Bury 1 Pompey 0
Pompey’s play-off chances were finally ended yesterday after a dismal display at Bury’s Gigg Lane.
Kenny Jackett shuffled the pack and as expected Kal Naismith was nowhere to be seen on the teamsheet. It was back to 4-4-2 with Oli Hawkins up front alongside Brett Pitman and Stuart O’Keefe and Connor Ronan in midfield.
It was a real end of season affair with Bury playing for pride after being relegated and Pompey having no real hope of making the top six.
The only goal came when a Matt Kennedy back pass was lost by Luke McGee and George Miller stepped in to score. Miller however was lucky to be on the pitch after only receiving a yellow card for catching Matt Clarke with a flailing arm.
Afterwards, Jackett criticised his side for a lack of energy telling the official website “The goal was a mistake from Luke’s point of view. It’s the wrong pitch to take chances on and that was the key moment in the game. It’s frustrating because we looked in pole position, but could not find the combinations to create clear-cut chances.
“We had a lot of the ball and were on top really, getting into Bury’s half pretty quickly, although we didn’t create enough when we got there. Their back four weren’t really tested and I felt that we let them off because we had too many people who looked like they were lacking in energy and form.
“As much as I’ve spoken about finishing the season strongly, we’ve been poor in recent weeks and that was the case in both boxes at Bury. There were some brave headers and a great save from their keeper towards the end, although it wasn’t enough for us. We do seem to be running on empty a bit at the moment and have looked quite laboured on the ball.”
That means Pompey have now gone five games without a win since beating Wigan and perhaps they will now finish ninth as I had predicted before the season started. It means that Shrewsbury and Rotherham are to be joined by two from Charlton, Scunthorpe and Plymouth in the play-offs.
Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue (Haunstrup 63); Lowe, Close, O’Keefe, Ronan (Chaplin 85); Pitman (c), Hawkins (Kennedy 55)
Booked: Thompson, Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, May, Evans
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 4,575 (1,525 Pompey fans)
Good luck Simon
Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas, whose wife died suddenly of cancer last year, has announced he is leaving his job to focus on his son, Ethan. Simon had been at Sky Sports since 2005 and had risen from News reader to presenting Premier League shows.
Simon who previously was a Blue Peter anchor in the past, will be sadly missed and let’s hope that he will be back with us soon.
The EFL are asking fans for their opinions on safe standing areas in stadiums. The government are not supportive of the plan and need to be persuaded by fans – if they support it – before changing the law.
My opinion is simple large groups of fans already stand throughout the game, particularly away supporters so why not make that safer by having the right infrastructure in place. The plan is for just small areas of grounds to start with and I believe should be given your support.
The Posh are at Fratton Park next Saturday at 17:30 to bring down the curtain on the season.
It will be the twenty-fourth meeting in all competitions dating back to 1961 when the two sides first met in the FA Cup. That was the first season in the League for Peterborough and they brought a huge following to the Park that day swelling the attendance to over 27,000. The Posh won 2-1 and would meet Pompey in the League the next season as they were promoted and the Blues relegated to the Third Division. The Fratton game that season was lost 3-0 with Pompey needing to win to guarantee promotion – the game was later involved in a match-fixing scandal!
In fact, Pompey had to wait until 1980 for a home win when they had a 4-0 victory with Jeff Hemmerman, Alan Rogers and two own goals earning the points. The next Saturday Pompey would win promotion at Northampton with the Posh playing a key role in that elevation beating Bradford City 1-0.
The last meeting at home saw Peterborough triumph 3-2 with a last-gasp winner in the Championship.
Congratulations to the Hawks!
Well done to all at West Leigh Park for reaching the National League after a 3-2 win over Concord yesterday. They edged out Dartford on goal difference.
And finally… that’s a booting
Riley McGree of Newcastle Jets in the A-League provides us with this fantastic entry to And finally… this week. His instinctive scorpion-kick effort is destined to be on this year’s shortlist for FIFA’s Puskás Award.