Clueless Pompey Clouted By Clarets

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 26 January 2011
Dreadful Pompey were defeated once again as Eddie Howe got one over the club he used to play for.

Steve Cotterill said that this was his team's worst performance at home and he was correct as the players looked completely clueless, couldn't pass to each other and seemed to forget the basics of defending.

The game itself was a drab affair. Before the goals, the only noteworthy chance in the game was David Nugent's drive which was saved by Lee Grant. The loose ball fell for Liam Lawrence but the Irishman blazed the ball into the Fratton End.

Burnley had a couple of half chances from corners and had a penalty appeal waved away before taking the lead just after the half hour mark when Jay Rodriguez nipped in front of the Pompey defenders to tap in Danny Fox's cross.

That goal seemed to wake Pompey up and the equaliser arrived sharply as Kanu produced a beautiful through ball for John Utaka who beat Grant just two minutes after the visitors took the lead.

Unfortunately Burnley were gifted the lead again after a comedy of errors.

Joel Ward lost the ball and Greg Halford's attempt to clear the resulting cross saw him swipe it into the air for Steve Thompson who had his shot saved by Ashdown, only for Dean Marney to find the net with an overhead kick from the rebound.

That goal was the hallmark of a poor game that didn't improve in the second half. Nugent should have scored when he was put through but the Burnley defence were able to clear whilst Ashdown did well to parry Jay Rodriguez's shot around the post at the other end of the pitch.

The only other half-chance for the hosts came when Utaka did well to shrug off the challenge of two Burnley defenders only for his shot to go wide. Steve Cotterill sent on Hermann Hreidarsson as an emergency striker in a desperate attempt to grab a late equaliser but the final whistle blew and the team were booed off after a woeful performance.

Let's get one thing straight. Burnley were average at best and yet didn't need to be better than that on the night. Pompey's back four were inept with each player making individual mistakes, the midfield were disjointed and so the attackers barely saw the ball and were closed down quickly when they did.

There will be plenty of time for deeper analysis of this match with Steve Cotterill having until next Tuesday to rectify the many problems that reared their ugly heads before the daunting trip to league leaders QPR.

Pompey Player Ratings

Jamie Ashdown: 6 - One good save but not helped by his awful defence.

Joel Ward: 4 - Caught out constantly.

Greg Halford: 4 - Looked very uncomfortable at centre back.

Ibrahima Sonko: 5 - Distribution awful again.

Ritchie De Laet: 4 - Poor showing.

Liam Lawrence: 5 - Not his finest hour.

Hayden Mullins: 6 - Worked hard, had to hold the entire midfield together at times.

Jonathan Hogg: 5 - A couple of good challenges but a tentative debut.

John Utaka: 6 - Scored but Burnley defence dealt with him for the most part.

Kanu: 6 - Produced the only piece of Pompey quality in the match.

David Nugent: 4 - Didn't get into the game and fluffed his big chance.

Substitutes

Darryl Flahavan

Carl Dickinson (Kanu 64): 6 - Played well as part of the reshuffle.

Hermann Hreidarsson (Hogg 89): N/A - Desperate switch.

Ricardo Rocha

Nadir Ciftci

Portsmouth Match Reports


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