Date:Sunday March 20 2011
I've been harping on for weeks about Pompey being better away from home than at Fratton, the whole team set up is so much better for counter attacking football, as long as pompey grind out the results at home, however mundane the football may be, we will be a force to be reckoned with in this division.
This division has a habit of having one team launch a really late play-off bid, Pompey are 13th at the moment, bottom half as it looks, but only 3 points off of 7th placed Reading who we meet next, and just 2 wins from the dotted line that designates the play-off spots themselves, can we really gatecrash into another Wembley day out?
Pompey made one change to the side, surprising in the fact that we made one, not so when you saw who it was, Lawrence replacing the unfortunate Joel Ward, Ward may feel hard done by, but it is his fledgling season after all, he will play many more games for his home town club.
Leicester have been flying of late, like Pompey they had a run of 6 straight wins, a draw and 2 defeats followed before last weeks win away to relegation likely's Scunthorpe, they were a feature on 'The Championship' a couple of weeks back as being most likely to be that dark horse for the play-off's, hmmmm, really?
Leicester made all the running early on, Hreidarsson almost put through his own net but cleared over the bar well, Yakubu should of buried a header, Ashdown was not troubled though and it flew wide.
By the 13th minute Pompey had hardly been seen as an attacking force, Halford launched in a scud, Hreidarsson hassled and a weak header from Bamba found Nugent lurking with menace in mind, unlike many occasions though his finish was cool and measured, a lovely controlled side foot that flew into the net to give Ray Crawford something to scream himself hoarse about once more.
Bamba was all for redemption, his powerful header was parried away by Ashdown who was looking like a rock once more, Rocha was also keeping up his immaculate standards, chesting out a cross from Yakubu that was destined for Vassel.
Pompey were defending solidly once more, countering when possible, Lawrence almost adding another from a free-kick that fizzed wide.
Gallagher had another pop at Ashdown's goal, this one flew narrowly past the post and then Bamba glanced wide and the Yak took a theatrical tumble in the box to no avail.
Half time came and went and it was more of the same, Leicester felt they had a decent penalty shout when a ball over the top seemed to strike de Laet's hand, the ref was blind sided though and the appeals fell on deaf ears.
Gallagher had the best chance for Leicester to gain parity, bursting clear of Pompey's defence after Halford missed a header, he was left one-on-one with Ashdown, Pompey's 'keeper though spread himself like Lurpak to smother out the effort and again keep his goal intact.
Ward was on for Cotterill and had the golden chance to clinch the match, Kitson did well on the right, wriggling free of a challenge and squaring into the centre, the ball was knocked onto Ward 8 yards out, but with the goal gaping he could only scuff horribly wide.
The game was closing out, but Ashdown had to have the last word, Naughton crashed in a shot that he parried away from the top corner, his goal was not to be breached on this day.
So, yet another 3 points after a poor srtart to the year, since my Dad's birthday on Feb 5th, we have taken 24 points from 27, can Cotterill not be nominated this month for an award?
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Date:Sunday March 20 2011
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