Writing these match reports is more like writing epitaph’s these days, once again Pompey showed promise, had one slip and came away with nothing, but how many times can it happen?
Pompey’s preperations got off to the worst start when David James felt his calf before the game, in from the cold came Ashdown, with Niemi on the bench.
Kanu made a surprise start, being preferred to Piquionne, Smith and Webber, while neither of our Algerians even made the bench.
Hreidarsson made a welcome return, while Mullins also got a rare start.
The match got off to a familiar pattern, Pompey were doing all the probing, while Stoke looked a bit off the pace.
On 7 minutes came a rarity, Pompey won a penalty rather than conceded one, Delap tried to kick Dindane’s face off and the lino’s flag went across his chest. Up stepped Boateng and I felt sure he would break the back of the net, but no, like so many Pompey penalty takers of the last couple of seasons, he tried to place it, Sorensen flopped on the ball and a golden chance was gone.
The game was end-toend, but the final ball was lacking from both sides, Pompey won a few free-kicks in well placed areas, but all we seem to do is let O’Hara boot it over the bar, or let Kaboul smash it into the wall, absolutely no variety whatsoever.
Second half and Stoke were showing a little more endeavour without really troubling a solid looking Pompey defence, O’Hara tried one from 30 yards again, but Sorensen turned it wide.
On 74 minutes and Stoke produced their only real quality of the match, Fuller went on a run, interchanging with a couple of mates in one-touch football, and he placed a great shot inside Ashdown’s left post, he got a hand to it, but not a strong enough one.
Sidibe could of doubled the advantage, but clean through he sliced well wide.
Pompey were gone now, although on top for great periods of the game, lack of cutting edge was evident, Stoke were looking comfortable and Wilkinson went on a pitch long run and fizzed one over Ashdown’s bar, contender for goal of the month if it had gone in.
The whistle went and Pompey had blown another chance for points, we had the chances again, but once more ended pointless.
Had one shot to save, unfortunately it beat him.
Did little wrong
Dealt well with ariel bombardment.
Loving it in the middle
Made a couple of clumsy challenges and had a running battle with Stoke players, nothing new then!
Helped dominate first half
One of our better performers, but needs to do better when shooting from free-kicks.
Our golden boy missed his big chance, tried to make up for it but to no avail.
I know the fans hate him, but really did little wrong on the right.
Held the ball and won free-kicks, but surely 90 minutes is asking too much?
won the pen and had one effort sail wide, otherwise quite quiet.
Only had 10 minutes
The sands of time must almost be run dry, a man of integrity that most fans have warmed to, Grant may well never be his mentor, more likely a replacement.
Lack of goals is going to cost us dear, it was made worse by spurs smashing in 9, 7 goals of which were from players who were ours just 12 months ago