Pompey 0 Gillingham 2
They say that football is a funny game but Pompey surrendered their unbeaten record in a meek manner but somehow managed to extend their lead at the top of the table!
Kenny named an unchanged side for the third game as Pompey returned to Fratton Park after successive wins on the road.
Gillingham fresh off their first ever win at Fratton Park last season came this season in the bottom three and put in another performance which belied that position in the table. This too was a day which Pompey will want to forget quickly.
Last week Pompey conceded a ‘worldie’ at Rochdale but came back strongly to clinch the points but this time there was no such recovery.
The wonder goal was scored by Tom Eaves on 26 minutes when he spun and hit a volley past a shocked Craig MacGillivray. Up until then, the Gills had looked the more likely in a game played in atrocious conditions with a strong wind and continuous rain; not that that can be an excuse for Pompey’s display.
The home side tried to get level but on the stroke of half time from a corner, the ball dropped for Alex Lacey to slam home.
At the interval, Jackett unsurprisingly made two changes in the middle of the park pulling off Ben Close and Gareth Evans and sending on Ben Thompson and David Wheeler. That gave Pompey their best spell as they bombed forward in numbers and with more pace but were unable to open up the visitor’s defence. The ball simply would not run for them and the Gills stood firm.
As a final throw of the dice Kenny sent on Oli Hawkins for Nathan Thompson but again no clear chances could be created other than a clever Pitman header across the face of goal with no Pompey player there to apply the finish.
So, a bad day at the office and no need to panic BUT that is three home games with just two points gained so a solution needs to be found. Next home game is Fleetwood who yesterday won 4-0 at Doncaster!
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson (Hawkins 74), Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close (B.Thompspn 46); Lowe, Evans (Wheeler 46), Curtis; Pitman (c)
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Mason
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 18,158 (542 away fans)
Freak head injuries…
Coventry City’s first choice keeper was hurt in a freak accident while watching Ice Hockey side Coventry Blaze on Sunday night. The 25-year-old caught a flying puck in the face, causing a nasty gash above his eye that had to be stitched. Burge, however, was back in training on Monday morning, his wound heavily bandaged but it was fit enough to keep his place in the side against Pompey Tuesday night.
All that in the same week that a spectator sadly lost the sight in her eye watching the Ryder Cup in Paris.
Very dangerous watching sport, you need to keep your eye on the ball!
Ronan Curtis is in the initial Republic of Ireland squad to play two UEFA Nations League matches with Wales and Denmark. He is the only player from League One in the squad.
In the squad, he will find one player with Fratton Park experience back in 2012 and that is Kevin Long who is still plying his trade at Burnley. Kevin (the only ever Pompey player born in Cork) joined Pompey on the eve on the season’s opener with Bournemouth and formed an emergency central defensive partnership with Paul Connolly who was signed on the same day from Leeds. Both stayed a month before returning to their parent clubs.
For the record, Connolly is now playing in Welsh football at Bangor.
Stuttgart’s goalie Ron-Robert Zieler had a moment to forget in last weekend’s fixture against Werder Bremen, which his side, fortunately, went on to win 2-1. The FSF suggest the similarity to the Peter Enckelman gaff for Brum against Villa. Me I suggest older Pompey fans would be haunted by Steve Middleton against Plymouth in 1978 – Steve missed the throw and the ball was rolling into the net before Fred Binney tapped home and Pompey lost 5-1!