A Perfect Day

Last updated : 20 April 2013 By Jim Bonner

Pompey began their new era under fan ownership with a 3-0 thumping of promotion chasing Sheffield United on a beautiful sunny day at Fratton Park.

There was great news before the match as the Football League confirmed that the ten point penalty would be imposed immediately rather than be carried over to next season. So whilst Pompey are now guaranteed to finish bottom of League One, they will begin next season in League Two on zero.

The match was virtually a complete sell out on the Pompey sides of the ground with Blades fans occupying just over half of the Milton End. The 18,433 was the biggest attendance of the season at Fratton Park despite the fixture being meaningless.

That didn't stop a rampant Pompey from tearing apart the opposition after a slow start.

Shaun Cooper headed in the opening goal after Jed Wallace and Patrick Agyemang combined well on the right to produce a cross for the former Bournemouth man, who is no doubt happy that his former side confirmed their promotion today.

A second goal quickly followed as Wallace continued to expose United's weakness down the right and he crossed a low ball into the box for David Connolly to stab home at the near post.

The third goal came from the left as Connolly turned provider for Wallace as Sheffield United failed to deal with his simple cross, leaving the Pompey youngster unmarked from close range to score.

It was a disaster for Chris Morgan's men who were all over the place and resorted to fruitless long balls to Dave Kitson. The former Pompey striker was taken off at half-time and that announcement was greeted by cheers from the home fans.

Chris Porter's header which was ruled out for offside right before the break summed up Sheffield United's day as Pompey had been comfortable up until then.

The second half was a cruise. Pompey passed the ball around to "ole" chants from the delighted home fans and Wallace should have made it four but skewed his shot wide when teed up by Connolly.

The Blades almost gave their dwindling number of supporters something to cheer about but their players missed the target from the few corners they won in the second half.

Pompey players began to turn on the style late on with Wallace doing a "Cruyff turn" to beat a couple of players whilst the likes of Johnny Ertl and Connolly were providing backheels to their colleagues. Agyemang also wowed the crowd by flicking the ball up and keeping it glued to his foot before passing it on.

The final whistle blew and was greeted with massive cheers you would not usually associate with a club that had been relegated and had a points deduction.

However, the party atmosphere continued as the samba stars came out with their drums and the Pompey staff came out to a well deserved applause for their lap of honour and cap a memorable end to what has been a very difficult season.

Hopefully, the bad times are gone and if today is anything to go by then the fan ownership era is going to be brilliant. If Guy Whittingham can keep hold of the majority of these players for next season the there is no reason why Pompey can't be force in League Two now that it's confirmed that we will start on an even keel.

Next week's relegation party at Shrewsbury should be fun but today may well have marked the beginning of a great new dawn for this fantastic football club.

Pompey Player Ratings

Simon Eastwood: 6 - Little to do.

Yassin Moutaouakil: 7 - Defended well.

Sam Sodje: 8 - An absolute rock at the heart of the defence.

Gabor Gyepes: 8 - Dealt with all of the long balls easily.

Dan Butler: 7 - Got forward well.

Shaun Cooper: 8 - Relishing his midfield role.

Johnny Ertl: 8 - Bossed the midfield once again.

Therry Racon: 7 - Linked play well.

Jed Wallace: 8 - Involved in all three goals.

Patrick Agyemang: 7 - Most creative display yet.

David Connolly: 8 - A class act.


Phil Smith

Adam Webster

Nick Awford (Ertl 90): N/A - Late debut takes Pompey's "players used" total to 52.

Liam Walker

Jack Maloney (Wallace 89): N/A - Surely brought on just so Wallace could leave to an outstanding reception.

Ashley Harris (Agyemang 86): N/A - Late cameo.

John Akinde