Addicks All But End Pompey Promotion Hopes

Last updated : 22 April 2018 By Jim Bonner

Charlton's 1-0 win at Fratton Park yesterday has virtually killed any chance that Portsmouth had of finishing in the top six with the damage being done in the first half.

Indeed, the first 45 minutes Pompey produced yesterday was one of their worst as the visitors were on top for long periods and always looked more dangerous going forward.

The goal conceded was a poor one as Josh Magennis' flicked header found its way to an unmarked Nicky Ajose who had the simple task of slotting the ball past Luke McGee.

Matt Clarke had the Blues' only real effort on target from a free kick but it was an easy save for Ben Amos as Pompey struggled to get anything going before the break.

There was an improvement in the early stages of the second half as Brett Pitman should have equalised when meeting Gareth Evans' free kick into the box but the ball ended up in the Fratton End instead.

There were a couple of other half chances before Charlton tightened their defence and made it difficult for Pompey, whilst still being a threat on the break.

Kal Naismith's woeful attempit from long range summed up how desperate Pompey were getting late on although his gesture to the fans who were understandable venting their frustration at such a poor attempt at goal didn't go down well.

There was one last chance for Pompey to salvage a draw in a game they really needed to win but Amos was able to tip Pitman's free kick over the bar and the lengthy stoppage time didn't yield any more attempts, meaning Pompey fell to their nineteenth  league defeat of the season.

The bottom line is that no team can lose nineteen games and expect to finish in the top six and even if, by some minor mathematical miracle, Pompey did somehow qualify for the play-offs then there isn't enough quality to win them anyway.

Kenny Jackett has already admitted defeat in his post-match interview by looking to get his business done early for next season, with reports suggesting that Ronan Curtis, an Irish U-21 international who plays for Derry City, could be the first through the door.

As for yesterday's match, Charlton are definitely one of the best sides to come to Fratton Park with their defence well marshalled by the excellent Jason Pearce on his return to Portsmouth.

However, Pompey were the architects of their own downfall thanks to such a terrible first half performance and although the second half started well, it seems like this team has ran out of steam with the finishing line in sight. The midfield were clearly outbattled with the tactic of Dion Donohue playing in the centre clearly not working.

Too many players have faded in the last few matches but this season was always going to take its toll on such a small squad containing players who still require experience or haven't been able to step up to League One. The damage was done after a disappointing January both on and off the pitch, in truth.

Still, despite the disappointing performance yesterday, the Pompey fans can look back on a satisfactory season on their return to the third tier. Let's just hope it doesn't peter out in the final two games and there's something to cheer about other than Southampton's impending relegation!

Pompey Player Ratings

Luke McGee: 5 - Nervy performance and not at his best.

Nathan Thompson: 5 - Poor first half might have something to do with his injury.

Jack Whatmough: 6 - Hopefully the injury that forced him off at half-time isn't too serious.

Matt Clarke: 6 - Solid but nothing more.

Brandan Haunstrup: 6 - Deserved his recall.

Ben Close: 6 - Some good moments.

Jamal Lowe: 5 - Threat was nullified for most of the game.

Gareth Evans: 5 - Outgunned in centre midfield but still delivered a couple of good free kicks into the box.

Dion Donohue: 4 - Gave the ball away far too often.

Kal Naismith: 4 - A shadow of the player who blitzed League Two at the end of last season. Gone in the summer.

Brett Pitman: 5 - Isolated for much of the game and missed his one big chance.


Alex Bass

Christian Burgess (Whatmough 46): 6 - Slotted in fine.

Stuart O'Keefe (Thompson 46): 6 - Battled hard, should look to keep him in the summer.

Connor Ronan (Haunstrup 66): 6 - Possessed some drive but loses the ball too easily.

Matty Kennedy

Conor Chaplin

Oli Hawkins