What a great feeling, I’m typing a match report about a Pompey win again after endless disappointments and false dawns.
Pompey were a team revitalised today, I don’t know what Tony Adams was doing to them, bromide perhaps, but the new team of Paul Hart and Brian Kidd managed to reinstall some of last seasons defensive stoicness and organisation.
Pompey went into the match with Kranjcar preferred to Belhadj on the left and pennant usurped Mullins on the right, the back four was the same as last week, but was to play entirely differently.
Pompey started there new dawn quite confidently for a side supposedly doomed to relegation, we were passing the ball around fairly well, but more importantly were snappy in the tackle and were winning all the second balls.
David Nugent was a man obviously full of confidence at last, he was getting behind the city defence and nearly rounded off a great run with a goal, but a heavy touch took him wide and he could only fire through Given’s legs but wide of the net.
Pompey’s midfield was being well marshalled by Basinas and Davis, both men were winning their tackles and this was giving Kranjcar to show some lovely skills out wide.
Nugent missed one good headed effort glancing wide and Crouch hit a snap-shot volley well, but it was straight at Given. Man City were showing little in attack, Elano firing their only real effort of the half over the bar.
Half-time and Pompey had possibly shaded a match of few clear cut chances so far, one thing of note was the animated Kidd on the touchline, he was cajoling and barking instructions in complete contrast to Tony Adams’ more laid back style, but it was having the desired effect.
Second half it was a similar story, City passed it around nicely on occasions but never looked like penetrating a defence well drilled by last weeks doughnut Distin and Campbell. Pompey however had belief about them, Nugent fired wide after getting behind once more, Crouch smashed a left foot shot at goal that would have been a cracker, but it was deflected wide.
One man who had been on top of his game nearly all season was to break the deadlock again, Glen Johnson cut in from the right fired in a shot which Given did well to block, but Jonno followed up his own shot by lifting the ball into the back of the net, Pompey were looking good.
Not to be outdone, our other full back decided to join in, Hreidarsson did what no other man had done for months at Fratton, he scored from a corner, no tap-in though, he met the corner with a ferocity which many players would be pleased to be able to kick with, the flashing off his forehead and bulging the net, the Iceman typifies fighting spirit and his roar was only matched by the one from the home supporters.
David James was looking assured on his record-breaking day, he emphasised this with a save to match anything he pulled off in his last 535 games, he reacted superbly to push Ched Evans’ bullet header wide and Pompey looked impenetratable.
Johnson nearly carried off a copy cat run for a third, his shot beat Given once more but was hacked off the line, no matter though, Pompey were earning three points!
New faces in the dug-out, same faces on the pitch, but a completely different performance, one thing that stood out was Kidd screaming at a midfielder to cover Hermann as he marauded forward, really is a simple game isn’t it?