Portsmouth - Pompey Splash Out!
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Newcastle 3 - Pompey 0

St James Park

Wednesday 25-10-06, 7:45pm

Attendance: 25,028

Pompey Splash Out!

Pompey made the long trip to Newcastle for this evening Carling Cup third round tie and in near farcical conditions crashed out 3-0.

Sol Campbell, Pedro Mendes, Gary O'Neil and Benjani were rested but it was still a strong Pompey side, but clearly not strong enough that saw one route to Europe cut off for another season.

Two quick goals in the opening ten minutes of the second half from Giuseppe Rossi and Nolberto Solano all but condemned Pompey's fate, with the match being wrapped up in the last minute with Solano's second and Newcastle's third.

First Half
In appalling conditions with the rain adding to the already waterlogged pitch, every time the ball was kicked masses of water left the surface with the ball often sticking when players were expecting otherwise the battle commenced.

In the early exchanges Pompey were the first team to threaten either goal. With the wet conditions making goalkeeping even more difficult Matty Taylor's 35-yarder almost caught out Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper but he managed to tip the ball around the post for a corner.

Then with the match less than ten minutes old another long range effort from the edge of the area had to be well saved for Harper. This effort came from David Thompson, one of the midfielders coming into the team, the other Sean Davis with Gary O`Neil and Pedro Mendes rested.

Titus Bramble, the Newcastle defender so often ridiculed for his calamitous errors did well to deny Andrew Cole as he threatened to test Harper again. Cole started this match upfront with Lomana LuaLua in a new strike partnership; Kanu rested taking a place on the bench, Benjani completely.

Following an uncharacteristic mistake from Linvoy Primus, made captain for this match former Pompey target Obafemi Martins was away but his chipped effort narrowly went over the top of David James' goal for the safety of a goal kick.

Then came the moment that Pompey would eventually live to regret, having beaten Newcastle's offside trap LuaLua's poor touch when away prevented him being able to get an effort on goal. You couldn't help but think this will come back to haunt us and it did...

James Milner, starting to get a chance again at St James having looked certain for a Newcastle exit in the summer before an eleventh hour change of heart by the Newcastle hierarchy halted a move to Villa tested James from the edge of the area with James saving well. Martins was then denied before half time also.

The half drew to a close with Nicky Butt, another man thought surplus to requirements now back in the Newcastle picture, putting his 20-yard effort wide of James' goal.

Second Half
Both sides made half time changes, Harry Redknapp removing Thompson brining on Ognjen Koroman in his place with his Newcastle counterpart Glenn Roeder deciding Martins had run his course brining on Damien Duff.

With the second half barely underway Charles N'Zogbia had the first effort, but his 25-yard effort again failed to trouble James.

After failing to clear the ball with a Newcastle player throwing himself to the ground in search of a penalty the ball found its way to the on loan Manchester United forward Giuseppe Rossi, making his first start for Newcastle. The Italian under-21 International showed his class as he created an opening for himself before firing home.

Having barely had a chance to recompose ourselves we found the game effectively ended with only eight minutes of the second half played. For the second time in four minutes we had conceded, and as with Chelsea on Saturday one goal quickly followed another. Half time sub Duff made his mark with his cross finding the onrushing Nolberto Solano's head and he powered home, sliding into the advertising hoardings after doing so.

With Newcastle on top in the difficult conditions Rossi almost helped himself to his second and Newcastle's third shortly after, but James saved well. Newcastle quickly followed up with another Solano effort. This time the Peruvians right footed curling effort from the edge of the goal just missed the target.

As time ran out with us failing to really create anything Kieron Dyer was brought into the action replacing Butt for his first appearance in six-months, with James shortly after again having to save. This time from Duff's corner Milner's header needed blocking. With Dyer himself almost marking his return with a goal but following his run he dragged across goal from close range.

