Last updated : 04 March 2006 By Jim Bonner
Well what can I say about this game? I'll start from the beginning....

The atmosphere for this fixture is probably the worst I've ever experienced. The home fans failed to get anything going which I was half-expecting but even our own support were quiet from the off today. Maybe it's something in the Birmingham air that stuns the vocal cords or a more realistic proposition is the fact that the game was bleak from the beginning.

Then there was our performance. We pretty much carried zero threat other than one Todorov shot tipped over by Sorensen in the first half but bugger all for us after that. Lua Lua was too selfish with the ball when a pass was on and when it wasn't and he should have shot he tries to take the ball round the entire Villa defence instead! Our midfield were outbattled by McCann and Barry with Davis and Milner looking threatening throughout the game and they forced Deano into a few smart saves.

As for the goal itself it was unforgiveable. Basic marking seems to be lacking in our defence as Milan Baros was completely unmarked for a simple header even I could have scored, and even if he didn't there was another Villa shirt there ready to tap it in. That goes down as one of the worst goals we've ever conceded in the Premiership in terms of defending. Phillips should have scored earlier after our defence were nowhere to be seen as he broke through one on one and lobbed Keily only to hit the post and get a torrent of abuse from the Pompey fans behind the goal. In truth though, we were lacklustre up front and at the back and Villa should have won by more and though we had a chance to nick a goal at the end I never saw it coming as Pompey slumped to their ninth straight away defeat.

No positives to take from this game apart from West Brom and Birmingham also lost their games and they are playing each other next week so we could capitalise if we beat City in another "Must Win" encounter but based on this performance, we shouldn't even bother turning up.

That ends my rant today. I hate to be so negative but there was absolutely nothing good to take out of our performance today. Maybe tommorow I'll be a bit happier, but don't count on it.