Norwich City 0 Pompey 1
There was a sense of déjà vu at Carrow Road on Saturday evening as substitute Andre Green struck an injury-time winner to put Pompey into the hat for Monday’s FA Cup Fourth Round draw.
Kenny Jackett made two changes to the side that beat AFC Wimbledon on New Year’s Day. Brett Pitman replaced Oli Hawkins and Dion Donohue came in at left back for Brandon Haunstrup.
The hosts made eight changes from their draw at Brentford including bringing back fit again skipper Grant Hanley. Some of those coming in included Jordan Rhodes showing the depth of the Canaries squad.
The game had an even start then on quarter of an hour Pitman flicked a header into the path of Ronan Curtis who galloped away only for Hanley to bring him down with a crude challenge. Referee Bond had no chance but to show the red card, leaving the hosts to battle with 10 men for 75 minutes.
The game became open and both sides created chances with Pompey testing the home keeper on a number of occasions and Craig MacGillivray also had to make some smart stops.
As the end of the game neared Norwich sent on attacking options and Pompey sent on Green for Gareth Evans. Ronan Curtis picked up an injury two minutes into stoppage time to replaced by David Wheeler.
Then in the final minute, Norwich threw players forward for a long throw move on the left trying to avoid a replay that neither side wanted. Pompey defended it well and Ben Thompson quickly fed Pitman who in turn found the fast overlapping Donohue. The full back then sent a long cross field pass to Green who was facing two markers. Green then squirmed his way past them and at the second attempt score via the right-hand post.
Pandemonium broke out among the 2,500 travelling army as the Pompey players celebrated in front of them.
Fact – This game could have been the 1992 Final as the two teams were the losing semi-finalists.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (Green 67), Curtis (Wheeler 90+2); Pitman (c)
Goals: Green 90+4
Booked: Lowe, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis
Referee: Darren Bond
Attendance: 23,201 (2,493 away)
BBC Match of the Day’s coverage on Saturday night gave no credit to Pompey for their performance – so no change there then?
Who do you want next up? An away game again would be nice as Pompey have yet to concede on the road in this year’s cup run.
Others would say a home tie with top class opposition, a chance to earn some money and get back to concentrating on the league.
What do we know? Other than the signing of Andy Cannon from Rochdale and the sale of Conor Chaplin to Coventry City the rest is all rumour.
A lot appears to be dependent on various factors at the clubs concerned such as the managerial future of Aitor Karanka at Nottingham Forest and the relegation fight and injury crisis at Millwall
Is Ben Thompson going back to Millwall? (We now know he has)
The club say there is no financial pressure to sell prized assets such as Clarke, Lowe and Curtis. No offers for Lowe said Jackett after Saturday’s game. There is only press speculation about £3m offers from West Brom etc.
If these type of offers materialise I would think they would be rejected unless a player exchange deal is forthcoming; remember how well Pompey did out of the sale of Adam Webster to Ipswich getting Matt Clarke in a part-exchange deal. That and the sell on clause in the deal allowing more money to flow into the coffers when Adam was sold to Bristol City.
Lots of questions and hopefully some answers coming soon.
Pompey’s game at Southend on February 16 will now kick off at 12:30 to allow live coverage on Sky.
One of Portugal’s bigger names, Benfica, lost 2-0 away to Portimonense this week, thanks to two own goals. The second, from Brazilian Jardel, was a real peach and he now becomes the club’s record own-goal scorer with four.
PLAY UP POMPEY