Pompey left feeling flat
West Ham left Fratton with all 3 points yesterday, the match was up in controversy however after referee Kevin Friend angered the home crowd with a series of decisions against us.
The penalty was dubious to say the least, Winston Reid backed up and backed and inevitably fell to the floor, the ref couldn't wait to give it after waving away an earlier shout.
Reid was also involved in the red card that ended the match as a contest, there was little he could do about the foul that Norris committed on him, but even he seemed stunned when the ref flashed the red card before either player was on his feet, the foul was late, yes, malicious, no. It was one footed and poorly timed at best.
West Ham started the stronger of the two sides, Henderson in goal had little to do, a few pot shots were off target and his goal never threatened, all until the generous penalty of course which Noble smashed home with Henderson almost keeping it out.
This led to Pompey upping their game somewhat, Rob Green was suddenly in action and he certainly kept his side in it, Lawrence looked to have found the corner with an angled drive, Green getting down superbly to steer it away, then Pearce connected with a corner that was brilliantly clawed out of the top corner.
Half-time came and Pompey would probably feel aggreived to be behind, for a team in second I felt West Ham offered little and didn't look anything like promotion contenders.
The second half was not even warm when the ref decided to get card happy, he had already booked Kitson and Pearce by now for innocuous fouls, so any tackle with any bite to it was going to be clamped down on.
That was it for Pompey really, West Ham predictably dominated possesion from then on in, Nolan missed a good chance but again Henderson was never threatened in goal, Pompey almost forced a late equaliser as well, Benjani on as a late sub nodded back for Futacs to blast over the bar.
One highlight was another local lad making his debut, Adam Webster let no-one down with his contribution.