Date:Wednesday February 2 2011
First off, the stats don't lie, Pompey have played table toppers QPR twice now, 1 point is the return, but the stats don't tell the full story, Pompey should of had all 3 at Fratton but for a boss-eyed linesman, and at loftus road we could of been out of sight by the time Rangers took a fortuitous lead.
Pompey played with a spirit that the beleagured fans who moan and groan on websites from their armchairs probably thought didn't exist, the transfer inactivity just fuelling anger in people who like to jump on the negative.
The game was lost in familiar fashion however, a rare Ashdown error normally saved for 'keepers in an England shirt, and a header from a corner, this time Halford was at fault for losing his man.
Pompey were forced into one change, Utaka has left, but Kitson returned from a 3 match ban, Kanu sat on the bench to recharge, while Mokoena came in to partner Halford in defence, another combination as Pompey seek to find the perfect pair. A welcome sight though was the return of a mad snarling Icelander at left-back, he played with purpose and aggression, firing up Pompey as only he can.
The formation was more 4-3-2-1 than anything, Nugent was the fulcrum with Kitson and Lawrence supporting.
Pompey looked anything but the downtrodden spiritless shambles we were led to believe they are, Kitson saw a shot land on the roof of the net and Halford had a 30 yard freekick well saved by Paddy Kenny as Pompey pressed for a goal. Hogg was enjoying his midfield role much more than his debut match, Connolly who stood nearly 6 inches taller than the Villa loanee will vouch for his bite now.
Pompey reached half-time goaless and arguably the better side, as the bovrils went down it was all about if Pompey could pull off a shock win.
Second half and Pompey were still more than a match for the home side, then it happened, Taarabt tried a speculative long shot from distance, Ashdown dropped to field it and true Rob Green style let it trickle into the net, Pompey had been done by their own hands once more, this time it was not a defender hanging his head though, but Jamie Ashdown who to be fair has been one of our more consistent performers so far this season.
Pompey could of capitulated now, but instead pressed for an equaliser, Hogg should of scored from 12 yards but fired wide, while Nugent went close also.
Pompey looked the more likely, but as always seems to happen on such an occasion, Qpr netted again, Clint Hill had a free run from a corner and nodded into the net, no reward for Pompey on this away trip.
Ciftci made a return for the first time in an age, replacing Joel Ward who had run himself into the ground once more, he nearly earned a consolation late on, but his header was again well saved by Paddy Kenny.
So no points again, no wins in 2011, but a much better display, this defeat was not in the manner of Burnley last week, Pompey were more than a match for the promotion favourites, just need to turn displays into points now!
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Date:Wednesday February 2 2011
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