Vital Football

Eastleigh 0-1 Pompey

0 - 1

Silverlake Stadium

Wed 18-07-07, 7:45pm

Attendance: 1239


Pompey's second game in 24 hours saw us off to Eastleigh tonight. It was meant to be a 7:45 kick off, but with the players out early we started a little ahead of time. Pompey had to work hard but came away with another win, this time 1-0.

Only 14 players were taken, but the starting 11 was very strong with only Canadian keeper Asmir Begovic, who came in for David James, being the only non-first team squad regular starting. The majority of the starters started the Yeovil game, although Richard Hughes and Benjani came in for their first football of the summer for Pompey.

Not always pretty, but it is another step in the right direction as players move towards match fitness, a goal for Benjani will help his confidence too.

1st Half
Only seconds in and Pompey were threatening the Eastleigh goal, Benjani broke forward, passing to Niko Kranjcar who had his effort blocked by a defender for a corner, which was well claimed by their keeper.

The Eastleigh winger Scannell was proving a few problems for Lauren, much enough for him to once hack him down, while Begovic saved well for Andy Forbes

Kranjcar and Pedro Mendes were combining well, with some nice touches being had by many and Benjani looking hungry, but chances were not really being created, those that were fell to Kranjcar, firstly he shot into the side netting, then secondly he had the keeper scrambling across his goal as it went wide.

Having tried his luck a minute or two before, when his long ranged effort was safely gathered by the keeper, Pedro Mendes went much closer soon after. Good work from Benjani saw him pull the ball back, which Niko Kranjcar left for Mendes who shot narrowly wide.

32 minutes in Pompey were ahead as Benjani slid in to put home from 5 yards. Sulley Muntari's superb ball found Martin Cranie who pulled back towards the forwards and Benjani finished.

Benjani continued his good work, when he created an opening for Craine - who had also seen a shot saved right after the goal - but he was unable to hit the target.

Pompey were in control but Eastleigh were having a few half chances but did not really test Begovic until late in the half when he had to save well twice from Forbes, once turning away for a corner.

2nd Half
Pompey made one change at half time as trialist Ryan Harper came on for Richard Hughes, who this fella is I do not know?

A very quiet second half did not really get going for a good 15 minutes, although if anything Eastleigh were looking more dangerous. However Kranjcar tested the Eastleigh keeper, who saved well, Benjani followed up but his effort was blocked.

Shortly after Kranjcar's clever flick put Benjani away a poor touch saw the ball get away from him, that proved his lot for the Zimbabwean as the trialist from Lens apparently Christophe came on in the 65th minute for him, this left Harper to play up front alone.

With nothing really happening apart from the fact time was going by suddenly Eastleigh put a header against the top of the bar, through Danny Smith.

The fella most likely to do something for Pompey looked like being Kranjcar and it was he that got a head to, or at least seemed to get a head to Lauren's cross, this was saved by the keeper. And then the Croatian went on a mazy dribble, but he could not find the finish as the defence recovered.

Match Summary
Another typical pre season game and although I had to listen to it on the radio, from what I could gather it seemed the most lacklustre performance so far. Although it was a third straight win and a third straight clean sheet, we cannot ask for much more and the main thing is this is another game towards full match fitness.

Benjani seemed to work hard, with Martin Cranie also sounding like he had a good game and combined well with Lauren along with Niko Kranjcar also playing well.


Eastleigh 0
Pompey 1 Benjani 32

Asmir Begovic
Martin Cranie
Sol Campbell
Sylvain Distin
Hermann Hreidarsson
Niko Kranjcar
Pedro Mendes
Sulley Muntari
Richard Hughes (Ryan Harper 45)
Benjani (Christophe 65)

Substitute Not Used
Franck Songo'o

Date:Thursday July 19 2007
Time: 8:05AM

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You can't read too much into these games, take the positives & move on. We know what really matters & that starts at Derby.
19/07/2007 09:28:00
still, the fact we havnt conceded - even against the (no offence to yeovil, havant and eastleigh) lowly oposition is a good sign. 90 minutes on the pitch for most of our playors is good, and hopefully they should be prepared for fulham, and then liverpool (or south china...)
19/07/2007 11:56:00
The thing that bothers me is that that sounds like a one up front squad.....kick the habit before the new season Arry ffs!
19/07/2007 12:12:00
All sounds good so far, lets woop Fulham & Kamara!!!!
19/07/2007 13:04:00
No charlie, Kamara is sure that Fulham are a better club and better equipped for the premiership, the pre-season is going ok, everyone is geting time on the pich, no serious injuries yet (touch wood), but it is all about match fitness isnt it. Hong Kong and its humidity will be a good test, however the frightening abilty of Fulham terrifies me, and Liverpool must be worried too.
19/07/2007 13:31:00
your quite right owenspompey, fulham have been here, and done it many more times than we have in the premiership. they have a good young manager, who has proven he can beat the best teams in a big stage, and with playors like kamara, they are much better equiped than us. And remeber, its not just us who have spent big, fulham have too. I say, liverpool should be very worried...
19/07/2007 16:36:00
Carpet, i am tempted to say that i think that you are taking the mickey, but we would never do that would we. The Liverpool Echo is reporting that Benitez wishes it wasnt such a talented team as Fulham that they had to face, mediocre Pompey yes the mighty Cottagers (great nickname) no.
19/07/2007 17:19:00
Lads who is this Ryan Harper ?
19/07/2007 17:19:00
on the face of it, liverpool have the experiance, and the squad for the premiership. And, they have there nice new manager. Ill say no more...
19/07/2007 19:07:00
^i meant to say "fulham have the expericanc...etc"
19/07/2007 20:05:00
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