Date:Saturday October 20 2007
Sat 20-10-07, 3pm
League action returned after the international break and Pompey were on the road again. After league wins over Blackburn and Fulham we were looking for a hat-trick of wins on the road against Wigan - the scene of one of our greatest triumphs in recent years.
For a third match running Harry Redknapp named an unchanged squad after Sol Campbell was passed fit after international duty.
This third successive away win was achieved with two goals in the final ten minutes from Benjani and Glen Johnson.
After forcing an early corner Pompey were then caught on the back foot and Wigan should have gone ahead through Paul Scharner, he got himself free but the post saved us.
Pompey responded well and a fine fun from Glen Johnson resulted in him playing in Benjani who went round Chris Kirkland but with the flag up it would not have counted even if he had finished, which he decided not to - but this was promising.
Wigan had the better of the opening 15 minutes or so on the whole, but we did come back into it more from that point on, but chances for either side were few and far between. Niko Kranjcar did have an effort as did Johnson but neither threatened, while Antoine Sibierski headed wide.
In what might have not been the most inspiring of halves we were holding our own and looking fairly comfortable, whilst at the same time threatening to do something - but it could have been Wigan that went in ahead on half time.
A dubiously given free kick for what was deemed a foul by Sylvain Distin on Sibierski gave them a chance on the edge of the area. Jason Koumas stepped up but he could not test David James.
Only a few minutes into the 2nd half Pompey were appealing for a penalty, Sean Davis went down but this was deemed by ref Peter Walton - not the best of refs to be honest - to have been okay.
A chance came and went for Sol Campbell, with Kirkland flapping at a cross Campbell could not direct his header, but Pompey were looking the more dangerous side in this half.
This threat almost brought the games opening goal. A free kick awarded some 30 yards out saw Sulley Muntari decide that this was for him, to be honest I was not too sure I wanted him to strike it but he almost rammed these thoughts down my throat with a fantastic strike, but he was denied by the outside of the post with Kirkland beaten.
With 13 minutes to go Redknapp made his first change of the afternoon bringing Pedro Mendes on for Davis, with one of his first tasks to strike an effort, but this went wide.
10 minutes to play and Pompey were ahead, Muntari's cross found Benjani and he stroked home his 7th goal of the season to become the countries top goalscorer - outright, not joint with anyone else!
Pompey were in control of the game and the 3 points were wrapped up in the 85th minute when Johnson came forward, he kept coming forward and eventually took on the effort from 20 yards to make it 2-0.
The 1st half was not great, but there was only ever one winner in the 2nd half really as the patient approach paid off as well with the goals eventually coming. When they did the confidence grew even more as the bodies poured forward - but they also got back quickly too.
3 away wins on the trot in the league, how fantastic is that and how well we are playing as a team, we look a threat for everyone we play, even if we are not completely at our best. I always feel that a goal will eventually come, even if we have to wait until nearer the end of the match than the beginning.
It could be easy to get carried - and I will! - but why not, bring on the Hammers next week when we return to Fortress Fratton you would be mad to bet against us winning again. Injuries permitting I would not expect any changes - this said I think Sean Davis' booking means a suspension?
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Pompey 2 Benjani 80, Glen Johnson 85
Sean Davis (Pedro Mendes 77)
Papa Bouba Diop
Substitutes Not Used
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Date:Saturday October 20 2007
|14. Dag & Red||46||17||8||21||-1||59|
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