Pompey go down to Reading
Small margins make the difference between success and failure, 2 spring to mind from yesterday's encounter, Kevin Friend and Dave Kitson.
For those of you with short or cloudy memeories, Mr.Friend is the referee that Avram Grant really endeared himself to Pompey fans over, after a shocking first half against I think Sunderland, Avram stormed the pitch in the interval and gave him a right going over, well yesterday he got his own back, along with the most clueless blind linesman you will ever see, he managed to give a penalty that wasn't, then he sent off our best defender, cheers mate.
Now then, Dave Kitson has not totally won over the Fratton faithful, I skirted over this in my preview, but after his display against his first love of Reading, he has probably taken a couple of giant leaps backwards, I'm not going to suggest he missed a couple of gilt edged chances on purpose, but the way he missed them was shocking!
Pompey got to off to the better start, backed by 4,000 screaming Pompey fans, the match was almost like a home fixture, Pompey bombed forward and should of buried the match in the first 20 minutes.
Kitson had his first chance on 5 minutes, Lawrence whipped in a great cross from the left, one ginger head stood alone at the far post and all the ball needed was direction, it didn't recieve it and the header didn't get anywhere near the goal, instead going miles wide with the goal still gaping.
Reading were on the back foot, however Kebe did smash one low cross across the goal with Ashdown scrambling, no blue and white spaghetti hoops were even close though.
After 20 minutes another chance went begging, Nugent tried his luck from range, McCarthy in goal spilled it and Kitson just had to slot home, either side and it was 1-0, best smash it straight to the 'keeper then!
Sitting in the away end and you felt Pompey must score soon, but then came the first sucker punch, de Laet first won possesion on the right then lost it again, the ball was squared to dangerman Long and he let fly, Ashdown went down but the ball seemed to skip up and flew into the bottom corner.
Pompey couldn't believe they were behind, but the scoreboard told no lies.
Hogg had another effort, but he cuffed horribly wide when well placed, then the match was finished as a contest, a great ball found Long after Pompey lost possesion once more, he made ground and Rocha bundled him over with little contact, the challenge seemed outside the box, but to add insult, Rocha walked as well, Friend was really getting it form Pompey now, he was awarding free-kicks at will and booking anyone who even made a challenge, now we were 2 down and down to 10.
Pompey had another chance to gain some sort of foothold in the match, Lawrence was left one-on-one after a huge punt forwards, but as he strode towards goal he allowed a defender to get back and poke the ball behind for a corner.
Pompey stumbled to half-time and the game was already lost, Reading probably couldn't believe their luck though, Pompey were the better side but out of sight.
Second half and Pompey were unlikely to get a result, but we still had a few chances, Reading seemed to content to sit back and defend their lead, to really rub it in, after an hour Mullins had a blast from distance, it looked likely to trouble the 'keeper, but a big ginger arse got in the way and saved Reading doing the job themselves.
With 15 minutes came an almighty scramble in the box, Hreidarsson was on his knees and players from both sides were trying to get a crucial touch, but then our mate the referee decided he managed to spot another Pompey foul in the melee and stopped the game once more, again the Pompey fans vented their fury.
One shinig light was the return of Danny Weber in a Pompey shirt, he got a five minute run out on for Nugent, no heroics mind but a return nonetheless.
So 2-0 it was, Pompey felt roughly treated by the referee, but we had 4 really good goalscoring chances in the first half, if one had gone in before Reading scored who knows?