Pompey 0 Blackpool 1
Pompey slipped up on Saturday afternoon when a flat performance allowed an average Blackpool side to leave Fratton Park with the three points.
Kenny decided to replace the now departed Ben Thompson with Andre Green, allowing Gareth Evans to play alongside Tom Naylor.
This was a game which it is very difficult to report as there was very little to write about. The first half was instantly forgettable and the second period was little better. Pompey simply missed Oli Hawkins against a powerful defence. Pompey’s attacking game is centred round Oli winning the ball and bringing Curtis and Lowe into the game. Bret Pitman worked but could only flick balls on and the wingers were starved of the ball and well shepherded by the Blackpool full backs.
Green only flitted in and out of the match and the regular full backs Nathan Thompson and Lee Brown were missed for their work going forward. Ben Thompson’s non-stop running was not replaced by Evans who tried hard but could make much of an impression of a resolute Seasiders backline – interestingly Ben was an unused sub for Millwall when they lost to Blackburn on Saturday evening.
The first change in the game involved referee Kevin Johnson who after consulting both team captains limped off to be replaced by 4th official Graham Kane ten minutes after the break – sadly some around me thought Kane was not a proper referee. One question to the Fratton End is when Johnson limped off why did you not break into ‘you’re not fit to referee?’
Pompey only managed two shots on target and they both came after Long had put the visitors in front after 75 minutes. Pitman headed straight at the keeper and Clarke who finished the game playing up front had an effort turned aside.
Andy Cannon looked lively when he came on for Green on 64 minutes and it another Jackett find. Unsure yet where he will fit into the side though.
Was it a bad day at the office, a sign of tiredness or the need for new signings? That is for Kenny to resolve. The only saving grace was the fact that Sunderland and Luton drew 1-1 at the Stadium of Light and both had a player sent off too.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Evans (Wheeler 75), Naylor; Lowe, Green (Cannon 64), Curtis; Pitman (c)
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis
Referee: Kevin Johnson (Graham Kane 55)
Attendance: 18,403 (247 away fans)
Kenny Jackett told reporters after the game that Bryn Morris will sign for Pompey on Monday (he did). The midfielder has been on loan at Wycombe this season from his club Shrewsbury Town and was also being chased by Luton. With Andy Cannon, Morris will provide much-needed competition in the engine room of the side which is needed as Pompey have a lot of wide men available but too few true middle men.
The last week has been full of rumours surrounding the comings and goings at Fratton Park.
Most are hardly worth the paper they are written on but there are a few grains of truth which are worthy of mention.
Firstly, Aitor Karanka has walked out of Nottingham Forest and any chance of Ryan Yates coming on loan have disappeared.
Nathan Jones has left Luton and again rumoured to be replacing him is Kenny Jackett – what with his Watford links?
David Nugent, now 33 and currently at Derby will return to Fratton Park possibly on loan until the end Pompey the season. He came on at half time on Friday evening in the 2-0 defeat at Leeds.
Jack Whatmough is at the centre of a tug of war between Celtic and Rangers; the reported fee is £115,000?
Pompey will miss Jamal Lowe for the QPR fourth-round tie as he has been booked twice in the competition. This is a change in rules which only crept in this season to all cup comps.
There is a problem in my mind when compared to the league where five bookings mean a suspension if gathered in the first nineteen games and ten yellows in thirty-seven matches. But clubs enter the FA cup at different stages and only clubs from Leagues One and Two of non-league can lose players in the Fourth Round! Surely the only fair way is to wipe the slate clean at the third round stage.
Cup draw coincidence
Was it just me or did others see the near coincidence of last Monday night’s draw?
After a third-round victory in East Anglia Pompey were drawn at home to a club from the West of London in QPR. Back in 2008 after a single goal win in East Anglia (over Ipswich) Pompey were drawn at home to a club from the West of England in Plymouth winning 2-1.
Now we all know what happened after that!
And finally… anti-Mata
Jaime Mata had a glorious opportunity to get something for little old Getafe against Barcelona this week, with his side trailing 2-1 in the later stages at Coliseum Alfonso Pérez but alas the Spanish forward made a total hash of it.