Newport 0-7 Pompey
St George's Park
Wed 01-08-07, 7.30pm
Less than 24 hours after the 4-1 defeat of Bournemouth at Dean Court, Pompey went across the water to Newport as pre season came nearer to an end, with the penultimate match before the season kicks off.
The entire squad of 15 players that took part in this match all played some part of the match the day before, but Martin Cranie, Djimi Traore, Franck Songo'o, Arnold Mvuemba and Lomana LuaLua came in to start, as Noe Pamarot and Pedro Mendes dropped to the bench, injury ruled out John Utaka while Lauren and Niko Kranjcar were rested.
Pompey's Premiership class told as they ran out comfortable 7-0 winners as Gary O'Neil scored a couple and Hermann Hreidarsson, Martin Cranie and David Nugent - also with a couple - scored their first goals for Pompey.
Pompey stated brightly, with possession kept well as the extra class showed and the first opening came just before 10 minutes as a turn of pace from David Nugent saw him in on goal, but rather than taking on the effort himself he pulled it back across goal - but it was just beyond Lomana LuaLua.
13 minutes in and Pompey took the lead through Gary O'Neil, who saw the keeper, Jamie Bray get a hand to his effort but he could not keep it out as it trickled home, although he may feel he should have done better.
Newport reacted well and put some pressure on the Pompey defence, but Pompey soon came again as Bray denied Nugent firstly, then more spectacularly LuaLua, but the second goal was not long in coming as Hermann Hreidarsson towered over Bray to head home on 18 minutes.
Just after Newport almost came back into the match, with them denied by the post after great work from Sam Hart Pompey went down the other end and an O'Neil turn on the edge of the area took out two players to give himself space and he shot home to make it 3-0 on 25 minutes.
Nugent scored his first Pompey goal with the 4th on 30 minutes as he flicked it over Bray, with a fine finish and he soon had his 2nd and Pompey's 5th when LuaLua played him in and he scored with a classy finish when one on one.
Still the Newport heads failed to go down despite further chances coming for Pompey, not all of them from Pompey attackers, as even the Newport defenders tried to score at the wrong end and just before the break Newport threatened the Pompey goal again but Jamie Ashdown was not tested.
Harry Redknapp made a couple of changes at half time as Asmir Begovic and Noe Pamarot came on for Jamie Ashdown and Andy O'Brien.
Things almost started off basically where they finished in the 1st half but this time the bar denied LuaLua with a 30 yard free kick, which was soon followed by chances from Matty Taylor and O'Neil, but Bray denied both, the latter very well.
The opening 20 minutes or so of the 2nd half saw a much slower game, as Pompey took the foot off the gas and Hart threatened the Pompey goal when he got away from the defence but as he lobbed over Begovic, it was also over the top.
Coming up from his right back position Martin Cranie scored his first goal for Pompey to make it 6-0 on 74 minutes with a fantastic header towards the edge of the area right into the corner after a patient build up.
A golden chance of a hat tick for Nugent went begging as he headed wide a free header, before Franck Songo'o forced a good save out of Bray as Pompey came back to life again regaining complete control.
LuaLua, who was having a superb game, chasing back and bringing others into the game as well as performing his tricks, that were coming off, was denied the goal he deserved when Bray saved well then Taylor was denied by the post before he shot wide when he will probably feel he should have done better.
Shortly after Songo'o was denied by another good save, a driving run into the box saw him beat Bray this time to make it 7-0 in the 86th minute.
With two minutes to play, with the players still pushing on looking for more goals Nugent almost completed his hat trick, but his drive went narrowly over the bar, for the final effort of the game.
Another great work out for Pompey with the players looking hungry for goals and fitness high despite it being the second game in 24 hours for many. The extra class of Pompey shone through, but Newport did not disgrace themselves at all as they kept going right to the end and never let their heads go down.
Lomana LuaLua is looking very interested again and was doing everything you could want from him tonight, he was chasing back to win the ball, bringing others into play, as he looked to play as part of a team.
It was also great to see David Nugent open his account, which should relieve the pressure a little, not that he was under any real pressure anyway.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Pompey 7 - Gary O'Neil 13 & 25, Hermann Hreidarsson 18, David Nugent 30 & 36, Martin Cranie 74, Franck Songo'o 86
Jamie Ashdown (Asmir Begovic 45)
Andy O'Brien (Noe Pamarot 45)
Substitute Not Used
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