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Southampton 2 - Portsmouth 2

St Mary's

7th April 2012 - 1pm

Attendance: 31,743

Southampton 2-2 Portsmouth

It's the one game that everyone looks forward to when the fixtures are announced at the start of the season, but it would have taken a stunning bout of pessimism to predict the circumstances for this massive derby.

Pompey made two changes going into the match, with George Thorne returning to West Brom after an ankle injury ruled him out for the season, and Ben Haim also making way. In came Kelvin Etuhu and Ricardo Rocha, with Ward moving to right back and Halford playing in a more advanced role. As expected, Rickie Lambert started for Southampton.

The game started as ferociously as expected, with a booking for each side in the first few minutes, and with Morgan Schneiderlin limping off soon after. The first real chance of the game fell to Etuhu, who stung the palms of Kelvin Davis from the edge of the box.

Despite not dominating as much as they expected, it was the home side that took the lead on 27 minutes, after a poor clearance from Varney fell kindly to Lambert who poked through to Billy Sharp to fire past Ashdown.

Southampton's lead lasted for less than 10 minutes however, when from the corner of the penalty box Chris Maguire unleashed an absolute pearler of right footed shot past Davis at his near post, kissing the crossbar on the way in. It was the young Scot's third goal since joining from Derby, and one for the scrap book.

The sides went in a one apiece at half time, but that may have been different had it not been for some fine stops from Jamie Ashdown, keeping out a rasping free-kick from Lambert and getting down well to stop Guly Do Prado.

The hosts continued their spell of pressure into the second half, and created several more opportunities, but once again Jamie Ashdown was on hand to pull off some world class saves, most notably from a sweetly struck volley from the dangerous Adam Lallana, and acrobatically tipping Jose Fonte's header over the bar from the resulting corner.

Pompey had survived the onslaught without conceding and soon set about mounting their own attacks, with Scott Allan getting stuck in all over the pitch, Maguire chasing everything and Varney looking a nuisance when cutting inside.

It was a powerful surge from Luke Varney that had the Pompey fans behind the Southampton goal on their feet, as he seemed to be hauled to the floor after a clumsy tackle by Fonte, but referee Neil Swarbrick waved away any appeals and awarded just a corner.

As the game entered its closing stages it looked like either team could snatch a late winner, and in the 89th minute Southampton thought they had. After a series of chances Lallana swung in a dangerous corner which was flicked into the path of Billy Sharp who tucked the ball home from close range. The celebrations were stalled slightly after the linesman had flagged for offside, but the referee correctly overruled him after noting the ball flicked off a Pompey defender on its way through.

Sharp received a standing ovation as he was taken off, which even extended to hugs and congratulations from the players and staff on the bench like he had just won them promotion. But the drama wasn't quite over, not by a long way.

As Pompey poured forward in the dying seconds, Rocha played a long hopeful ball forward towards Dave Kitson, the ball was knocked down to David Norris on the edge of the box who hit one of the sweetest volleys of his life, steering the ball past Davis to send the Pompey fans into raptures.

As the final whistle there was only one side of the ground celebrating, with the late point feeling like 3 and Southampton players a fantastic sight for blue eyes. There will be one noisy bubble travelling down the M27 this evening!

As far as survival goes, this unexpected point doesn't change too much, we still need at least 3 wins from our last 5 games, but hopefully we can use the momentum of this late goal to propel ourselves into Tuesday's game against Millwall.

Star Player

A few major contenders today. Jamie Ashdown was instrumental in keeping us in the game with a series of fine saves. Maguire was a thorn in the side of the Southampton defence and Rocha and Pearce were as solid as usual. But I think Scott Allen deserves the accolade today. He was a driving force coming forward and was never afraid to get stuck in when it mattered.