Redknapp felt the need for another change. With twenty-eight minutes to play we were given our first look of Roudolphe Douala. The Cameroonian winger came on to replace Niko Kranjcar, with Richard Hughes soon after given a rare outing as Redknapp made his third and final change removing Sean Davis.

Time was ebbing away and but for another smart David James parry from the lively Rossi we would have been killed off for sure.

With just over five minutes to play it looked as though we were back in the game. LuaLua had the ball in the back of the Newcastle net with a rare threat to the Newcastle United goal in the second or any part of the match in all truth but this was ruled out. The former Newcastle forward was adjudged to be offside; the brief hope of a Pompey revival was quashed.

As we went in search of a late consolation in the hope of maybe getting another quick goal to force extra time we were caught out. Milner's cross eventually found its way to Solano after being booted into the face of Primus and Solano stabbed home from six-yards to give Newcastle the 3-0 win and relieve some of the pressure on Glen Roeder and leave us to "concentrate" on the League and the FA Cup for another year.

I doubt many people will be too disappointed to see Pompey lose this game but I am! Realistically we are not going to finish in the top six, although you never know and having won nothing major in over 50-years I felt this represented a great chance with so many not always taking this competition seriously. Oh well it wasn`t to be...

Next up for Pompey are Reading as Premiership action returns to Fratton Park on Saturday. We will be aiming to bounce back from successive defeats following Saturday's 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge to Chelsea. Successive defeats from Bolton and Spurs saw us recover to beat West Ham so hopefully we can do the same against Reading, but this derby will be a tough affair.

Newcastle 3 - Giuseppe Rossi 49, Nolberto Solano 53 & 90
Pompey 0

David James
Noe Pamarot
Andy O'Brien
Linvoy Primus (c)
Matty Taylor
David Thompson (Ognjen Koroman 45)
Sean Davis (Richard Hughes 73)
Manuel Fernandes
Niko Kranjcar (Rodolph Douala 63)
Andrew Cole
Lomana LuaLua

Substitutes Not Used
Dean Kiely

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 25 2006

Time: 9:54PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Good - another exit from the muppet cup, we can concentrate on the League and FA Cup. A waste of time anyway.
Report Abuse
25/10/2006 23:14:00

I've got to disagree pompeygray I'm afraid. This tournament represented a great chance for us to win our first piece of major silverware (its still a major trophy no matter what people think!) in over 50-years, so I would have taken it. Try telling Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez, Martin Jol, Sir Alex Ferguson (dispite their weakend side tonight) etc. that is isn't and they will disagree also. We've missed a chance hear, but Newcastle deserved to win, so try telling them also it doesn't matter if they go on and win it...
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 00:40:00

I agree pompeyrug, also this result shows the lie about our claims of having depth of squad and quality in reserve. Needs to better against Reading on saturday or we will be in 7th by the evening.
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 08:47:00

i watched the game last night. Pompey seemed to try and play their short passing game on a waterlogged pitch. It didn't work out with most passes being held up in the surface water. one side of the pitch was more waterlogged than the other. Guess which side of the pitch Pompey spent most of the match in trying to play their passing game?
The Rabbi
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 10:09:00

I was there,and the first half was evenly contested,but from the first goal being scored the result was a foregone conclusion. Only one team appeared to want to win after that,and it wasn't us. More spirit on saturday please guys !!
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 13:53:00

as russelm says "where is the strength in depth" we keep harking about? the reserve getting hammered 5-0 week in week out is further evidence to that!
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 17:11:00

Saw the highlights, should of been postponed!!! pitch was shocking!!
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 18:29:00

how was that not called off?
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 19:08:00

leicester anyone?
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 19:47:00

The weather won this game !
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 20:10:00

The weather conditions was the same for both teams so we can't use that as an excuse. Newcastle wanted the win more than us which is why they fielded a strong team. Pompey have a big team but don't have depth that is good enough for fringe players to make the grade up to first team. Last night proved that.
Report Abuse
26/10/2006 20:15:00


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