Another Dire Defeat

Last updated : 29 March 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey suffered a second consecutive defeat following a dreadful performance against Shrewsbury in front of a disillusioned crowd.

The Shrews arrived at Fratton Park in a yellow and black striped kit but you could be forgiven for mistaking them for Borussia Dortmund given how good Portsmouth made them look yesterday.

An unchanged side started the match well but the visitors soon took control, won virtually every 50/50 ball in midfield and outpassed lacklustre Pompey who barely created a notable chance all match.

A combination of saves from Paul Jones and goal-line clearances from the brittle Pompey back line kept the scores level for a while but the deadlock was eventually broken when Liam Lawrence fed Bobby Grant who struck the ball into the bottom corner. It was a good goal but critics will point out that Shrewsbury had too much space and time to orchestrate the move leading up to it.

Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro should have doubled the visitors' lead before the end of the half but he failed to convert the rebound when Jones had parried James Collins' strike. Cole Kpekawa also produced a great last-ditch challenge to stop Jermaine Grandison from what would have been a certain goal.

The second half didn't see an improved performance from Pompey although Jayson Leutwiler in the Shrews goal had to save Jed Wallace's strike with Wes Fogden's followed up by Mickey Demetriou.

But Mickey Mellon's men were in total control of the game and Pompey's lack of pace at the back was completely exposed with the Shrews strikers getting a clear run at the Fratton End goal, despite the ref's assistant getting plenty of abuse for his supposed "wrong" calls.

Grant doubled the lead with another long range effort having not been closed down, although it looked like the shot took a deflection. He then proceeded to celebrate as if scoring a goal for the opposition in front of the Fratton End was a big deal despite the countless other players who have managed it this season. Cue "boo boy" status for the rest of the match.

Andy Awford reacted by putting Conor Chaplin and Paul McCallum on but they saw little of the ball due to the lack of service from Pompey's poor midfield.

That was enough for most Pompey fans as they streamed out of the ground with only the smattering of supporters remaining booing the team off for their dire showing.

The whole team were terrible on the day, although at least Taylor and Tubbs could say that they did all they could with the scraps fed to them. The midfield were outbattled, there was no width in the team and the defence lacked any speed or organisation, with Nosworthy being singled out for criticism.

The fans deserve better and with Portsmouth now lying 14th in the league and a trip to struggling Carlisle up next, Awford needs to find a way of motivating his players if his job isn't to be at risk come the end of what has been an extremely disappointing season for Pompey.

Pompey Player Ratings

Paul Jones: 7 - Made a few decent saves

Danny East: N/A - Off with another injury.

Joe Devera: 5 - Struggled.

Nyron Nosworthy: 3 - No pace and no organisation skills. Horrible home debut.

Ben Chorley: 4 - Given the runaround. Not good enough.

Cole Kpekawa: 6 - A couple of good challenges and clearances but rarely found on the wing. Should be given a centre back role next week.

James Dunne: 4 - Possibly his poorest game for Pompey yet. Outbattled.

Danny Hollands: 4 - Didn't look up for it.

Jed Wallace: 5 - Nullified by a solid Shrews defence.

Ryan Taylor: 6 - Did the best he could.

Matt Tubbs: 5 - Worked hard but virtually anonymous.


David Cornell

Dan Butler

Ben Close

Nigel Atangana

Wes Fogden (East 41): 4 - Passing was terrible.

Conor Chaplin (Hollands 70): N/A - Barely saw the ball.

Paul McCallum (Taylor 78): N/A - No impact.