Portsmouth Season Review 2010/2011: September

Last updated : 20 May 2011 By Jim Bonner
With the transfer window shut, Steve Cotterill was still busy in the transfer window while Andrew Andronikou was still trying to sell the club.

Ricardo Rocha re-joined Pompey having considered his options in the summer whilst Liam Lawrence was finally loaned to the Blues who kept their first clean sheet of the season but failed to score in their home game with Ipswich.

If the home fans thought that the improvement in defending would see an upturn of form then they were in for a shock as Pompey came a cropper at Selhurst Park.

Crystal Palace thumped Pompey 4-1 courtesy of a James Vaughan hat-trick and a soft penalty from Neil Danns. Dave Kitson grabbed an equaliser in comedy fashion as one of the Eagles' defenders looped a defensive header over his own goalkeeper for an easy tap in, but the rest of the match was misery.

Things weren't looking great off the pitch either was bids from secret millionaire Rob Lloyd and young entrepreneur Tom Lever were dismissed by Andrew Andronikou as inadequate.

The sorry story on the pitch continued as Pompey's winless start to the season was extended to seven games after a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Despite performing well on the day, Ched Evans' free kick was enough to ensure that Portsmouth were the only league team in the country without a win.

Things looked bleak with double dose of bogey team Leicester on the horizon and the first meeting went the way of the Foxes as Michael Morrison's and Lloyd Dyer's first half goals meant that despite Liam Lawrence's first goal for the club, ten man Pompey were knocked out of the Carling Cup.

However, the main event came just three days later as bottom met second-from-bottom in the Championship and absolutely nobody could have predicted the result as decisions started to go our way and things began to click.

Michael Morrison was involved early on again but this time his handball gifted Pompey an early penalty that Lawrence slotted in. Vitor was then shown the red card for hauling down Nugent as Lawrence smashed a deflected free kick in to double Pompey's lead.

Ten man Leicester held out until mid-way through the second half until they collapsed as David Nugent eventually poked in a third goal and then Dave Kitson scored straight from the restart after Nuge won the ball from the dallying Foxes.

Steve Howard pulled one back but the onslaught continued as generous defending gifted Kitson his second goal of the night and then in stoppage time, Michael Brown slotted in a sixth following a mazy run through the Leicester defence.

That stunning 6-1 victory saw Portsmouth climb off the bottom of the table as David James returned to Fratton Park with new club Bristol City, who also hadn't started the season well.

Pompey were made to work harder in this game but still came away with victory in the end. John Utaka fired past James for the opener but Jon Stead equalised just minutes after in a frantic game that saw Aaron Mokoena's header give Pompey the lead again before Hayden Mullins made the game safe with a goal on the break in stoppage time.

Back-to-back wins meant that it seemed Steve Cotterill's team had turned a corner but the same couldn't be said for the club's ownership which the Football League were still unconvinced with, meaning Portsmouth were still in administration going into October.