Pompey fight off Daggers
Attendance: 13,648 (144 away fans)
Pompey saw off 10-man Dagenham in a pretty dead affair before the hour mark on Tuesday night. The Blues went into the game following a run of three straight league defeats, desperately looking for a change of fortune. Luckily, a struggling Daggers side provided the perfect opportunity for the Blues to get back to winning ways.
Line-up (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson, Whatmough; Wynter, Dunne (Close 86), Wallace, Hollands (c), Butler; Westcarr (Barcham 92), Agyemang (Storey 73)
Unused subs: Poke, Webster, Ertl, Maloney
Big Pat Agyemang returned to the line up, starting for the first time this season. It what would turn out to be a shocking first half, Paddy provided the only real spark for Pompey.
After a quick start, the game became a poor affair with neither side with anything to be proud of. Throughout the half, a string of 3 or more passes was rare. The first real chance coming 25 minutes in when Luke Howells forced Pompey 'keeper Paul Jones into a good diving stop.
Wallace had Pompey first real threat, firing a yard or so wide with a stinger from 20 yards. Then game became a quiet and dull affair again.
Pompey nearly took the lead though 6 minutes before half time, with Alex Wynter's tame effort being deflected goalwards by Brian Saah. But goalkeeper Mark Cousins pulled off a good stop to turn the ball round the post, after nearly diving the wrong way.
However shortly afterwards, something to cheer about... The player of the half, Agyemang flicked the ball into James Dunne's path, who powered past one and fired a lethal finish into the top corner of the net! The bullet allowing Pompey fans to cheer away plenty of frustration with the half so far, as well as the players who rushed to the corner to join Dunne in his angry celebration.
POMPEY 1-0 Dagenham
D&R replied minutes later however, with Ashley Chamber's hitting a superb 30-yarder off the bar, nearly levelling for the visitors. However Pompey easily survived until the interval.
HT: Pompey 1-0 Dagenham
A dire first half, it has to be said. One that apart from the goal, was instantly forgettable.
The second half began as the first did, with both sets of fans beginning to think this could be one of the worst games of the season already.
Dagenham had a couple of half chances to equalise, with the best falling to Jamie Cureton, who fired well over after Jack Whatmough's clearing header only went as far as the edge of the area.
Pompey were given a gift from above on 62 minutes though, with Andre Boucaud seeing RED for a second bookable offence after bringing down Big Pat, a decision surprising everyone in Fratton Park.
Referee Carl Berry was then soon under scrutiny from the Dagenham bench and players. It's safe to say Berry had a pretty awful game, giving some strange decisions. The Dagenham boss was furious after the game and even Andy Awford admitting he was surprised with at least the sending off.
Another break came for Pompey 7 minutes later, with the referee making one of the few right decisions of the evening. At last a ref spotting a Pompey player being held and brought down in the box (something that happens every game!), with Paul Robinson being the victim.
PENALTY TO POMPEY
Jed Wallace took responsibility from 12 yards, smashing home a good spot kick, sending Cousins the wrong way. Another roar from the Fratton Faithful, with points near-certainly secured.
POMPEY 2-0 Dagenham
It was soon after that the best player of the game was removed, with Big Pat being substituted to a standing ovation from the Fratton crowd.
On came Miles Storey, a man Pompey fans are much beginning to love.
Storey nearly made it three 10 minutes from time, tapping home after a great Pompey break-away. However his finish ruled out for offside following Craig Westcarr's ball across the middle.
It was to be three though, with substitute Andy Barcham writing himself on the scoresheet. Barchy sprinted away as Pompey countered after a Daggers' corner, spreading the ball to Wallace, who then played the ball back across to winger for a carbon copy of Storey's goal, minus the offside.
POMPEY 3-0 Dagenham
FT: Pompey 3-0 Dagenham
A score line not reflecting the poor nature of the game which only livened up with half an hour left. However, a result more deserved than a draw and a much needed victory for the Blues.
The result takes Pompey to 9th in the table and breaks the poor run of three consecutive league defeats. Pompey face Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday at Fratton (3pm KO), looking to now go on a run of better form and results, aiming to climb up into the promotion places.
Everyone will be hoping to see him in the starting XI again if he continues to play like that. PUP!