Heartbreak For Pompey

Last updated : 15 May 2016 By Jim Bonner

Portsmouth will be playing in League Two again next season after conceding a stoppage time goal to Plymouth in the second leg of their play-off semi-final to lose 3-2 on aggregate.

It was one of the cruellest ways to lose the tie but in all honesty Pompey simply didn't turn up at Home Park and were second best for the majority of the game.

A scrappy affair was settled at the death when Paul Hartley bundled in a corner with the clock ticking towards 93 minutes. The performance and goal summed up everything that has gone wrong for Pompey this season as they bottled it when it really mattered and once again conceded a goal in injury time, only this time it was fatal.

Pompey's best chance of scoring came when Luke McCormick's poor clearance went to Gary Roberts but he could only fire the ball over with the open goal beckoning. Meanwhile, Plymouth had come close on numerous occasions and could have put the game to bed sooner.

It's an extremely gutting way to lose the play-offs but the Pompey fans have to take it on the chin. We have to remember that despite the disappointment of not being able to go to Wembley that this season has been a marked improvement on the previous two campaigns.

There will be an inquest as to why this season has been a failure but to suggest that Paul cook deserves the sack is utterly ridiculous. He has had to put together virtually an entire new team from scratch and has his team playing some attractive football, too.

However, there are absolutely no excuses next season for Portsmouth not only to be getting promoted from this division, but for winning League Two outright.

It'll take time for the pain to ease but come August, as Paul Cook says, we will go again. And next time, we will make sure that this football club is finally successful after years of disappointment.

Pompey Player Ratings

Ryan Allsop: 6 - A couple of good saves.

Ben Davies: 6 - Struggled to get forward.

Christian Burgess: 5 - Switched off when it mattered most.

Adam Barton: 5 - Struggled to deal with the physical Plymouth forwards.

Enda Stevens: 6 - Steady but unspectacular.

Michael Doyle: 6 - Not up to his best.

Danny Hollands: 6 - Losing him to injury was a blow.

Gareth Evans: 5 - Not in the game until injury cut his evening short.

Gary Roberts: 4 - Wasted his one good chance but anonymous otherwise.

Kyle Bennett: 5 - Couldn't impose himself on the game.

Marc McNulty: 4 - Barely saw the ball.


Jack Whatmough

Brandan Haunstrup

Ben Close (Hollands 44): 6 - Will hopefully see more of him next season.

Adam McGurk (Evans 31): 5 - Wasted the one good chance he had. Not good enough.

Ben Tollitt

Kal Naismith

Conor Chaplin (Bennett 90): N/A - No time to bag a late equaliser.