Rochdale 1 Pompey 3
Pompey conceded a ‘worldie’ after four but came back well to grab three points and go back to the top of League One.
Jackett made two changes both probably predictable with Jack Whatmough back to replace Christian Burgess who had been subject to some vile abuse after giving away the late penalty last week and Oli Hawkins made way for Brett Pitman to add more of a goal threat up front.
The game opened with a real surprise when Aaron Wilbraham Dale’s recent signing from Bolton hit a speculative volley from thirty yards that flew over Craig MacGillivray and into the top corner. Pompey though are made of sterner stuff these days and within minutes Nathan Thompson had hit the home side’s crossbar from the edge of the area.
On 25 minutes the equaliser came when Pitman cleverly set up Jamal Lowe to score from close range. Home keeper Josh Lillis pushed aside a Ronan Curtis effort to prevent Pompey from taking a half time lead.
The second period started with Dale on top and MacGillivray had to be alert on several occasions as Pompey stood firm. With twenty minutes left Lee Brown got down the left and his cross was expertly touched in by Pitman.
In the final ten minutes, Dale failed to clear a corner and Matt Clarke showed a striker’s instinct by controlling, beating his man and smashing in the third.
When they got back to the dressing room Pompey found that Peterborough had only drawn with Blackpool and the Blues were back on top.
That all came on the eleventh anniversary of certain eleven goal thriller that still has a place in Premier League record books. Take a trip down memory lane at the Premier League website here.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Close, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (B.Thompson 76), Curtis (Wheeler 89); Pitman (c) (Hawkins 90+2)
Goals: Lowe 25, Pitman 71, Clarke 81
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 3,796 (966 Pompey fans)
So the Promotion train heads off to Coventry on Tuesday night where the main topic of discussion is should Conor be allowed to play against Pompey. This type of argument has been rife in football since Lua Lua scored against Newcastle back in 2004.
It seemed a strange decision by West Brom to appoint former Pompey favourite Darren Moore as their manager following relegation when a more experienced boss would surely have fitted the bill.
Well, Darren has proved the critics wrong by taking the Baggies to the top of the Championship.
And finally… scorchio!
Villarreal stuffed Athletic Bilbao 3-0 this week and took the lead via Pablo Fornals’s thunderous volley. His looping drive leaving Athletic’s goalie Unai Simón looking rather sheepish…
Reminds me of a certain Matty Taylor’s goal at Sunderland.