Ertl saves the Blues
Johnny Ertl was Pompey's unlikely saviour against a high flying Wycombe side who had lost just one game in the league before travelling to Fratton on Saturday. Pompey were looking to build on their 3-0 victory against Dagenham and Redbridge earlier in the week, but 3rd placed Wanderers had other ideas as they looked to continue a superb start to the season
Many will recall that last season's Fratton game against Wycombe was abandoned at first attempt, due to the horrific conditions. At the time, Pompey were lucky to be level at 1-1 as it hammered down, but the overcast afternoon saw a much improved team from a year ago.
TEAM (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson, Whatmough (Ertl HT); Wynter, Dunne, Wallace, Hollands (c), Butler; Agyemang (Storey 60), Westcarr (Barcham 85)
Unused subs: Poke, Webster, Shorey, Close
An unchanged side from Tuesday night.
A very lively first 20 at Fratton, with Wanderers looking to open the scoring early on as Danny Rowe's shot flew a few yards wide.
Pompey were at the Wycombe defence in reply though, with both Butler and Wallace's excellent crosses very nearly meeting their targets.
Both sides defended well when called upon, but the end-to-end attack was the main focus. Both keeper's forced into action deny their opponents on numerous occasions.
Pompey's best chance so far came on 36 minutes, after Agyemang flicked the ball into Butler, who's brilliant cross was so close to meeting both Wallace and Dunne.
Wycombe then had two great chances to draw first blood, as Paul Jones first pulled off a great save to deny Matt McClure's deflected shot, and then Paul Robinson cleared the ball off the line as Paul Murphy tried to convert the finish.
One more chance came before the interval, this time Wallace crossing to Westcarr, who could only guide his header over the bar,
HT: Pompey 0-0 Wycombe
Sub: Jack Whatmough was subbed at half time, with clearly the young defender's booking and nervy performance giving Andy Awford something to worry about. Seemed like a good move as it was surely only a matter of time before Jack picked up a sloppy second booking.
Luckily, Johnny Ertl came on... To eventually be Pompey's hero.
Wycombe enjoyed a good start to the second half, with only 5 minutes gone before they got the goal they'd been hoping for.
Sam Wood put the visitors ahead, deflecting Paul Murphy's effort into the bottom corner, with Jones already committed to the dive heading the wrong way.
Pompey 0-1 WYCOMBE
Wycombe looked like they might take control then, as McClure nearly doubled their lead following big pressure on the Pompey goal.
The Blues fought back though. James Dunne nearly raising the roof with a bullet volley onto the crossbar, frightening the life out of the Wycombe supporters behind the goal.
10 minutes passed by with little action, but Joe Devera should really have levelled when he met Paul Robinson's flick on from Craig Westcarr's cross. The defender sending the ball high over the bar under a challenge from a Wanderer's player.
Craig Westcarr also had a chance, firing over from Alex Wynter's tee, summing up his very lacklustre performance on the day.
But the crowd was really behind the boys now, with it seeming ever more likely Pomoey would score. Eventually the likelihood became a reality, as Dan Butler's cross to the penalty spot was met by Johnny Ertl. The club captain firing an excellent first time volley into the roof off the net, to become the unlikely source of Pompey's goal. A really brilliant finish from Ertl Turtle.
POMPEY 1-1 Wycombe
It was a possibility that Pompey could find a late winner, but it wasn't meant to be as the referee blew the final whistle to confirm a well-deserved point.
FT: Pompey 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
Lots of points to be assessed by fans and management alike. Both groups disappointed with the time-wasting nature of the Wycombe teams with the visitors taking every opportunity to act injured or 'not realise the ball was rolling past for the free kick'. A feature that became increasingly frustrating the more the game went on.
Also, a few performances that Awfs' will be wary of.
Great ones: Dan Butler, Joe Devera and Johnny Ertl.
Poor ones: Jack Whatmough, Craig Westcarr and sad to say Jed Wallace again.
All of the above possible affecting AA's thinking about the next game, but hopefully the gooden's stay good and poor improve.
Pompey down again to 11th, Wycombe remain 3rd. However, nothing to worry about too much for the Blues, with it still being very early in the season and only being 6 points from top spot...
Joe Devera and Dan Butler also deserve recognition. Devera for being solid all season so far, a much improved performer than the one we knew 12 months ago. His confidence growing, just like Butler's, who's game on Saturday showed much more of what he can really do. The left wing-back role seemingly suiting the player who came through Pompey's academy.