it.

Kanu came on for Ward to at last let Lawrence switch wings, this certainly coincided with Pompey's best period,
The passing improved a little and it was the big Nigerian who had our best chance, he rode a couple of tackles and had just Fielding to beat, but his composure slipped and he thrashed wildly wide, any chance of a miraculous comeback was gone.

Commons almost found a third with a long range punt, capitalising on a poor goal kick, Ashdown though had regained his ground and saved in the top corner, clattering the post for his efforts.

Dickinson also blasted over from the edge of the area and the clock ran out, our proud run was over and defeat tasted sour.

Star Player

Ashdown was one of the few to shine on a poor day all round, his save first half will be up for save of the season, both goals left him exposed and he can hold his head high on a really poor day.

Manager Rating

Steve Cotterill has been able to field a settled side recently, Nugent's injury through him though, I only hope he holds his hands up and plays Lawrence on the right once more and goes for either Utaka or Ciftci on the left, Nugents injury effectively robbed us of 2 players on the day.

What next?

Pompey's run has been our best since 2002-03, one feature of that season was a defeat was always followed by a winning return, can this Pompey side emulate that one by doing the same against the league leaders?

The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 7 2010

Time: 9:27AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A defeat had to come at some time, but it was the manner of the defeat that was disappointing. The loss of one player shouldn't have had such a catastrophic effect. I blame it on TV - we never shine on the box!
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07/11/2010 09:56:00

Shocking, lazy, unprofessional, dirty and tactically inept, the team are lazy Prem primma donna's and the manager has Been found out. The Forest game hid the secret, Derby tore it open, Pompey can't stand being pressured- hmm wonder what tactic QPR will use on Tuesday? Lawrence and the keeper are the only two that have any credibility after that game. Those of us who were there (cost of round trip and ticket about 90 by the way) were calling for Kanu to start the second half instead of Kitson who is clearly not interested and shouldn't start. Kanu was brought on way too late and it was telling Cot was lonely in the technical area and Clough had a committee of advice he picked from. This is not the end of our season but with the run of games coming up it will be defined as to what the team and manager are made of before Christmas break. People can breath easy, Steve C isn't the messiah just yet.
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07/11/2010 09:56:00

Disagree strongly about Kitson, thought he battled manfully in what was effectively a lone role up front, Utaka offered little support, at least Kitson charged around and tried to get on the end of things, might be worth a look on telly Russ, looked our best outfield player to me!
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07/11/2010 10:22:00

Blue don't you remember we beat Leicster 6-1 when on the box? Lol! I think that our problem yesterday was Dickinson and Sonko. They worked hard and won tackles, but they are simply not good enough to come out with the ball, or at least pass it. I was very happy with Hughes and Kanu, both made a lot of difference to the team when they came on. Paddy was outstading. I could understand him getting frustrated when in the last 15 minutes, Sonko kept on passing back to him. That is not the way to attack when you are chasing a 2 goal defecit!
Pompey Malta
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07/11/2010 12:00:00

Paul, just done as requested and I don't know where you can draw that opinion from - best out field player??? Apart from 1 attack just after the start and a bit of effort in the last 10 minutes he was out of it. No different to the Forest game, it's three below par in a row now. How can you say Kitson was on a par with Lawrence? Kanu showed Hom up for effort, as did Halford and even Dicko although he seemed out of control, same. Kitson needs to try harder, and looking at the game it was Utaka playing the loan role and frequently stranded as Kitson kept trying to take free kicks on the half way line - not much to support your case either at the game or on sky.
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07/11/2010 13:12:00

Lets not get too downbeat about this result/performance guys. The team are only human and will have off-days. Did any of us trully and honestly expect us to come away from Pride Park with anything? A month ago we were staring relegation in the face. So it wasn't good, so maybe SC got it wrong, but let's not over-react here. Lets just clear our throats, circle the wagons again and make sure that the 12th man counts on Tuesday night!
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07/11/2010 13:15:00

Shows you how bad it was if Ashdown was our best player! SC has to get this sorted because we have some tough games coming up and if we want to stay in the hunt.
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07/11/2010 13:37:00

I'll agree to disagree then Russ!
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07/11/2010 14:04:00

I actually saw some good things from Dickinson. Agree Paddy was outstanding, and Kanu made a big difference, what a pity he put that sitter over the bar in the last few minutes. Mind you I wasn't able to call for Kanu to start in the second half, or anything else because I was sat in the Derby section, actually not too far from the Pompey crowd, but I never want to do that again, not being able to get behind my team was horrible!
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07/11/2010 18:43:00

disappointing, but how we react to this will tell us alot - the manor of defeat was more annoying than the defeat itself, but hey ho. pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and start again...
as for kitson, i think i would agree with russ all in all i think he needs to offer more and moan less - i would like to see the kitson return that we saw when he first arrived, more often than not in the past 3-5 games he has not offered enough or anywhere near as much as he was...come the ginger ninja lets see you at your best again!
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08/11/2010 10:46:00

It was poor selection by the manager which cost us, to move Halford and Lawrence out of their established position was somewhat naive, only when we went back to where they were comfortable did we play anything like we can. Just go back to the formation we have played for the last few games, leave Ward on the bench, and have Rocha back alongside Mokoena. Put Utaka wide left with Kanu up front with Kitson
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08/11/2010 12:40:00

seems an untterly bizarre decision to play arguably your best player out of position. Better to fill in the gap than make two gaps... Also seems a litle rigid and lacking in imagination not to be able to go to Plan B when Nugent was injured
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08/11/2010 13:23:00

One defeat against another team on a hot run is not the end of the world. Smiles will return this week.
SFC Forever
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08/11/2010 19:51:00


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