Vital Football

Play-off hopes slipping away

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Cliche 1. Football is a funny old game

Cliche 2. It is a game of two halves.

Such was the draw with Preston, Pompey seemed to be on top until Preston scored, then came a sustained period of White pressure, then once we had scored it was all Pompey again.

One thing I am sure of though, if Iain Hume was wearing a Pompey shirt, we would of won the game at canter, the Scotsman really was a cut above anyone else on the pitch.

Pompey made two changes from the side defeated last week, Lawrence sat out as a precaution with his slightly irksome knee, while Rocha was serving a one match ban, this allowed Mokoena back into the side along with fan favourite Joel Ward.

Preston could and maybe should of taken the lead with the first attack of the match, Eddie Johnson fired wide when well placed, the on-loan American fluffing his lines.

Pompey then upped the ante themselves, Nugent played a one-two and blasted over, then Joel Ward popped up in a scoring position once more, his shot lacked power though and Turner saved comfortably.

Hume was already proving hot to handle for Pompey, he jumped on a mistake from Mokoena but fired wide of the goal.

On the half hour Pompey were caught out on the offside trap, Hume sprinted clear and slotted past a distraught Ashdown to send the travelling Preston fans into raptures.

Hume almost added another, his volley saved by Ashdown though as Preston really grabbed the initiative.
Pompey felt they had levelled though, a Halford launch was flicked on and Cotterill nodded home into an empty net, the lino was having none of it though, the men in black contriving to rob Pompey once more.

Second half got up and running and it was more of the same, Preston still looked like the side who wanted it more, Hume slipped in Treacey and then Johnson had a headed saved form Pompey's busy 'keeper.

Pompey did force a couple of corners, but Cotterill just crossed straight into Turner's hands each time, Pompey looked short of ideas.

On came Kanu and Dickinson for Mokoena and Cotterill, this was to prove significant, not so much for a particular contribution from either, but with Cotterill off, Mullins assumed corner duties, his first one landing right on Halford's head, he nodded home at the near post and Pompey were level.

Pompey were suddenly back on the front foot, Halford also looking the most likely scorer, he again found himself free from another corner, this one though was blocked out by Turner, then he struck the back of a stanchion with a long range effort.
Nugent certainly looked more fired up against his old club than his strike partner did last week, his free-kick swerving narrowly over.

Hume was still proving a real menace for Preston though, he got free once more and Ashdown was forced into a sharp save low to his right to keep parity.

The game closed out to a period of Pompey pressure, corners and long throws bombarded the Preston defence, but no win could be forced and the play-offs suddenly look a distant prospect.

Star Player

The match sponsors just about got it right with Halford, he looked our most comfortable defender and also outr best bet for a goal.

Date:Sunday April 10 2011
Time: 7:52PM

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SC, note Hume. He will be good at Pompey's next championship season, especially if Preston go down. We really need a striker with natural goal instinct; depending on everyone but strikers for goals, is worrying. Perhaps, we hadn't had a natural goal scorer since Defoe! And that's a long time ago. Dindane, Piquionne, Kitson, Nugent aren't so natural. Crouch is, sometimes though!
Pompey Malta
10/04/2011 20:34:00
Lets hope SC has something lined up, if there is no Nugent that leaves Kitson, Kanu amd possibly Webber
10/04/2011 21:16:00
kind of, in many ways, a typical end of season game - i think a few were already thinking about their summer hols, and where their next move will be...
11/04/2011 09:03:00
I dont understand the reason for the play off hope fever, Pompey were out of that when they messed up against Boro and Bristol. Look at the contenders for the play off's, look at their run in, take note of the fact that as Brown and others have proved Pompey can't handle a team that comes at em. We should start to do what the players are doing - thinking about their Olliiedayz
11/04/2011 16:27:00
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