Carabao Cup Curse Continues

Last updated : 14 August 2018 By Jim Bonner

Pompey's misery in the League Cup continued tonight as they were once again dumped out of the competition at the first hurdle courtesy of a 2-1 home defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

A weakened Portsmouth side deserved to lose the tie on balance of play, especially in the first half when they couldn't get their passing game going in a 4-1-4-1 formation and attacks often fell flat. David Wheeler's header from Brett Pitman's cross was the only real chance Pompey had in the first half.

On the other hand, Wimbledon squandered numerous opportunities with Scot Wagstaff having most of them, including one that had to be cleared off the line. If he was more accurate the match would have been over before the break.

As it was, Kenny Jackett's men came out a far better side for the opening period of the second half and took the lead when Christian Burgess headed in a corner at the far post.

The Blues couldn't build on that, however, and after a couple of warning shots, the Dons finally equalised when Joe Pigott headed in a cross from close range.

The hosts almost retook the lead when Ronan Curtis' deep cross was kept in play by Jamal Lowe and his centre couldn't be converted by Oli Hawkins.

Most of the 6,588 inside the ground would have been expecting penalties but instead Anton Walkes' disastrous header somehow managed to find the corner of his own net and that was enough to see Pompey eliminated from a competition that, in all honesty, they had no chance of winning.

Still, if Walkes had some critics last season then that number will have only increased after tonight's poor performance capped by his stupid own goal. The defence as a unit didn't play well at all and it's safe to say that Jack Whatmough and Lee Brown won't have felt their places for Saturday's team are under threat.

Wheeler had a poor debut whilst Pitman had little impact and some people will be wondering if he and the manager had a fall out after he was hauled off in favour of Chaplin tonight, although the latter couldn't stake his claim in the side either although he was unlucky on a couple of occasions.

Pompey's lack of attacking prowess could be highlighted by Curtis doing more in his ten minute cameo at the end of the match than all of the other attacking players combined.

The bottom line is that whilst nobody will really care about Pompey being knocked out of the Carabao Cup, a vast improvement will be required on Saturday for an important match against Oxford, that's for sure.

Pompey Player Ratings

Luke McGee: 6 - Couldn't stop either goal but lacked communication with his back four.

Anton Walkes: 4 - Poor peformance capped by baffling own goal.

Christian Burgess: 6 - Scored but still leaves a lot to be desired defensively.

Matt Clarke: 6 - Stood oud individually but even then had a couple of awkward moments.

Brandan Haunstrup: 5 - Was beaten too often.

Tom Naylor: 5 - For a stand out signing he has yet to show what he can do. Looks off the pace.

David Wheeler: 5 - Missed his one chance and did little else.

Ben Close: 5 - Didn't assert himself.

Gareth Evans: 5 - Found himself out left too often and delivery was poor.

Jamal Lowe: 6 - Was a threat when he had the ball.

Brett Pitman: 5 - No impact. 


Craig MacGillivray

Jack Whatmough

Lee Brown

Adam May

Ronan Curtis (Wheeler 80): N/A - Looks dangerous on the wing.

Oli Hawkins (Evans 67): 5 - Did not change the game.

Conor Chaplin (Pitman 67): 6 - Nothing came off for him.