Portsmouth Season Review 2010/2011: August

Last updated : 15 May 2011 By Jim Bonner
It has been a year to the day that Pompey were defeated 1-0 at Wembley in the FA Cup Final but following a successful ruling against HMRC and a new manager in place, a large contingent of Pompey fans made their way to Coventry with a degree of optimism.

And within four minutes that optimism had been crushed as Jamie Ashdown allowed Freddy Eastwood's tame shot to trickle under his legs to concede the first of many goals this season.

Eastwood headed in another in the second half and the only cheers to come from the visiting fans were for the woeful John Utaka when he was subbed off. With such a wafer thin squad and a bench consisting of four teenagers it was no surprise to see Pompey get beaten on their first game back in the Championship.

There was some joy for the Pompey fans days later as the team ran out 2-1 winners at newly promoted League Two side Stevenage, who were playing their first ever League Cup tie. Nadir Ciftci gave the away side the lead and although Darren Murphy's deflected equaliser threatened to spoil things, Michael Brown's diving header settled it.

Steve Cotterill borrowed another player from Stoke as Carl Dickinson joined the club and made his debut in Pompey's opening home game with

Ciftci's deflected strike gave Pompey an early lead but the team couldn't hold on as Sonko needlessly put the ball out for a corner which led to a goalmouth scramble that ended with Jimmy Kebe poking home a late equaliser.

In what would normally be a bizarre transfer move in normal circumstances but a normal move in "Pompey circumstances", Kevin-Prince Boateng was sold to Genoa and then immediately loaned to AC Milan. The deal was made a co-ownership deal and the Ghanian would play a big part in the Rossoneri's Scudetto winning season.

The same success could not be said for the Pompey players who performed so poorly at Deepdale as they ended up losing 1-0 to a dire
Preston side courtesy of Paul Hayes' tap in during a terrible match. Fans who watched that game already began to fear the worst.

Whilst the league results were causing misery, the cup results continued to go the right way as Pompey eventually defeated
Crystal Palace in the second round of the Carling Cup.

Nugent's first goal of the season was cancelled out by Sonko's first own goal of the season which led to an epic penalty shootout that Portsmouth won after many misses and saves from Jamie Ashdown.

Unfortunately the joy didn't continue as Cardiff City came to Fratton Park and got a measure of revenge for their 2008 FA Cup Final defeat with an easy 2-0 win thanks to a Hayden Mullins own goal and a Jay Bothroyd strike following more defensive indecisiveness.

As transfer deadline day loomed Kanu re-joined the club on a somewhat surprising three-year-deal, Darryl Flahavan arrived at
Fratton Park for an initial month's stay and Tommy Smith left for QPR on loan as a permanent deal couldn't be done on time.

The big deal of the day saw Marc Wilson join Stoke in exchange for Dave Kitson, Liam Lawrence and £1 million. However, there was another twist in the tale as
Lawrence's transfer wasn't made permanent and so had to arrive on emergency loan instead, meaning Steve Cotterill had one less loan space in his squad.

That brought an end to a frantic August. Those Pompey fans who say we've had a poor season needs to look back at this month and see how bad it was. Portsmouth were left languishing at the bottom of the Championship after four games and things would get worse before they got better.