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Portsmouth 0 - Millwall 1

Fratton Park

10th April 2012 - 7.45pm

Attendance: 15,837

Portsmouth 0-1 Millwall

It has been a reoccurring theme in the past month, after a great performance usually followed a disappointing one as Pompey failed to use the confidence and momentum to pull themselves out of the relegation zone. But after one too many dices with the drop, Pompey had a dismal evening ahead of them as Millwall came to town.

Unsurprisingly Appleton named an unchanged team from the XI that started on Saturday, as Benjani replaced Kitson on the bench. Kenny Jacket made one change for the visitors with Hamer Bouazza who was carrying a knock missing out in place of Scott Barron.

In a first half which saw few clear opportunities, it was Pompey who had the first chance 5 minutes in, with Northern Ireland 'keeper Maik Taylor doing very well to keep out Chris Maguire and Luke Varney shots in quick succession.

Pompey continued to carve half chances, and Greg Halford had a pair of opportunities to give the Blues the lead; first trying a speculative effort from distance which Taylor done well to get behind, followed by a header from a Scott Allen corner which the keeper had plenty of time to get underneath.

The breakthrough came 8 minutes before the break after the game had got noticeably scrappy, and it was the Lions who took it. On loan Spurs striker Harry Kane finished well from Andy Keogh's pass, striking low past Jamie Ashdown for his 7th goal since signing for Millwall at the start of the 2012.

Pompey looked a shadow of the team that had fought so hard for a point on Saturday and just before half time were forced into making a change, with Marco Futacs coming on for the injured Ricardo Rocha.

Pompey came out for the biggest second half of their season and after a shaky start started to create some chances, with Futacs and Allen both trying their luck but missing the target.

Michael Appleton tried urge his team forward, and had a succession of chances to get back into it, with Varney first shooting wide from outside the box, and having another chance minutes later but failing to control the ball after some neat play from Maguire.

As the game, and any hope of survival dwindled away with every opportunity that Pompey failed to convert, substitute Futacs forced a great save from Taylor and a Jason Pearce saw his header deflected over the crossbar.

In stoppage time Etuhu and Maguire had chances to salvage a point, but after numerous balls into the box and some stern defending the final whistle sounded and the 15,837 frustrated fans (minus the travelling contingent) left the ground in a series of murmurs and discontent as any chance of survival seems quashed.

Mathematically there is still 12 points to play for, but it would take a supreme optimist to think that Pompey will not be playing in the third tier come August. Once again, Pompey failed to pick up the points when it mattered most.

Star Player

Halford done well in his new defensive midfield position, but I'm gonna give it to Kelvin Etuhu. After a shaky first half he showed hunger, determination and drive in the final half hour, albeit without any success.




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The Journalist

Writer: alexcrewe Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 10 2012

Time: 10:02PM

Your Comments

I thought etuhu was bloody awful!!!
paultsmouth
Gotta say I agree with Paul. Mind you they all were tbh. PUP
eastneydave
Gravely disappointed with Apps tonight. Think he has been great for us, and desperate to keep him next season, but ffs, you could see the players were shot, they were asking little headway and needed fleshing up. The reason you have a bench is to use it, and when the team is failing to make the impact the need, you do something about it. Kids and veterans or not, leaving things as the were failed miserably, and now we are as good as down.
wakey
ive witnessed too many poor performances like tonight from this team to think they could pull it out of the bag;10 points deducted or not. Quite frankly we are going down and deserve it on current form; add the 10 points back and we are still would be in the same boat. But most of us are more concerned about what happens at the end of the season.
Russellm
lets face it, with or without that result - scum - we were likely to go gown anyway really no matter what we then did against millwall...
we had a decent spell in the 1st half but then totally lost our way.
something needed to change, but there wasnt really anything for Appy to change on the bench. the loss of rocha really meant we lost any shape we had.

what happens in the summer is now the next big, sorry, HUGE thing!
pompeyrug
We came, we saw & we got conquered. Ahhh well, it was always an uphill struggle. Let's not be to harsh on the players, I'm sure they will give it a go on Saturday. The bigger picture is off the pitch!
storagematt
 

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