The dust has settled, the old faces have departed, but one thing remains the same. Pompey have 3 points from a dismal start to the season.
The scoreline reads 2-1 to spurs, but it could of been so,so different. Different if we could finish from 4-6 yards, different if we came up against a ‘keeper who wasn’t in inspired form.
Pompey’s only enforced change was that of Mokoena in for loan-tied O’Hara, otherwise it was the same line-up that defeated Wolves in our only point grabbing game so far.
Spurs went with 2 of our old boys on the field, and one on the bench, Crouch being the man to dip out.
The match couldn’t of been more open if it were Jimmy Somerville, both teams were in it to win it, Defoe firing in a warning shot that James gathered easily, and then charging down the big mans clearance, luckily with his arm. Dindane flicked on a corner, but no-one gambled at the back post, and then Defoe smashed a post, all in the fast 10 minutes!
Just a couple of minutes later, and Pompey had a season defining moment, Smith skinned Corluka like a bit of mackerel, and then sent in a cross that was if it was more gift wrapped would of been covered in tinsel and bunting. Dindane arrived and from 4 yards out applied a foot like a sand wedge and sent the ball into a gloating milton end, he ended up in the net, sadly the ball wasn’t.
Boateng was next up, trying an outrageous chip from the half way line, the ball went over though with Gomes scrambling to cover.
After a mere 25 minutes and Gomes was involved again, Kaboul thundered in an exocet of a free kick, it flicked of Smith and the Brazilian saved with a flayling arm to save a certain goal.
Only a few minutes later and Pompey’s misfortune and wastefulness was highlighted as Ledley King lept at a corner and nodded home, the sucker-punch was back in full force.
This really knocked the stuffing out of Pompey, our passing went wayward and Spurs were running the show, Ben Haim was finding Lennon a handful, and he was seeing a lot of the ball. on the stroke of half-time came what was to prove a match clincher, Jenas was allowed space and time to wander through our flat footed defence, he crossed for Defoe and he doesn’t miss from those chances, 2 up and Pompey on their knees.
Pompey went 4-3-3 for the second half, and the first real shout for a goal was when Gomes and Corluka got the ball stuck between them, the ball seemed to roll down the Croatian’s arm, but no penalty was given and it would of been harsh to be fair.
On the hour and Smith was denied by the second of Gomes’ great saves, he looked to have lobbed him from the left, but he stuck another octopus arm and pushed clear, he really was having a stormer.
A minute later and Dindane had a chance to redeem himself, Smith sent in another inch perfect pass, and he went with his wrong foot and sent another one wide with the goal gaping, the diffence in striking quality was really obvious, Crouch having come on, with Pavlyuchenko being an unused substitute.
Boateng was in no mood to bow down though, the player of the month smashed in from an acute angle to get us back in it, it was game on.
Defoe was getting an earful from the Fratton faithful, he was enemy number 1 rather than some of his cohorts who used to work for Pompey, and he rose to the bait, stamping on Mokoena and seeing red, off he trudged and he could have little complaint.
Pompey really should of got the upper hand now, but we seemed disjointed once more, and Crouch nearly extended the lead, firing wide after bundling the ball away from Ben Haim.
Pompey were pressing hard, but Gomes was there again to get down to push away a Yebda volley, he really was proving to be the diffence, he may not be able to catch and make daft decisions, but his shot stopping is World class.
Piquionne who was on for the beleaguered Smith, headed back across goal once more, but again no-one gambled at the back post and another chance had gone.
Brown had just enough time to get his first cards for Pompey, 2 yellows and red in the space of a minute, off he went and Pompey went down again after really needing to get something from a game.
Didn’t have a lot to do rather than pick the ball out of the net twice.
Defended manfully but was given a torrid time by Lennon
Powerful heading and driving runs in the second half
Still learning at this level, but hopefully learning fast
Quiet first half but grew into the game, was one of Gomes’ victims
You knew he would walk sooner or later
Is our shining light right now
Was our main outlet on the left, why he came off no-one knows.
Doesn’t need me to say where he went wrong