Date: 16th October 2011 at 10:30am
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Steve Cotterill left on friday, on saturday in came Rocha from the cold, with it a clean sheet and a much, much needed win at home.

I spoke in my preview about maybe Rocha returning to the side, he and Cotterill both claimed there was no problem between them, but as one left the other returned, and with it a return to a more solid defence.

Luke Varney made a welcome return to the side as well, coming straight in to a 4-4-2 formation with Benjani up front, on the bench was another return in Kitson, he would play a big role later on.

Barnsley came and it immeadiately looked to me like they came to stiffle, the most common tactic away from home is to soak up pressure and hit on the break, others may disagree but that looked the tactic to me.

For the first half hour the game bore little difference to any other I have seen this season, plenty of midfield action and the occasional burst into an opposition’s box, Barnsley fired the first salvo, Butterfield firing at Henderson who parried comfortably away.

Hassell was next to threaten when he went on a long run and almost made it into a shooting position, Rocha mopping him up though.

Pompey had taken a little time to find their feet, Halford nodding a corner over and then producing the move of the match. Pompey moved the ball quickly along the deck, it was played to the feet of Norris who tried a delicate chip over Luke Steele, the ‘keeper managing to get fingers to his shot however and the loose ball evading the incoming Benjani.

This moment seemed to trigger Pompey, all of a sudden the were a much better proposition, Lawrence started to probe and Norris became almost a 3rd forward.

Barnsley were again closest to breaking the deadlock though, Buutterbean striking form distance and his shot struck the outside of the post to safety.

Norris fired another one narrowly wide and Pompey finished the half looking the much stronger.

What happened at half-time was anyone’s guess, a bit of ‘good cop, bad cop’ from the duo of Whittingham and Gray perhaps, but Pompey decided it was time to go for the throat.

Huseklepp looked to have made the breakthrough on the hour, is shot into the ground looked to have enough on it to cross the line but McNulty got back to hack clear as the Fratton end produced a collective breath to suck the ball home.

Pompey then turned the match in just over 60 seconds, Norris got the first, a square ball was flicked up and then carressed home to bulge the net.

The celebrations were still going on when it was 2, Kitson who had been on the pitsh a matter of minutes got the ball wide on the right, he swayed inside and crossed for the on-rushing Varney to convert for a well deserved goal.

Pompey never notched a 3rd, but controlled the game from there on in, the closest Barnsley got to a consolation was Butterbean firing a long ranger that ballooned into the air and almost looped in, Henderson back pedalling to tip over.

So, Pompey head to Suffolk on tuesday with some new belief, a slightly different formation and re-shuffled defence with them.


13 Replies to “New regime? Different result anyway!”

  • Great result! I fervently hope the goals quality and methodology doesn’t get lost in an apparent narrow style of play mixed with hopeful long balls. Two bits of width and quick play caused two excellent goals Whits & Gray take note for Tuesday. I thought Benji made some poor decisions at times but on balance did a good job of scaring the tykes. Henderson wasn’t too bad as it goes either; on balance good result from what ended up a good game- if not a little too end to end at times.

  • tbh i do not think that much was that different, it was the usual – for me – pretty ‘unorganised’ and ‘uncertain’ 1st half showing, especially in the forwards, but much better 2nd half.
    we showed our moments but do not think much changed, or was different than it would have been had cotts been in charge. do not think he selected that side tho, rocha john rocha would not have played…
    a win is a win tho and i will take that – do not think we will see that much, and even then it will ‘probably’ not be world beater change levels, until we bring in a new manager with new ideas and ways.

  • Halford is a right back, Rocha is a center back, cotts insisted on playing Halford in the center, Why?

  • I’m not sure about the selection of the side though rug, Whittingham said they hadn’t had time to change anything (not surprising really), and were going with intended team. If the changes had been down to them you may have thought they would have taken the credit? I agree that performance wise there was not much change. Still 3 points are 3 points and hopefully Norris will have a point to prove on Tuesday. PUP

  • Disagree, PR, at half time I was pleased with the game, the way we had played and the entertainment. Much better than most first halves this season. The second period goes without saying. Pearce & Rocha looked so solid, Varney, good player & Benjani (looked like the old Benji), Ben Haim, and Mrs Norris and the rest of the midfield were superb. We played like a proper football team. Nice change cos they’re usually all rubbish.

  • Halford was playing at centre back when we went on to an impressive unbeaten run last season. Ben Haim was very good in my opinion… Mullins didn’t seem much of the ball, but was there behind Norris who attacked and attacked.

  • to me it looked very much like my beloved 4-2-3-1 with mullins staying back in the defensive role and lawrence and norris swapping and almost taking turns in the attacking role, it was pretty fluid between the front 4 which was great to see and thats why we finally had support in the middle!

  • I think Varney was outstanding, winning everything in the air, chasing everything down and never afraid to take a player on. Glad to have him back and hope he can continue to impress.

  • So to celebrate my birthday weekend, I attended my first game of the season, with new lady in tow. My first thoughts were ummm, which one was Diarra, opps silly me, stuck in a time warp. To be honest we looked clueless for most of the first half & were lucky to be 0-0. Barnsley should have taken the lead on acouple of occasions & better teams would have. The second half saw some improvement. I couldn’t undersatnd Banjani playing upfront on his own & was surprised they took him off. However, the ginger ninja seemed to spark something & two good & quick goals did the trick. We do need a firm & organised manager to avoid the relegation scrap & that scary match just before Xmas.

  • Matt, I think Benji came off beause he picked up a knock when he fell over in the Fratton End penalty area. I thought they looked much brighter and better than recently, and even from the first half it was a much more enjoyable match than we’ve seen for a while. Henderson played well too. Came home very happy with that and hopeful for tomorrow night v Ipswich. Shame about the attendance, but perhaps a lot of people are picking and choosing their matches due to money being tight and this match was on the TV . .

  • Sorry Paul I was not trying to knock Halford, but he has always played right back until now, & we all ready have 5 center backs, also if he plays wide it is easier, & quicker to take advantage of his throw in’s, & get up the field, we are already playing center backs at left back too, Ben Haim, & Hermamn are doing a job there so far this season

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