Pompey were held to a disappointing and frustrating goalless draw with Yeovil yesterday as they struggled to break down the negative, albeit resolute visitors.
Paul Cook's men dominated posession but yet only registered two shots on target during the entire game. The first half in particular was irritating with Yeovil having the best chance of the half when Ryan Bird's header from a corner was saved by Aaron McCarey.
That told its own story as Pompey's only meaningful effort on goal was a volley from the returning Michael Doyle but the 4-2-3-1 formation with Matt Tubbs up front on his own was clearly not working and thus Cook brought on Jayden Stockley to play up front with him in the second half.
That move paid dividends to a degree as Yeovil were penned in their own half for the vast majority of the rest of the match and yet Artur Krysiak in the Yeovil goal only had two saves to make; the first from a Stockley header and the second a parry from another Doyle drive.
Other than that, Pompey's attempts to score were being thwarted by their own inaccuracy whether it be shooting or crossing into the box. The long balls never worked either as the Glovers centre backs won more than their fair share of them.
The final whistle was greeted with a few sporadic boos as Portsmouth had once again dropped points at home to a team that they were expected to beat.
This was arguably the worst performance of the season given that Pompey were much better against Exeter on Tuesday and yet nobody had any real complaints about an unjust result yesterday and that is credit to Yeovil.
For the first time this season the critics are out for Paul Cook, too. His post-match interview was tinged with bitterness as he claimed: "I don't need to change. I need other teams to change and then we can have a good match."
Sorry Paul, but Yeovil will not be the last team to come to Fratton Park and park the bus this season and so you do need to change. Plan A wasn't working but Plan B never produced a goal either, so perhaps a Plan C should have been in the pipeline?
Paul Sturrock's team showed absolutely no interest in winning the game in the second half and so why not play a 4-3-3 formation later on? The substitution of Hollands on for Barton when Tollitt, Naismith and Chaplin were on the bench was puzzling and when the latter was introduced in the 89th minute it was far too late for him to make an impact.
Cook shouldn't shouder all of the blame, however, as his attacking trio of midfielders weren't good enough on the day, either. Bennett's deliveries were frustrating, Evans did little and Roberts also missed a good chance. The whole team were also guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net when shooting at the first good opportunity may have been better.
Still, 20 points from 11 games is hardly a bad return and as perverse as it sounds, there are two away games to look forward to now where the opposition in Cambridge and Newport should at least move the bus from its parking bay.
This could be one of those rare seasons where Pompey's away record ends up being better than that at Fratton Park and those campaigns always end in success.
Pompey Player Ratings
Aaron McCarey: 6 - One good save but had nothing to do.
Ben Davies: 6 - Crossing was of mixed quality.
Christian Burgess: 7 - Dependable as always.
Matt Clarke: 6 - Bailed out by Burgess for one mistake but fine otherwise.
Enda Stevens: 5 - Delivery was poor.
Michael Doyle: 7 - Pompey's biggest threat - that says everything.
Adam Barton: 5 - Struggled to make any key passes.
Gareth Evans: 5 - Contributed little.
Gary Roberts: 6 - Not as influential as he can be.
Kyle Bennett: 6 - Some incisive runs but lacked an end product.
Matt Tubbs: 5 - Had no service.
Danny Hollands (Barton 70): N/A - Strange change.
Conor Chaplin (Tubbs 89): N/A - Had no time.
Jayden Stockley (Evans 46): 6 - Yeovil centre backs had him well shackled.