Barnsley 1 Pompey 1
Pompey maintained their unbeaten away record by gaining a hard-fought point at Barnsley’s Oakwell ground.
After the defeat by Charlton in the week, Kenny Jackett decided against changing the team but fit-again Dion Donohue was on the bench with Alex Bass as back-up keeper with Luke McGee having a wrist injury.
Being December and playing in the north of England the weather was atrocious as Storm Deidre swept across the country. A howling gale and constant freezing rain are not the greatest conditions for good football but the game was played at a frantic pace with the home side on top for the majority of the game. Add to that one of the floodlight towers failing for a spell and it could easily have been a miserable afternoon.
It was Gareth Evans who put Pompey in front just before the interval. It was in the dark corner that Lee Brown chased Alex Mowatt and his clearance fell for Evans to arrow his left foot shot across the keeper and into the net.
Halfway through the second half the home side levelled when Woodrow turned home a low cross.
That point leaves Pompey four points ahead of Luton who won at Coventry with Sunderland third after coming from behind to beat Bristol Rovers at home.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Walkes 75); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 43
Booked: Naylor, Curtis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Close, Donohue, Green, Pitman
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Attendance: 12,441 (1,674 Pompey fans)
The Blues boss told the News: ‘It was a good result. It was our third game in a week and we were away from home against Barnsley, who had a free week. A lot of emotion and energy went into that and we’ve done well to get a point.
‘In the grand scheme of things, we’ve done well to get a point. We went toe-to-toe with them and they’ve got a lot of quality and can counter attack.
‘Similarly, if we’d have got our final pass right in our sets and play in and around our front three players, we could have affected them. It’s a good point and I’m pleased with the players – they dug in and worked hard.’
Tuesday night saw Pompey suffer only their second league defeat of the season in controversial circumstances.
There is no doubt that the officials were very poor and got quite a number wrong. The sending off of Ben Thompson is the best example with it being overturned on appeal. The correct decision would have been a free kick to Pompey as Taylor caught Ben and probably should have been booked and sent off.
Of course, the biggest talking point was the assistant referee not flagging the ball out of play in the move leading to the second goal. But was it over the line there was a discussion on Facebook saying that if you can see grass between the touchline and the ball then it MUST be over. That I am afraid is rubbish!! You have to be looking along the line to make a decision and not relying on the camera on top of the opposite stand. Views of fans nearer the incident were mixed to some saying it was miles over and others disagreeing.
On reflection, Pompey started slowly and had no luck something they have had plenty of lady luck in the past few weeks so perhaps she was levelling things out.
Two defeats now and both to clubs geographically based in Kent.
Where are you?
The club is mystified by a large number of no-shows from season ticket holders attending games, running into thousands I am told.
Again, I will stress that if you cannot go to a game make it available to someone who can via the online system. You get £5 towards next season’s ticket if it sold.
2018-19 Prediction League – December
Sunderland (h) – Saturday 22nd December 2018 – click here.
Gillingham (a) – Wednesday 26th December 2018 – click here.
Fleetwood (a) – Saturday 29th December 2018 – click here.