Rotherham United 1 Pompey 0
Six years ago a young Joe Mattock joined Michael Appleton`s Pompey crusade on loan from West Bromich Albion. He pulled on the number sixteen shirt just seven times but impressed some fans in his short spell. On his Pompey debut visiting Leicester fans reminded him of his court date for Affray which saw him narrowly avoid a jail sentence.
I wrote after his first game in Toast 5#16 ‘debutant Joe Mattock looked unsteady at left back and while he does have a left foot and gives more balance to the side he is not as defensively sound and the man he replaced Tal Ben Haim?… Mattock er seemed reluctant to go forward and misplaced too many headers and passes for my liking; (any fans wondering why Mattock received so much abuse from the visiting fans need to know that Leicester sold him to West Brom and last year he was convicted of affray in Leicester nightclub his victims included two women). Still it was a first game and I will reserve judgement for now. ‘
Anyway, Joe forced those words down by throat yesterday when he headed an injury time winner to send Pompey home from South Yorkshire with nothing to show for their efforts.
Kenny Jackett made two changes and a system alteration with Oli Hawkins and Connor Ronan being replaced by Sylvain Deslandes, on debut, and Matty Kennedy. He switched back to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
The game started very much end to end but as it wore on the hosts began to dominate. However, with ninety minutes on the clock it looked like back to back craws were on the cards.
Then Michael Smith on as a sub after signing from Bury got a cross in from the right and Mattock headed passed Luke McGee. Pompey drop to ninth as a result.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Deslandes (Ronan 66); Close, Donohue; Lowe, Naismith, Kennedy; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 66)
Subs not used: Bass, Widdrington, May, Bennett, Chaplin
Referee: Robert Jones
Attendance: 9,129 (1,471 Pompey fans)
After the game the Blues boss told the official site: “There have been a few late goals that have cost us now and that`s obviously disappointing. I thought that we`d ridden the storm in the second half and the game appeared to just be petering out. We`d contained Rotherham well before the break and actually created the best chances, with Pitman`s header, Lowe`s shot and a volley from Naismith.
“They were three clear-cut opportunities for us, compared to a minimal amount of threat from them at the other end. But we didn`t go ahead and then it was an onslaught following the restart with a lot of set-pieces – it was hard for us to handle. There were some promising situations on the break, but we just couldn`t get on the ball and capitalise on that.
“We battled and scrapped very well, though, and I thought we`d come through it with a very spirited bunch of players. So it`s obviously very frustrating for us to concede a goal in injury-time and that has cost us a point.”
Of Sylvain Deslandes Jackett said: “He`s a strong, competitive lad and I felt he did well. He tired a bit in the second half, but that`s to be expected because he hasn`t played much this season.”
The coming few games will now determine whether Pompey can keep their drive for the play offs or fade to mid table obscurity. They are after all nearer the bottom four than the top two.
Transfer window – former players on the move
A number of you I know like to keep tabs on ex-players and a number of them have been on the move in this window. Here is a list of all those I have spotted to date –
? Ricky Holmes – Charlton to Sheffield United bit of a shock that one.
? Michael Smith -Bury to Rotherham and he was on the bench yesterday and was to play a major role!
? Nadir Ciftci [Celtic – Motherwell] Loan
? Toumani Diagouraga [Plymouth – Fleetwood] Free – would have loved big Dave back at Pompey.
? Paul Jones [Norwich – Exeter] Loan
And the following (Peter Crouch – Stoke City to Chelsea) was strangely strongly rumoured but will not happen as Chelsea look like they will sign Edin Dzeko.
High flying Shrewsbury Town make the trip to Fratton Park next Saturday.
The two clubs first met in the 1961/62 season when Pompey would win the Third Division Championship. Pompey did the double that season with Sammy Chapman (2) and Ron Saunders scoring in a 3-1 win at home.
It was another fifteen years before they met again when Pompey returned to the third level with Dave Kemp and Mickey Mellows hitting the target as the blues again won at home 2-0.
In recent times Pompey have not been so successful with the Shrews winning last four games and the only win this century came in October 2012 Izale McLeod (2) and Wes Thomas netting in a 3-1 victory.
Tenth anniversary edition today. Yes, it is ten years since the fist edition of Toast which celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the great Derek Dougan who would have been eighty yesterday!
And finally… beerschot
This week’s And Finally… sees Cercle Brugge’s Isaac Koné score a nice little diving header in the Belgian second division. Shame it was into the wrong net. Luckily for him Cercle Brugge scored three in the last 10 minutes to take all three-points.