Fan View: Portsmouth 1-2 Tottenham

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Ledley King - Header

Minute by minute, the view from East London, the internet and BBC Radio London.

Team news, King is back as expected, big Tom moves into midfield, Palacios is on the bench with Crouch and Pav. Defoe plays with a splint/bandage on his left hand.

An expressionless Harry takes his place on the bench surrounded by press and stewards.

We’re underway.

1 minute – The atmosphere’s lively as Defoe is spoken to by referee Dowd after a challenge on Dindane.

3 mins – First sound of that fuckin annoying bell you always get from the Pompey fans.

3 mins – Defoe forces a slip from James as Calamity tries to clear a back pass.

5 mins – Defoe should’ve done better with header after Jenas and Keane combined to put Lennon in a crossing position, he ended up flicking it rather than getting anything solid on it.

7 mins – Pompey get in our box for the first time and after some sloppy attempts to clear we give away a corner which we don’t defend very well.

8 mins – Back up the other end the very lively looking Defoe is unlucky when he hits a post after a shrewd pass from big Tom.

9 mins – We’ve clearly got the quality to win this, the defence feels fragile though, we’re not controlling it by any means though. The opening goal will be important.

11 mins – Corluka sells himself on the halfway line and Tommy Smith races clear. He crosses to the far post where Dindane volleys over from a few yards out. A big let off.

12 mins – Corner won after good work by Lennon. Pompey break leads to a comedy shot from 50 yards by old boy Boateng.

13 mins – The piping down the front of Gomes’s goalkeeping top makes him look like he’s dressed in a sailor suit

14 mins – Our defence looks far too casual as Portsmouth win a corner. In an uncanny bit of simultaneous broadcasting both the radio and TV announce that Boateng has ‘a point to prove’ within seconds of each other.

16 mins – Joe Jordan’s not happy about something and comes to the sideline which gives the home crowd a chance to abuse him. I wonder how many would be brave enough to do it one on one? Defoe and Krancjar have been tiresomely booed at each touch so far.

17 mins – Another corner for the home team. Our midfield needs to do more defensive work, particularly down the flanks. We’re looking lightweight, not for the first time this season.

18 mins – The home crowd is quiet now, you can hear Defoe getting support from away fans.

21 mins – Gomes comes out of his area to help King who in fact has the situation under control. We’re not inspiring confidence at the back.

22 mins – A shitey clearance from Gomes leads to a spot of panic and Jenas is booked after very little contact on Boateng.

23 mins – Kaboul’s free kick is deflected at least once and Gomes makes a fantastic save, clawing the ball away after he appeared to have gone too far. It really was terrific.

25 mins – We’re second best now having been on top at the start. We need a Steve Perryman or Graham Roberts at the moment, there’s a distinct lack of leadership. The only relief we’re getting is when Lennon finds space down the right, there’s nothing on the left. We’re not keeping possession.

28 mins – As soon as I finish noting the above we move the ball around for a minute or so untroubled, possession that ends with Lennon winning a corner on the right.

28 mins – GOAL!
Kranjcar takes the corner and Ledley rises like the proverbial salmon to thump a header in from ten yards. A non-smiling Harry celebrates by digging his mobile out of his pocket and handing it to Kevin Bond.

31 mins – The TV saves the local cops a job by showing close ups of the Spurs fans singing and celebrating the goal. ‘Yid Army’ rings out loud and clear as Portsmouth seem to visibly deflate.

34 mins – That didn’t last long, Pompey start to press again with another Boateng shot

36 mins – Kevin Prince Boateng crosses in a free-kick and is starting to give the impression of being a one man team. We’re winning but it’s not good. There’s no feeling of authority and we’re not breaking with our normal slickness and assurance.

37 mins – Kaboul misjudges clearance and gives away a needless corner. It’s a reminder of why we sold him, the only worry being that it was Harry that bought him.

41 – The game has quietened down in the last few minutes and we’re applying a bit of pressure and look like we may get another before half time.

43 – TV focuses in on “the c*nt with the bell” as John Portsmouth’s Westwood wikipedia entry was once altered to. Accurately I’d say.

44 – GOAL! Great work from Jenas who sprints through the midfield after a quick free kick, plays a one – two with Huddlestone and crosses. Defoe stretches ahead of a defender who appears more worried about appealing for offside and toes it in. Jermain has no concerns about celebrating in front of fans of his old club and he runs off to the corner flag to receive congratulations from the waiting Jenas. 2-0.

Half Time -  We’re in control of the scoreboard even if we’re not totalling running it on the pitch. Almost all the threat from the home team has been long range. It’s hard to see us not winning this now, we should create chances on the break in the second half as they have to commit forward.

46 mins – The home crowd are very quiet at the start of the second half as Boateng tries yet another long range shot.

47 mins – Gomes arses about with an overhit deep cross leading to a penalty appeal against Corluka from the crowd behind the goal. Gomes is having one of those days where you feel you wouldn’t trust him with the tickets if you were on your way to a gig together.

48 mins – We break well though Defoe and Lennon. This is how we’ll get them this half surely? They’ve got to come at us after all.

51 mins – TV shows Crouch warming up, apparently being ignored by the crowd. Either they don’t consider him a villain or the two goals have knocked a bit of the vitriol out of them.

52 mins – Mokoena shot. We’re still keeping them at long range ever since Dindane’s early glaring miss.

