And fate is decided...
Relegation it is then, almost inevitable since the points deduction, but as Appy pointed out, without the 10 point deduction we would have survived.
Pompey were down as soon as Bristol took the lead aginst an under strength Barnsley, Barnsley were hardly in fine form anyway, when news filtered through that they had left out 5 regulars, well, you get the picture.
The game itself was not one for the memory bank, scrappy and tense, the players looked shot.
Derby took the lead with the first real decent effort on goal, a corner was our undoing once more, Buxton nodding home unmarked.
Joel Ward almost grabbed one, his effort was deflected and clipped the top of the bar to go over, the game was settling into a familiar pattern, Pompey were not the worst side on the pitch, but a lack of concentration cost a goal, and when we threatened, luck was not there to lend a hand.
Pompey missed Maguire's waspishness, Kitson was back in the role of pantomime villan, everytime he gave the ball away he was greeted with booing.
Scott Allan was again livley, he may not be here next season, but he will turn out to be a good player, his efforts for the Pompey cause will not be forgotten.
It was Allan who nearly grabbed an equaliser, he rode a couple of challenges and smashed the ball against substitute 'keeper Legzdins bar.
Varney grabbed parity soon after however, he cooly slotted home after being played in, another goal to a poor seasons return.
The joy of an equaliser was short lived though, Bristol were two up against Barnsley, and the ref gave a penalty that was soft in the Ashley Young sense, Jamie Ward tumbling under a Jason Pearce challenge, Pompey have had some soft peanalties against us this season, this was just another nail in the coffin.
The ball was converted and our fate was sealed, Pompey were in the third tier for the first time since 1983, the squad will be unassembled and re-built, Appleton has spoken of his desire to do just that, first job will be the cutting to the bone of the Pompey team, then it will be all about what is left for him to mould back together, youth and loan signings looks like the future, Pompey have a chance to do things right, our stay in the league 2 may be a long one, we sould even drift lower if things off the pitch are not sorted out, but the fans are there still, the fans are the lifeblood of Pompey, as long as we remain, there will always be a Pompey.
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