Pompey gain in the rain
Well then, would you have taken a point from your first trip on the road? Got to admit, 310 miles up the road in the pouring rain I would of done, 'Boro will be up there this season as well, last season they started very poorly, but I expect to see them around the top six this season.
Pompey went into the game without Liam Lawrence once more, his niggling calf injury just will not go away, on the bench was the face of Christian Dailly, he was quietly signed on a months deal on friday, no doubt as cover for our thin squad, he was joined by Ryan Williams, the 17 year old has definitely made a mark on Cotterill in pre-season, his brother was in red to welcome him, and he was to play a major part in the match.
Barry Robson was the first offer a real sight of goal, he blasted over the bar though, then Kitson was in with a real chance to open for Pompey, I imagine Chix was already getting fitted for lingerie and polishing up on chat-up lines when the ginger one lined up to shoot, but he couldn't force the ball home and allowed Ikeme to save.
Pompey's charity in front of goal was to prove costly, Emenes turned smartly on the edge of Pompey's area and slotted home, all this after Scott McDonald was allowed to skip down the Pompey right and cross for him, Pompey's defence looking in need of tweaking up.
The rain was teeming down, to indicate how heavy it was, Newcastle's friendly up the road was called off in the second half, think Pompey v Leicester at home any season and you'll get the picture.
Middlesborough were spurred by their goal, they now dominated possession nas had a few pop shots, but it was Pompey who should of levelled, Ben Haim stormed down the right side and cut back for Mullins, from 12 yards though last season's player of the year got right under the ball and blazed over.
Half-time arrived and the dry kit seemed to suit Pompey, within 2 minutes David Norris highlighted just why Cotterill pursued him so doggedly, from the edge of the area he took aim and powered home, Pompey had parity.
The lead was short lived however, Nicky Bailey played a through ball in behind the flat footed Pompey defence and Rhys Williams slotted home to give what looked a first day win to the home side, this spurred Cotterill to bring on Kanu, Williams and Dailly in an effort to grab something.
Ashdown did his bit by saving well from Emenes once more, then in the dying embers Pompey grabbed the point saver.
Christian Dailly fired in a shot, the ball was blocked but fell to Stan Butler who swivelled and poked home, the soaking blues had earned a point on the first day for 4 years, defeat was avoided and we now have something to build upon.