Pompey crash in South derby
Pompey came out second best in the first South coast derby of the season, one goal was the difference, but that is only part of the story, Liam Lawrence missed a penalty in the last minute of the game and Ben Haim somehow never scored the follow up.
Before the match Pompey made their big announcement, rumours of Benji's return were rife befor the game, and 20 minutes before the ko a hero was unveiled for the second time on the pitch, the fans were crying out for a new striker, with Benjani we at least know what we will get, 100%.
Cotterill threw a surprise with his team line up, Kanu getting a rare start with Kitson dropping to the bench alongside Ricardo Rocha.
It seems a bit strange reading a few other match reports this morning talking about Pompey being on top for the majority of the game forcing save after save from the Brighton 'keeper, I honestly don't remember the game like that!
Kanu slipped Norris a pass in the first minute, but the James Blunt lookalike couldn't supply the finish to put us up.
Lawrence was next to threaten but Dunk got in a great sliding tackle to deny him as he shaped to shoot.
One thing was clear though, the referee was another one of those officious no contact types, blowing his whistle constantly and stopping the game from flowing, he got his first card out on 14 minutes to Ben Haim for quite an innocuous challenge, that was to really set the tone for the match, Pompey accrued another 5 yellow cards on the day, Brighton getting 3.
Casper Ankergren in the Brighton goal was an ungainly looking bloke, he denied Pompey with a couple of saves though, his kicking looked all over the place, Pompey should really have pressed him harder on that.
Jamie Ashdown made a great save on the half hour, Vincelot who looked like a hobo in a football kit smashed in a free-kick that looked headed for the top corner, Ashdown made a flying save to keep it out and then collected the follow up cross.
With half time approaching, Brighton snatched the lead, Ashdown saved an Ashley Barnes shot, but Mackail-Smith was on hand to poke home to send the travelling section into raptures.
The second half was much like the first, Pompey huffed and puffed but lacked real creativity from the centre, can't fault the effort, but no killer ball certainly cost us.
Lawrence tried chipping Ankergren from an angle but only found the top of the net, Norris trying a shot on the turn but he blazed over.
Hermann Hreiedarsson tried getting in on the act, he skipped down the left past a number of challenges but his shot was again deflected out.
Ashdown kept Brighton from doubling their lead, stretching to tip another shot over the bar, then Kitson almost got on the end of a Lawrence cross, the ball just evading him.
The yellow cards still flowed, Lawrence even got one for winning the ball in front of the South stand, referee Swarbrick was not endearing himself to the home fans, I think that is fair to say!
Deep into 5 minutes of added time, Pompey had a lifeline, Lewis Dunk inexplicably handled a cross into the box, the spot-kick was given and the home crowd went into premature raptures.
Lawrence lined up as he did so successfully many times last season, this time he went for the corner, his shot struck the post firmly and rolled nicely to Ben Haim , from about 8 yards though he struck the follow up straight at the prone 'keeper rather than over him and Pompey were to be pointless.
That was the last action of the match, Pompey lost 1-0 in front of their own fans once more this week, Reading arrive on tuesday, please don't make it 3 in a week Pompey!
Ryan Williams deserves a mention for his cameo role, he looks like a proper old school winger in the making.
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