52 mins – A Dindane shot this time. Pompey are getting back into game

54 mins – Successive corners from home team and yet another shot from Boateng.

56 mins – Crouch comes on to boos from the home fans. Robbie has a grin on his face as he goes off suggesting this was a pre-planned sub. Keane has had two big games this week, hence his early replacement is the thinking on the radio. No mention is made of his pretty anonymous performance.

57 mins – Pompey attack again, we’ve lost control. This time they get in our box and Gomes makes an athletic save from Tommy Smith.

58 mins – They’re at the byeline this time and Dindane misses with a sidefoot chance after more good work by Smith down the left. They’re all over us, we need to get a grip.

59 mins – GOAL!
Boateng is unmarked after a deep cross from the right and he beats Gomes at his near post. Should’ve saved it. 2-1 and we need to quieten things down and get the ball back.

60 mins – Defoe sent off. Oh shit. It’s not clear what happened until TV shows a slow mo when his little stamp on Mokoena is obvious. What a shitey stupid thing to do. There’d been a tangle of legs, nothing particular sinister and Defoe just lost it. Mokoena made the most of it but Defoe definitely did it. Why he argued with the ref and took so long to get off I’ve no idea, if Dowd saw what he did it’s a straight and clear red. Ten men now and we’ve been under pressure with eleven. Shit shit shit. What was Defoe doing?

62 mins – Great battling and skill from Crouch, shot just wide. But Pompey are back in it big time and we’re being forced further and further back. We’re going to lose unless we start getting some possession. We need Lennon and Crouch to provide outlets and hold the ball up. Maybe time for Palacios to make an entrance, jet lag or no.

63 mins – Pompey swap Smith for Piquionne, a big centre forward. I suspect Corluka is happy to see the back of Smith.

65 mins – Wilson for Kranjcar – more boos.

68 mins – King is dispossessed near the touchline, Gomes makes another absolutely world class save from the resulting close range Yebda volley.

70 mins – The game’s so open. It’s hard to see us holding on. We desperately need another goal. Everything is being pumped at Crouch unsurprisingly. Can’t work out who’s playing where in midfield, Jenas seems more left sided.

70 mins – On the radio Bradley Allen points out that Defoe will get a three game ban and miss the Gooner game. Arse.

71 mins – We’ve managed to gain a bit of possession in the last couple of mins.

74 mins – The Spurs fans are audible as the tempo has gone from the game. Palacios is doing a good job alongside Tom in the middle.

76 mins – Another Boateng shot, but we have gone back to keeping them at long range.

78 mins – Sub for them, Belhadj for Mokoena. They’re going to challenge Corluka for pace again.

79 mins – A Pompey corner but I’m starting to think that we might hold on.

81 mins – Or maybe not, it’s non stop pressure from home team now. Jenas looks knackered and the home crowd are getting louder.

82 mins – A Boateng long throw. He really is a one man team.

82 mins – Fuck me that was close. Gomes beaten by a Piquionne header across goal but there’s no-one from the home team following up and the ball bounces across goal untouched.

83 mins – Another free kick given away. For Christ’s sake. We’ve got to show more discipline.

85 mins – We get in their half!

86 mins – Dawson for Huddlestone.  Tom shuffles slowly to the sideline. It looks like Daws is signalling that we should go to three in the middle at the back.

87 mins – Crouch wins a corner which we take short. Jenas loses it and as a result Wilson ends up with a yellow card for handball. A ban’s not far away.

89 mins – They replace Finnan with Utaka and throw everyone forward.

90 mins – 5 minutes stoppage time. There’s some encouragement from their crowd. We’re clearly knackered but have done so much better since Palacios came on.

91 mins – Lennon takes advantage of the complete lack of Pompey defence and races through with just James to beat. He cocks it up putting a very tame effort wide. Very frustrating.

92 mins – Michael Brown gets a yellow card for clouting Assou-Ekotto. Benny gets himself a yellow too for his reaction. Phil Dowd wastes a bit of time for us by indulging in a bit of comedy with his fourth official who didn’t know who couldn’t work out who’d been booked.

93 mins – Lennon attempts a break after a Pompey corner and is tripped by Brown who is shown a second yellow and departs to applause from the home fans. Why?

Full Time and we’ve held on. The TV pans across the happy Yiddio-ing away fans. Harry looks impassive still, his search for someone from the home staff to shake hands with is fruitless as they all seem to have disappeared. Some sort of weird sailor’s hornpipe blares from the speakers as King is shown with a huge grin on his face sharing a joke with Bond.

Well that’s three points earned the hard way. We showed early on that we had more than enough quality to win this but the fifteen minutes before half time was the only period where we were in proper control and thanks to Defoe it needed a proper cliché backs to the wall performance in the end. The total shot count (both on and off target) was 23 to them and only 9 to us. Two of Gomes’s saves were outstanding, especially the first one from Kaboul’s free kick. We play a confident Stoke City next week and they’ll have noted how we were outmuscled again. They’ll also have noted how we still got the three points

By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. Gomes saved us from a draw or even defeat possibly. He proved that he is really our no.1 goalkeeper. We must tighten our defence and play better next week if we want to beat a well organised side like Stoke City. It is a great pity we shall be without Defoe, our main striker. I cannot understand how a footballer of his experience could have done such a stupid thing especially that he had been warned beforehand by Harry.

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