Date:Wednesday July 18 2007
Tues 17-07-07, 7:45pm
Pompey made the short trip up the road to Havant for our Annual Pre Season game. The Match was delayed by a few minutes, to allow the Record crowd of just over 3500 to take their places.
Harry had promised to give the senior players a full 90 minutes in preparation for the Asia trip next week.
The much touted appearance of Gary O'Neil failed to materialise to my disappointment. David James kept goal again, the team in general consisted mainly of fringe and squad players. Only James, Taylor, Nugent and Davis having any chance of regular first team football.
The Game started like many Pre season friendlies, slowly. Havant set out their stall early, not giving Pompey any time on the ball. This tactic seemed to work, as Pompey struggled to find any rhythm for long periods.
Davis was his usual terrier like self, closing down, breaking up and distributing. The Back four of Noe Pamarot, Dejan Stefanovic, Djimi Traore and Andy O'Brien had little to do in the opening half hour as Havant seemed content to battle it out in midfield.
Indeed I don't recall a Pompey shot in anger until the 25th minute, like so many on the night high and wide.
Traore and Matt Taylor tried to combine down the left side overlapping and leaving Traore too many times as the cross provider.
Up front Frank Songo'o and Nugent paid for the poor service with a lack of attempts on goal, in fairness to them both they are willing workers, and do more than merely stand waiting. I must confess, I liked Nugent's movement; he must be a defenders nightmare, once he gets a regular partner he is going to be a real handful.
The first half petered out to the whistle; Havant must have been very content with their performance.
Havant made three changes to their side; Pompey however kept the same 11, as Harry promised.
The half time team talk seemed to have sparked life into a previously lacklustre Pompey. Far more urgency about our attacks down both flanks, Arnold Mvuemba and Songo'o combining well with Pamarot down the right. As in the first half Taylor and Traore down the left. Much more in the way of attempts and chances were starting to be made, with the Havant keeper having to earn his keep at last.
65th minute and a superbly executed deft chip by Sean Davis crept in under the bar. Wayne Rooney would have been proud of that one.
The game had now come to life, indeed so had the crowd, with the bell and the voices having been found.
Nugent made the first of several quick breaks, my! the lad has some pace, leaving defenders in his wake.
Another Pompey attack 10 minutes later led to a fine strike from the impressive Frank Songo'o finding the back of the net.
Pompey were now much more comfortable attacking with much more conviction.
Indeed I thought I was going to witness a tiny piece of Pompey history. NUGGAT'S first goal in a blue shirt. Not to be, after being put clean through, he managed to blast over from 12 yards out. The keeper to his credit stayed tall and made Nugget chose his finish. In fairness to the young Havant Keeper, he made a few fine saves on the night to keep us at bay.
Pompey had a few shots on goal, Mvuemba, Taylor, Nugent, Davis, Songo'o and even a mazy run from Traore!!!!!! Even ended in a shot at goal.
One moment of worry for the team was the challenge on Nugent by the Replacement Havant keeper, which left Nugent hobbling for the remainder of the match.
90 minutes of match action in preparation for the games next week. Good experience for all concerned. The side was disjointed for long periods of the game, but this is only to be expected. I imagine a stronger side will be put out tonight against Eastleigh.
However any chance for me to see Pompey is to be enjoyed and I got my first sighting of the NUGGAT.
I hope you don't all crucify my report; I didn't make any notes and have never done a report before, but after Rug challenged me, what else was a man to do.
PLAY UP POMPEY!!!!
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Date:Wednesday July 18 2007
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