A Tough Game

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY at the Vic

Pools 0 Portsmouth 2 (League 2) Saturday April 30th 2016

A couple of former Pools loan players did for us today, with Burgess and Naismith probably the pick of the bunch in this end-of-season home game.

Featherstone, who was named man of the match, was superb. Billy was back but faded in the second half, but no disgrace to him as the visitors looked a tidy side. Dan Jones filled in for Carroll who was injured and he did a decent job.

A few people around me today were disappointed we did not turn them over in the second half after the first half was pretty even. Some good football from both sides but no real threat on either goal.

An early run and chip for the visitors found Smith clear in the box but his header was wide. Jackson had to make a clearing header to stop Naismith. Smith for the visitors broke into the box and evaded one tackle, went round Carson and stroked the ball towards the net and it hit the post, but he had been flagged offside anyway.

Carson made a double save to avoid going behind when he was hit in the midriff with a ball, and scrambled back to his feet as the rebound was blasted in, which he blocked and cleared.
"...the lack of a potent striker was obvious today"

After Thomas was dragged back in the box but the ref waved it on, and I heard him comment on the radio later that the ref told him that if he had gone down he would have awarded the penalty. In the second half however, when he dived in the box he could have been booked.

Pools piled on the pressure coming up to half time but the lack of a potent striker was obvious today.

The second half started in a similar vein with Luke, desperate for a goal, trying a long range shot which was easy work for the visiting keeper. Paynter probably had the best chance of the game but I put it down to not being match fit that he scooped it over the Town End.

Naismith was on hand when the ball dropped perfectly in the box for him to flick the ball past Carson, who had no chance of saving it. Pools went on the back foot for a while after the goal. Carson again had to be the man as he got down to a low shot to push it away.

Paynter went off for Oates, and probably only came on because it was the last home game, as he was not fit. Oates almost scored with his first touch as he raced into the box, but the keeper managed to block his shot. He followed up shortly afterwards with a header that was over the bar. He looks more of a threat down the middle than coming in from the wings.

Luke James got his feet in a tangle inside the six yard box. The ball just would not settle when he was on for a goal but he was overrun by defenders.

On a breakaway Pompey doubled their score just before the end of the game. It was a tough game but they edged it overall and looked a good side.

Rumours of a list of unwanted players was circulating the ground, with no real surprises. If it was true, Richards, Fenwick, Nelson-Addy, Oyenuga, Worley, and of course Bingham, along with a couple of youngsters will be leaving.

So, Stormtroopers, be ready for the long haul next week.