Pompey earned a well deserved season double over Champions league chasing Everton this afternoon, and the 3 points were welcome also.
Pompey thre one surprise in to the starting line-up, Kaboul came in at right-back with Glen Johnson advancing to a more forward role to cover the abscence of Pennant, otherwise it was the same 11 as Hart has preferred to pick, Basinas was content with the bench, and Gekas was left at home once more.
Pompey started the game nothing short of awfully, from the kick off we lost the ball within seconds, and to be fair we looked more disjointed than a boxers nose.
To make matters worse, Everton scored from their first meanwhile attack, Saha went down like an Amsterdam whore, and Leighton Baines did the rest, firing a free kick over Pompey’s wall and past a stoic James. 5 minutes gone and things looked grim.
Pompey tried to respond, but long range efforts from Mullins and Kranjcar never troubled Howard, and the fluency was still lacking.
On 21 minutes though, referee Walton’s decision to award Pompey a corner from the wildest of wild shots by Johnson, seemed to be to make up for a missed decision moments earlier when Crouch clearly kicked the ball against Jagielka, this fortunate corner however was the turning point of the game, the ball ended up with Kranjcar on the edge of the box, he floated it to the back post and Johnson nodded it back for Crouch to find the back of the net. Parity restored.
If ever a goal galvanised a team, this was it, Pompey were now in the ascendancy, and Davis and Mullins were winning the tackles against Felliani and Osman, with Nugent running the channels.
Jo was to have the next chance, but Campbell’s skewed header landed at his feet only for him to screw it horribly wide with only James to beat.
Second half and Saha made his second contribution the match, collapsing under a challenge from Davis, but this time Baines found only Hreidarrson and the danger was cleared.
Crouch won another header after great work by Nugent down the right, but this time Howard was able to gather comfortably. Next up and Nugent wriggled free, but pushed wide his shot was saved by Howard’s feet.
Kanu replaced Nugent on 73 minutes, and the Scouse must have been injured or knackered as he was having another fine game, this substitution seemed inspired moments later however, as first Kaboul smashed in a cross which Howard made a mess of to gift Pompey a corner, and then Crouch thundered in a’la Hermann, and met Davis’ corner with aplomb to give Pompey the lead.
A few minutes later and it was so nearly game over, Davis met a clearance with a searing volley which smashed against a post with Howard floundering.
While at Boro last week Pompey got deeper and deeper, this time we looked to hold possesion, Everton looked dry of ideas and 3 points were getting notched up on Pompey’s seasonal tally.
Hart may have raised a few eyebrows with his use of Johnson, but it worked and Pompey sit slightly safer than last week.
Got to admit the predator lookalike was the biggest cheat I have seen at Fratton in a while, he went to ground like a groundhog, and conned Walton so often he could of been a wartime Spiv, he demanded treatment and looked like a man with one leg, only to sprint back into action, he has talent, but hid it well by preferring to go for Oscars.