Pompey 0-1 Boro
Sat 29-12-07, 3pm
After the fantastic 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Boxing Day we welcomed Boro to Fratton for the final game of the year. Finally we were hoping to end our baron run of 5 games without a goal at home, with us desperate for all 3 points too... Neither happened as we lost 1-0.
John Utaka came back in, to be the only change from the game with Arsenal - the man who made way Sulley Muntari dropped to the bench. We started with a 4-4-2...
Absolutely s**t sums up our performance today and we rightly got nothing from a game that we should have won. Tuncay scoring the winner in the 1st half.
The opening 15 minutes or so were okayish, but with little incident and neither keeper worked after a bright opening few minutes from Pompey, then suddenly on 19 minutes Boro took the lead. Gary O'Neil played a pivotal role in the goal, getting in behind the defence leaving Tuncay with a tap in from less than a yard out.
Pompey could, and probably should have been two-nil down minutes later - but we managed to escape.
We were not creating anything and our best chance came in injury time but once again Papa Bouba Diop's abysmal finishing cost us a goal. Good work from Benjani created the chance but from just 6 yards out Bouba Diop fired over, to try and cover for him a little he was under a bit of pressure.
Changes were needed at half time and initially I was expecting John Utaka to be one that was taken off but he stayed on, it was Hermann Hreidarsson that was taken off with Matty Taylor on.
We were as poor in the opening 10-15 minutes of the 2nd half as we were in the 1st half, giving the ball away constantly, no end product and more threat from Boro with them looking much, much more likely to score. Why Dave Nugent was not called for I could not work out...
Finally with 28 minutes of the 2nd half played Nugent did come on for the ineffective once again Utaka.
Nugent seemed to bring a new lease of life with him and immediately livened things up with his effort, winning a free kick that saw Taylor deliver with Kanu eventually getting a touch onto the post, but Boro broke away straight away and had an effort cleared off the line then David James saved from Dong-Gook Lee.
With less than 20 minutes to play the final change was made, Sulley Muntari coming on for Richard Hughes. We offered nothing in this final period and got nothing - which is what we deserved.
Boro worked hard and deserved to win but with all due respect to them they are not a side that we should have lost to.
We were poor, we kept hitting the ball long, seemed to have no idea and kept giving it away and did not force Mark Schwarzer into a save at all.
Defeat I can accept, but another poor performance I cannot and no excuses can be offered - nor can or will they be accepted!
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Boro 1 - Tuncay 19
Hermann Hreidarsson (Matty Taylor 45)
John Utaka (Dave Nugent 62)
Papa Bouba Diop
Richard Hughes (Sulley Muntari 72)
Substitutes Not Used
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