Dire defending gives Pompey blues – A fans view
Monday, December 31, 2012
Full-time score: Portsmouth 1 – 2 Yeovil
Stadium: Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Portsmouth goalscorer/s: Benson 54'
Yeovil goalscorer/s: Blizzard 15', Webster 38'
Official MOTM: Mustapha Dumbuya (Portsmouth) – Probably the best Portsmouth player on the pitch. Caused the Glovers a few problems with his lung busting runs from deep.
My MOTM: Paddy Madden (Yeovil) – Very tough as everyone played their part and Jamie McAllister came close but Paddy Madden never stopped running so it would probably should go to him. He showed the desire and willing to run after every loose ball, however much a lost cause. Please sign him up Gary!
Referee: F Graham 7/10 - Could have shown more authority to the Pompey players by taking action sooner and producing Yellow cards to protect the Glovers more. However, he mostly allowed the football to flow.
A poor defensive display by Pompey in front of an impressive 12,000+ crowd (considering their lowly position) gave the Glovers all three points in their quest to move up the table.
The game was scrappy and so were the three goals. The first came after Yeovil Captain Jamie McAllister swung in a free-kick that Pompey failed to clear and Dominic Blizzard fired through a host of players to see the ball eventually nestle in the bottom left hand corner. That goal sent the noisy travelling contingent of Glovers fans, who were situated behind the opposite goal, into raptures.
From our seats it was disappointing to see the lack of a scoreboard and match clock apart from the one right above our heads which was impossible to see. I think all Football League grounds should have at least one scoreboard easily visible for all fans.
Back to the football. All afternoon Jamie McAllister's free-kicks had been causing havoc so when he decided to have a go himself, only a brilliant one handed save from Pompey keeper Simon Eastwood stopped him from getting his name onto the score sheet.
From another set piece, the big boys from the back went up and it was centre half Byron Webster, not known for his scoring, who netted his third of the season as he hooked the ball goalwards after a game of head tennis that took a slight deflection before going in.
Up the other end Pompey didn't force Marek Stech into a save in the first half. He might have been called into action after a mazy run from Dumbuya that started inside his own half and finished with a pass to Liam Walker, who couldn't keep his shot down, firing it high over the crossbar.
In the second period Pompey railed and held long bouts of possession without again forcing Marek into a save.
Paddy Madden had a chance early in the second half when the ball was bent into his path and he unleashed a shot that had plenty of venom, but was struck straight at Eastwood who parried it out for a corner. Eastwood had definitely been the busier of the two keepers and arguably kept Pompey in the game.
The turning point came as Portsmouth halved the deficit when a cleverly quickly worked short corner caught the Glovers unaware and the cross to the far post was diverted back across goal by Adam Webster for Swindon loanee Paul Benson to tap in.
The Green & Whites were now hanging on and with no real options on the bench it was up to the eleven on the pitch to defend their lead.
A header from Pompey defender Michalik was well saved by Stech diving low to his left hand side, with the rebound skied over the bar.
It was a good effort by Portsmouth to get back into the game and the next chance fell to Benson who was denied a brace and a late equaliser by a collection of Marek Stech and the upright.
It was a nail biting finish. To show his relief when the final whistle came, Glovers Manager Gary Johnson summed it up to the away fans by wiping the sweat off his brow before his trademark uppercut.
However they did it, three points is three points, and we are now one step closer to the play-off dream.
Written by: Josh Wilde, Age 14.