Akpo Sodje Downs Pompey
By Jim Bonner
Updated Wednesday, 6th February 2013
Scunthorpe United 2 Portsmouth 1
Akpo Sodje got two over brother Sam last night as his goals defeated Pompey at Glanford Park in a poor match.
The first half didn't contain very many chances for either side. Pompey couldn't keep hold of the ball but their hosts were equally as bad when it came to creating chances and didn't really threaten in the first half hour.
Scunthorpe did pile on some pressure late in the half and won a few corners which came to nothing but they did take the lead when Akpo, the tallest player on the pitch, was left unmarked to head the ball in at the near post from all of two yards out.
Simon Eastwood would have been relieved to see Akpo's shot soon after go straight to him when he was given too much space in the box. His brother and his colleagues were struggling to contain him.
Still, just as it seemed that Pompey would go into the break a goal down the referee awarded the visitors a free kick on the edge of the box in the last minute of the half.
It would have been fitting of the game's poor quality had Liam Walker smashed the ball straight into the wall but instead he beautifully curled it with his left foot into the top corner of the net, giving Sam Slocombe no chance of saving it.
That goal seemed to galvanise Pompey to a degree in the second half as they were the only team that looked like winning the game.
James Keene had a very good shout for a penalty when his shot struck a Scunthorpe hand. It seemed clear enough from where the Pompey fans were standing directly behind the goal but the referee wasn't interested.
There was another shout for a penalty when Keene was taken out just inside the box but again the claims were waved away as Pompey continued to press without really threatening.
Scunthorpe's only real attempt before their winner was an overhead kick from an unmarked Karl Hawley which sailed wide.
But just as it seemed that Guy Whittingham's men would hold on for a deserved draw a simple lapse in concentration saw a long ball from Vince Grella headed in by Sodje with just five minutes remaining.
It was a sucker punch for the Pompey fans but in all honesty the results of these games are meaningless now and we had fun poking fun at Slocombe who took it all with good heart and applauded the 202 travelling fans at the end of the game.
But it was the same old story for the Portsmouth players who never created many clear cut chances and again struggled to deal with tall, imposing strikers and long balls into the box.
Up next is the very difficult trip to Dean Court to face the country's most in-form side. Failure to win that game would see Portsmouth equal the club record of 19 games without a win.
Pompey Player Ratings
Simon Eastwood: 6 - Had no chance with either goal.
Yassin Moutaouakil: 6 - Half-decent going forward.
Gabor Gyepes: 5 - Not the player he was when he first arrived.
Sam Sodje: 5 - Didn't "smash" his brother like he claimed.
Adam Webster: 6 - Solid enough.
Adam Reed: 5 - Hasn't shown enough.
Johnny Ertl: 6 - Works better in midfield.
Jed Wallace: 6 - Tried to drive the team on.
Liam Walker: 7 - Superb free kick.
Ashley Harris: 5 - Barely involved.
James Keene: 6 - Occasionally a threat.
Dan Butler (Webster 87): N/A - No time to change things.
Shaun Cooper (Harris 74): N/A - No impact.
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