Freak Goal Downs Pompey

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 26 October 2014

Pompey fell to their sixth league defeat of the season after being beaten 2-1 by Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.

The visitors started well and Paul Robinson had his header well saved by Jason Leutwiler before a blatant handball by Mickey Demetriou in the box gave Jed Wallace the opportunity to score from the spot, which he duly accepted after three minutes.

The Shrews were level just before the quarter-hour mar when James Wesolowski fired the ball through a crowded penalty area and past Paul Jones.

The hosts took control of possession but never really looked to threatening whilst Pompey were struggling to string any number of passes together and seemed comfortable defending.

Shrewsbury won it late in the second half when Connor Goldson scored what may look like a cheeky lob from the TV camera angle but is simply an overhit cross which drifted over Paul Jones and into the net.

Pompey never really responded to that until the final five minutes when some late pressure was applied but Liam Lawrence did his old side no favours by producing a clearance off the line.

It seems to be the same old problems for Andy Awford's men who can't create chances away from Fratton Park. There may have been short bursts of pressure but nothing concentrated as the opposition had more of the ball.

It's a conundrum that Awford needs to solve but who knows how he is going to do it? Perhaps he just needs a stroke of good fortune on the road rather than what happened yesterday to inflict what he says is a cruel defeat.

From a fans' perspective the defeat isn't too much to be worried about. Most teams aren't going to get anything from Shrewsbury this season and we're not in the position where we are feared or can impose our style of play on the opposition.

Until that happens then there is little chance of promotion but despite Pompey sitting in 13th place in League Two they are still only three points off the play-offs and if Awford can keep his side within touching distance of the top seven and then address this team's major weaknesses (i.e: a prolific goalscorer, creative midfielder and a right back) then a good season is still possible so there is no need to panic or call for the manager's head. Yet.

Next up is the visit of Carlisle to Fratton Park but before that comes the FA Cup first round draw on Monday. Gosport Borough are in the hat for the very first time and Havant & Waterlooville will join them in the first round if they can win their replay against Canvey Island at Westleigh Park on Tuesday.

One to avoid would be a trip to Eastleigh, not just for the potential trouble it could cause with all of the Southampton fans wanting to get in on the act but also because there's a fair chance Pompey could suffer a humiliating defeat on the road given how poor the away form has been this season.

Watch Pompey draw Blyth Spartans away now...

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