Burnley 0-1 Pompey
Tue 25-09-07, 7.45pm
After Sunday's 1-0 win over Blackburn in the league we were back in Lancashire for the league cup, sending out a much changed side for the match with Burnley - our 3rd round opponents.
Only one player - Sylvain Distin - that started the win over Blackburn started this match, David James, Glen Johnson, Sol Campbell, Hermann Hreidarsson, John Utaka, Sean Davis, Papa Bouba Diop, Sulley Muntari, Niko Kranjcar and Kanu all dropped out. James, Utaka and Bouba Diop took up places on the bench.
In came Jamie Ashdown, Lauren, Djimi Traore, Noe Pamarot, Arnold Mvuemba, Matty Taylor, Richard Hughes, Pedro Mendes, Benjani and David Nugent
It was not a classic match by any means, but we got the job done with a completely different side to the one we would usually see. David Nugent's 2nd half goal was enough to see us through 1-0.
Pompey made a slow start as Burnley started on the front foot, forcing Pompey back and winning some early corners. Clarke Carlisle having the first chance for Burnley, but his effort did not test Jamie Ashdown at all.
The first Pompey effort came from Pedro Mendes, who some 35-yards from goal tried a spectacular effort - but he threatened the corner post more than the goal!
Amazingly having beaten the offside trap David Nugent - believing that he was offside - basically gave up when he was in on goal allowing Gabor Kiraly to recover, when he should have just rolled it past the Hungarian. A few seconds later he was in again but with him unable to control the chance went - Nugent was looking very, very low on confidence.
After Alan Mahon had volley wide of the Pompey goal, another half chance came to Nugent, who maybe snatched at his effort from the edge of the area.
Ashdown was forced into the games first real save with just over 30 minutes played. A corner was swung in, which was won by Stephen Caldwell who saw his header saved from close range, at the expense of another corner.
Pompey forced Kiraly into his first save soon after. A good break saw the ball come in from Arnold Mvuemba to Matty Taylor who sent in a good drive that was brilliantly saved by the pyjama wearing keeper, with the parry squirming just out of Nugent's reach - who was looking to follow up.
With half time approaching Ade Akinbiyi, who was a threat with his power got in from a corner, but his header was straight at a grateful Ashdown.
Harry Redknapp made one change at half time, Benjani, who was not expected to play was taken off with John Utaka coming on, with him making an immediate impact as he had a chance.
Pompey were definitely more in the 2nd half and a good move saw a cross come into Nugent who sent the ball back in the direction in which it had come from but this just evaded Noe Pamarot who could not get a touch at the far post.
A good 15 or 20 minutes at the start of the 2nd half saw both sides push forward at times, but not too many clear cut chances at either end come, although Kyle Lafferty did force Ashdown into a good save, with him getting down well to save low down.
Get in - Nugent put Pompey 1-0 up after 69 minutes. A ball over the top from Mendes put him away and he kept his composure to take the ball in his stride and beat Kiraly from a tight angle via the post. The delight was obvious as he went over to the Burnley fans with his hand to his ear.
Having got one, Nugent almost got another. Djimi Traore's pass put him in and trying to curl into the corner from the edge of the area, he narrowly missed the target.
With the time slipping away Burnley, as you would expect, starting to put some pressure on, but the defence was repelling this well, with a slightly worrying moment coming as sub Steve Jones, literally just on put in a 30-yard effort that Ashdown parried down, almost to Akinbiyi.
As the match moved into the 3 minutes of injury time Mvuemba was taken off, with Papa Bouba Diop coming on.
We took a little time to get into the game but when we did we put in a decent shift, with the defence holding firm under the leadership of Sylvain Distin. Although not too many would have played well enough to get a start on Saturday.
A third straight clean sheet and a win that sees us into the next round is the most important thing.
I am absolutely delighted for David Nugent who will take a lot of confidence from that goal - with the missed chance certain to play on his mind had he not scored his goal - which could earn him another start at the weekend?
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Pompey 1 - David Nugent 69
Arnold Mvuemba (Papa Bouba Diop 90)
Benjani (John Utaka 45)
Substitutes Not Used
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