Well, that was a case of ‘job done’ on Saturday really, right? Far from our best, in a game that wasn’t great, but Pompey did enough to edge out struggling Bury 1-0 at Fratton Park.
Now it is over to eastneydave for his match report, which first appeared in his Sunday Chimes column.
Pompey 1 Bury 0
Pompey moved to within touching distance of the play-off places with a laborious single goal win over struggling Bury yesterday afternoon at Fratton Park; they are only behind Charlton now on goals scored.
Kyle Bennett in for Conor Chaplin was the only change KJ made to the side that won at Charlton last week. The Shakers included Michael Smith up front, the striker having plenty to prove after being shown the exit door thanks to a great extent due to the minority of fans who reviled him.
The game was best forgotten as Pompey failed to produce much in the way of pressure and was only punctuated by the off effort on goal mostly from long range. Danny Rose started that by having a thirty-yard effort turned over acrobatically by Bury keeper Leo Fasan on fifteen minutes. Before the break Fasan did well to stop a Gareth Evans effort after the ball had been deflected to the Pompey midfield man.
At the break Kenny made a change with Ben Close replacing Stuart O’Keefe but it was the visitors who started the stronger and Pompey did not see much Pompey the ball and when they did sloppy passing soon returned it to their opponents. From a free kick on the left Luke McGee got up well to punch clear and another Bury effort flew just over.
KJ made his second change and Bennett was withdrawn to be replaced by Chaplin and that had an immediate effect. Pompey won a corner on the left and Evans whipped in a low cross and Matt Clarke was unmarked at the back post to head home.
That was about it Bury huffed and puffed and created little and Pompey tried to hit them on the break but all too often crucial passes were overhit and the chance had gone.
Michael Smith was replaced on sixty-nine minutes and was given good reception by the majority of fans – former Blue Chris Maguire coming on.
Pompey are sorely missing Kal Naismith as neither Bennett or Chaplin on current form look capable of playing in the number ten role and yesterday neither produced anything of note. Bennett after picking up and early booking against his former employers seemed to overrun the ball and his passes to the men in black. Chaplin was too lightweight and relied solely on his left foot to run and pass.
One positive has been the improved delivery with Evans given the job. In consecutive games his crosses from dead ball situations have led to goals being scored and six points tucked in the back pocket.
If you think that was boring take your mind back exactly forty-five years and the visit of Middlesbrough to Fratton. The game ended goalless with almost no goalmouth action and the attendance was just 4,688 the lowest ever for a home league game. Sad to say I was there.
PLAY UP POMPEY
2017-18 Prediction League – December
Shrewsbury (a) Saturday 23rd December 2017 – click here.
Wimbledon (h) Tuesday 26th December 2017 – click here.
Northampton (h) Saturday 30th December 2017 – click here.