Date:Monday December 27 2010
Well we waited 6 weeks for another Fratton encounter, what we got was a typical Pompey performance, early pressure, slip in concentration and then a storming second half, if you were an opposing manager watching the game, you would know by now that the 25/45 minute period is the time to strike.
Pompey threw one surprise equasion into the line up, Hermann Hreidarsson made an overdue comeback ahead of the available again Dickinson, otherwise it was as predicted.
Pompey and Millwall have a chequered relationship over the years, mainly off the pitch off course, but Mokoena did little in the way of olive branch offering by going straight through Morisson as early as the second minute, it was a challenge that may have seen a straight red on another occasion.
Millwall threatened first however, Henry fired in a shot which Ashdown parried, the ball fell to on loan Puncheon who was then denied by another excellent Ashdown block.
Pompey were pushing hard without really testing Forde, Utaka coming closest, he took a lofted ball over the top well enough, but only found the 'keepers foot as he tried to slot home.
From arouind the 20 minute mark it all went horribly wrong for Pompey, the passing became sloppy and Millwall were able to take a real stranglehold on the match, Trotter was starting to control the midfield and the chances started to come thick and fast for the Lions, Jamie Ashdown was again proving his worth in the Pompey goal.
To be fair HH was showing all the rustiness of the tin man down the left flank, Millwall were doing all they could to capitalise on it and score they did when Morisson fired in a low shot that Ashdown saved, the ball however bounced up nicely for Trotter to loop a header into the net, the goal was coming, it was now up to Pompey to respond. The response was not instant though and Morisson twice fired in shots that were well saved, the half-time whistle could not have come a moment too soon.
The second half came and Pompey were reformed, Cotterill had obviously had a few choice words, Brown been denied almost instantly with a good block.
2 minutes later Pompey thought they had levelled, Nugent burst down the left flank and centred for Brown again, his shot was deflected back at to the Nugget and he slotted home from an acute angle, the linesman though was no Santa and flagged him off.
Kitson was next to offer, he had an endured a very quite game so far, but he turned his man beautifully to set up a chance only to fire wide when he should of scored, Mullins was also denied when he clipped in a shot from the edge of the area, this time the woodwork intervened.
Pompey were force into 2 quick substitutions, Hreidarsson was replace by Dickinson and Rocha by Sonko, presumably because Cotterill couls see the red mist descending.
Pompey's pressure was building though, and like the first half you could sense a goal in the offing, it came when a Lawrence corner came back out to him, he cut inside and sliced a shot horribly wide, Kitson kept the ball in play with his head and Nugent followed up to nod home.
Pompey were pushing hard for a winner now, but Millwall stood firm and the goal would not arrive, the closest we came was when Nugent nodded wide as the game came to a close, still after the first half display the draw was about right, it was a game that both managers will say they should of won.
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Date:Monday December 27 2010
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|18. Bristol Rovers||33||9||12||12||-2||39|
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