Date: 22nd November 2008 at 7:54pm
Written by: Harrissman

Portsmouth manager Tony Adams makes two changes to the side that drew at West Ham last time out, the injured Jermain Defoe replaced by John Utaka while midfielder Richard Hughes comes in for the injured Lassana Diarra. Hull are unchanged from their draw with Manchester City, boss Phil Brown sticking with the forward pairing of Marlon King and Daniel Cousin.

Pompey start with: James, Johnson, Kaboul, Distin, Pamarot, Utaka, Hughes, Davis, Diop, Belhadj, Crouch. Subs: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Little, Mvuemba, Traore, Nugent, Kanu.
Hull: Myhill, Zayatte, Turner, McShane, Ricketts, Ashbee, Marney, Boateng, Geovanni, King, Cousin. Subs: Duke, Doyle, Barmby, Windass, Garcia, Halmosi, Stelios.

My player to watch today is UTAKA, a foray up front for the lad at last, lets see how he does.

Kick Off

Wow, quick start from Pompey, having only just been woken up by wifey for the game, Pompey attack down the right with Glen Johnson who beats the Hull left back, and crosses to DIOP who rises above all the players in the box and sends an excellent header to the top right hand corner of the goal which is turned away by the Hull keeper.

Nice to see John Utaka up front today, I think that this is his preferred position, so we will see how the game unfolds.

Pompey have come out the blocks racing and Hull are on the back foot.

Papa Bouba Diop shoots wide and Peter Crouch heads over the crossbar as Portsmouth make a good start against Hull, who have only had a weak Geovanni shot to show for their efforts.

20 minutes in Pompey take the lead and thoroughly deserve to. A free kick taken on the right hand side is fed to Johnson who takes a left footed shot that is driven in and rebounds down to Kaboul. Kaboul takes a couple of touches and crosses left footed for Peter Crouch who heads home and send the Pompey fans in to song.

A couple of minutes later a ball trough to Marlon King who races away, but great cover from Distin who sends the ball out for a corner. The next couple minutes Hull have the their best spell of the game so far and Pompey are second to every ball.

Papa Diop misses a sitter at the other end following some great work from John Utaka. The Wardrobe could have had a hatrick by now. But he’s not known for his shooting. Could today be the day he finally gets his first Pompey goal though…… I doubt it.

Pompey are absolutely dominating this game at the moment. The midfield isn’t giving them a sniff.

A half chance for Hull, as James doesn’t get much on the ball as he comes for a cross and Marney nods it goal wards, but Distin is on hand to clear.

Diop is on a mission today and on the 33rd minute takes another shot from well outside the area, which again flies wide. He has a scoring record for Senegal believe it or not.

Phil Brown is getting frustrated by the linesman’s decisions and has to be led back to the dugout by the 4th official.

41st minute corner with Pompey searching for a second ball comes out to Johnson twice, who should have both times passed to Belhadj, but decides to shoot. The second rebound falls to Kaboul who takes a wild shot that sails over the bar.

44th minute, Geovanni hits the left hand upright following poor play from Belhadj, James is left standing but fortunately the post keeps that shot at bay. This is why Phil Brown uses him as the foil for Hull and builds the team around him. He can produce something out of nothing. What a strike. Pompey beware.

A bright first half all in all. Diop should have a hatrick on what looks like a bitterly cold afternoon at Fratton Park. Pompey are looking good going forward, I think they must have enjoyed a weeks training with Metgod.

2nd Half

With 6 chances for Pompey and 3 for Hull in the first half, I expect to see more goalmouth action in what could be an exciting second half.

The next goal is going to be crucial, lots of little mistakes from both sides at the beginning of this half.

Great cross-field pass by Davis to Johnson who is unmarked. Ricketts forces the ball out for a corner that comes to nothing. Great ball by Davis though.

53rd minute. Corner to Hull taken by Marney, that is swung in and headed home by center half Turner. Crouch is left lying in the penalty box from a clash of heads. No one picked up Turner. Bad defending from the blues.

Pompey have turned off, and are on the back foot again. Pompey all over the place at the back and James pulls off a great save from Marney who is in acres of space. Substitution coming up, looks like Nugent is coming on. Hull are swarming all over us and we are defending too deep.
Double change for Pompey, HUGHES and BELHADJ off with Nugent and Traore coming on. Utaka moves out to the right, and Nugent gets over 30 minutes of a game for the first time in ages.

What is the Portsmouth response going to be, we have lost our way in this second half.
60th minute, free kick to Pompey, swung in by Johnson and falls to Nugent who swings and misses the ball.

The Pompey Chimes are ringing again, Pompey get a corner forced from Nugent which bounces around a bit and cleared to JOHNSON who takes it on his chest and scores a stunning goal with a 40 yard volley off his LEFT foot. One touch and that was special, truly a special goal, the Hull keeper could do nothing. That must be a goal of the season candidate.

What a difference five minutes makes. It’s a funny old game.

68th minute, good work from Traore, who crosses in, the ball goes behind the strikers and comes to Utaka, who drives a low shot to the near post that is saved by the keeper.

72 minutes Hull Subs. Windass on for King (surprise), and Boateng off for Halmosi.

Calling the man of the match already, Johnson has been absolutely brilliant today.

73rd minute. Corner for Pompey, Crouch gets the ball through to Utaka who misses from 3 yards and that’s his last touch of the game as he comes off for Utaka, Nugent moves out to the right.

End to end stuff, the game is really opening up, and I expect more goals in the final 15 minutes. Pompey should be out of sight by now, we have had enough chances.

Looks like Distin has really injured his knee. Agonizing wait for Tony Adams who has already used all three substitutions. Distin is hobbling off, definitely hurt his knee there, let’s hope it is not bad.

Players are going down like dominos at the moment Diop down after a heavy challenge from Dean Windass. I am worried about Distin at the back, looks to still be in pain. I can’t remember a game with so many huge physical players.

Oh Dear, Nugent through on goal, almost 1 on 1 and stands on the ball and loses possession. Hull were fortunate there.

87th Minute, and I knew this was going to happen. Another corner to Hull which again is defended poorly and Windass/Pamarot heads in to the Pompey net, and with 2 minutes plus stoppage time to go, are we going to get a winner. Following the replay’s, that was not a corner, it came off of Stelios.

I am bloody angry with the Pompey defending there. 5 minutes of stoppage time. Lets hope we can finish as well as we started.

Utaka and Diop should be kicking themselves for their misses, we could have had a hatful today, bad finishing and bad defending at corners.

2 minutes of injury time left, Pompey going for the winner and Traore takes a wild shot with his right foot that goes flying over the bar.

Full Time

A thrilling encounter with the points shared, but Pompey should have put the game to bed. Bad defending from corners has let us down today, and Johnson for the way he played deserves to be on the winning side, but that is football. Stats show a fairly even game as well with possession shared equally between the two teams.

Pompey had 14 shots at goal. 7 on target. With Hull having 13 shots over all with 6 on target. Tony will be furious at the defending and so he should be.

Next league game at home is next Sunday with Pompey taking on Blackburn.

Have a great week guys. I hope our luck changes soon.

PUP

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