Well the dust has settled on another dreary Fratton park performance, I’m now faced with the daunting task of providing the positives on the game, well…… we scored I suppose.
If this was a highlights package, you could skip the first 85 minutes as a Pompey fan, the game was that flat and dreary, Pompey as a team have lost the ability to pass to each other, I’m not a league manager, but surely this quite important for success?
Pompey entered the game with the same starting 11 who had lost at QPR, that game had plenty of optimism attached to it, ok we lost, but we battled well and looked a threat, the Derby game was a little different.
For the first half I cannot think of a single highlight, Pompey probably dominated possesion, but as for shots on goal I think Derby’s scoring effort was the only one on target, Pompey again left a massive gap in the centre for Steve Davies to slot home into the far pocket (spot the great gag?), the goal was completely out of the blue as neither team had inspired, Derby was as bad as Pompey if truth be told.
Second half and it just had to be better didn’t it? Well, a tiny bit, the wind was obviously not helping, this should of been the time to keep the ball on the grass, but with two teams well out of form, this wasn’t the case as it was constantly lumped forward in hope rather inspiration. Liam Lawrence and Hogg were Pompey’s best players on the day, but both struggled to find a killer pass. Nugent had a great chance to level, Kitson finally won a header and he swivelled and volleyed over, the crowd gave a collective sigh. Kanu came on for Ward and of course played a part in the equaliser, another lump forward saw him cushion it of sorts back to Nugent, the scouser took won touch and smashed home, the goal was reminiscent of Pedro Mendes in 2006, and may just be as important. The goal sprang Pompey to life, there were 5 minutes of time added on as Derby had been trying to waste it from kick-off, Kitson almost won the game in this period, a cross found his ginger head and Bywater made a flying save to keep the stalemate.
So the end of another turgid Fratton encounter, the crowd of just over 14 and a half thousand showed how the locals felt, I reckon no more than 12 thousand remained to see the equaliser go in.
Bit pointless in the end, Express FM tried to cover the non-event, even ‘the Championship’ on saturday evening struggled to make the crowd look any better than 4 deep!
Pompey are really struggling to find a pairing, Mokoena was missing for the goal, as for Halford he really looks uncomfortable in the middle, his passing has gone wayward and he looks likely to make a mistake, maybe time for Rocha to return? He is probably the best reader of the game at the club.