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The Journalist

Writer: alexcrewe Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 7 2012

Time: 4:13PM

Your Comments

Nice summary Fripps, although I would have given Ashdown mom, thought two of his saves were world class, got to say, scum support was shocking, they had a few noisy ones next us in the away end, after that, nothing, when Norris' goal flew in, it was right up there with one of the greatest I have witnessed in 30 years of watching Pompey, it honestly felt better than Kanu scoring in 2008
paultsmouth
When the ball is played see below sharp was offside you can no longer be played on Since offside is judged at the time the ball is touched or played by a team-mate, not when the player receives the ball, it is possible for a player to receive the ball significantly past the second-to-last defender, or even the last defender (typically the goalkeeper).
robertpog
Whew! What a match that was! Every Pompey player gave his all and played his heart out and I'm proud of all of them. What a signing Maguire is! And Paddy played an absolute blinder! At the time of scum's second goal, it seemed we had lost to a goal that shouldn't have been given, and the feeling was horrendous. But what a strike from Norris - and justice was done. As for sucmmers' second goal, it did come from a corner (ie not a forward pass) and was then headed on by Varney, not a scum player, so it couldn't be offside. I for one feel better that the goal was given correctly than feeling cheated. And then who would have thought we were going to equalise in the very last seconds like that - priceless! And when I have to go down the road this week, as I do for work once a week, at least I can hold my head up high. Well played Pompey!
tracyc
This game is all about momentum. We need to stop playing the yo-yo game and win 1, lose the next. We must put in a decent run of games if we are to avoid going down! Arggggh! Could that happen!?
Pompey Malta
Sorry Tracy but their second goal came froma free-kick NOT a corner and I have watched it from all angles too. It appears to hit Varney from some angles and a Scum player from others. I think it should have been disallowed but then I don't count do I?
eastneydave
cracking game, all-round, and one that i really enjoyed - totally agree about it being a rollercoaster of emotions from the start of the day.
yep, whatever scum do now they still HAVE NOT beaten us in some time so we remain south coast kings - i bet there will be few, if any, teams in this league that will be able to say that they were not beaten by scum this season will there?
we can proudly say we are one, if not the only one, that can come the end of april!
thought our performance, as fans, was much better 2nd half - i just think we were so drained in the 1st half and just needed a sit down. we got our second wind and boy did we celebrate at the end eh, it went wild!!
chances are, maybe as high as 75% or more, that we will not be able to 'kick-on' and stay up even after this but tbh i do not care a single jot at the moment, i just want to enjoy and savour this moment for the next couple of days.
two absolutely beautiful goals, chuck's was amazing - being literally right behind the goal as soon as he hit it i knew it was on and was celebrating before it even nestled in the net, love it.

i know it is a big 'IF' but if that does prove a 'mendes moment' then what a moment to equal, dare i say surpas, the original pedro moment eh...
come back to earn with a bump on tuesday we might, but for now i am staying on cloud nine!
pompeyrug
dave, scums second was definitely a corner. rekik cleared poorly then rocha john rocha spooned it over the bar for a corner. varney definitely flicked it on so, begrudgingly, it was a goal...
pompeyrug
To all the lads yesterday, thank you. To my fellow fans (did we celebrate or what) thank you! To the thousands of deck chairs who were incandescent with rage and anger at the final whistle, thank you! To the speccy proclaimers wanna-be look alike who was going absolutely mental at us, thank you and many thanks to the self same pillock who was trudging his sorry arse home towards BITTERne (how appropriate) as we passed him in the bubble and gave us the opportunity to mock him all over again! Thank you to the clamidia-ridden (as chanted by the Pompey faithful) slapper who also went mad at the end, thank you (I hope you never breed)! To all you deck chairs, I hope you has a rotten Saturday night (mine was brilliant) and I hope it has wrecked your whole weekend. To the car salesman celebrating outside the garage who was obviously a Pompey fan amongst scummers, thank you! To everyone involved from Pompey, thank you for reminding me why it is I keep coming back!!!
Emsworthianblue
Not controversial at all the goal they got; either way shared a train back to Woking with sum scum; they were miserable but gracious enough to admit the quality our goals deserved a point. They also said, and I think they are sadly right, that match came two games too late for us to escape league 1 but survival is what Pompey need... With such common sense I had to ask if they were born in Southampton - they weren't !
Russellm
Makes me laugh how some scummers (Adkins included) are talking about how amazing our goals were as though its some kind of put-down! Listen to yourselves!
tracyc
Bl00dy brilliant. I was away in Wales with my daughter seeing some family & during the game we were all out. I to be honest feared the worst & hoped for a draw at the very best. I waited until h/t & was over the moon with 1-1. I kept checking every 5 minutes during the scond half on my mobile. Then just when I thought we had got a draw It said 2-1. My heart sank, I could feel the blue blood drainging from me, just gutted. Then as I was being consoled by family, I got a text from my best mate. Thinking we had lost I opened it about to share the grief & it said 2-2, oh the joy, sheer joy. And what a pair of cracking goals!!!
storagematt
The way I saw the goal (non goal) was the ball flicked off a s(um forward on to Reg Varney then to Sharp. That's what I see happening which DOES make it offside. Anybody else see it that way?
Et_tu_Pompeii
Great day out depsite the overly long wait in the IBM car park. Ashdown had to be MoM for 2 world class saves keeping us in the game in the 2nd half, couple of great strikes for the goals. Unfortunatly 1 point will not be enough, but then stranger things have happened in football.
Ihatemidweektvgames
 

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