How!!??

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 11 November 2006
Portsmouth battered Fulham for the majority of the match today having constantly created chances, forcing Antti Niemi into loads of saves and dominated the majority of possession. Yet despite all of this, the result was amazingly a 1-1 draw!

Pompey created chance after chance and had shot after shot in the first half but could not find the back of the net for allsorts of reasons. Whether it was poor finishing, lack of man-on-end-of-cross, some desperate Fulham defending or the Scummer in the goal who just would not be beaten! The visitors rarely threatened and no doubt their travelling fans will be wondering how the hell they weren't at least 3-0 down at the break.

I told my mate during half-time that Fulham would punish us for missing all those chances so it wasn't a surprise to me when the opposition won a corner and the defence fail to mark in the box so Zat Knight could head in an opener (although there was a deflection off Stefanovic). From then on in it was just constant Pompey pressure as the home side kept winning successive corners but once again, somehow the Fulham defence managed to get them away.

This pressure would finally result in an equaliser after substitute Andy Cole scored the king of all scrappy goals as he poked the ball home after a messy goalmouth scramble. I thought it would have been disallowed having seen luck desert us the whole game prior to the goal.

Obviously we weren't going to settle for a draw having dominated and still Pompey piled forward in search of a winner, leaving ourselves vulnerable at the back so Fulham could counter-attack. Harry threw on Benjani and then David Thompson after Gary O'Neil picked up a nasty injury so Chris Coleman responded by putting on Papa Bouba Diop and Collins John as both sides looked for the win.

We still kept pressing for the winner as Liam Rosenior got cracked in the nads by Benjani's shot but in the end we had to settle for a draw in a thoroughly entertaining game.

Is a draw a good result? It depends on the way you look at the game. We should have won considering the fact we had 24 shots on goal (including hitting the post and crossbar) compared to their 7 and 20 corners compared to their 5 but on the other hand we could have lost after going behind if Fulham decided to shut up shop.

Credit to Fulham for not settling for a draw but if they had come away with all three points it would have been a travesty rather than the minor miscarriage of justice the actual result was.

These sorts of games eventually happen during the course of a season and I'm sure there will be a game where we get battered yet get something we don't deserve. We now must move on and focus on Watford next week where a draw will be a bad result regardless of the circumstances.

Still, you can't complain about having 20 points after 12 games. Alright, we've dropped down to 5th place but I'm sure we'd all have taken that before the season started. If we keep this form up then we will have a great season.

For now, let's just curse our luck and move on.

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 6 - Hardly had anything to do and had no chance with Knights header.

Noe Pamarot: 7 - Had a decent game at right back. Could have scored, didn't let Boa Morte get the better of him and even skinned a couple of the Fulham players!

Linvoy Primus: 7 - Solid as per usual.

Sol Campbell: 8 - My Man Of The Match. He made sure Fulham didn't get forward down the centre and nullified McBride completely.

Dejan Stefanovic: 6 - Unlucky to get the ball deflected off him. Put in a few decent crosses.

Gary O'Neil: 6 - Not his best game but put in plenty of decent corners. Hopefully his injury isn't serious.

Sean Davis: 7 - Industrious in the centre once again.

Pedro Mendes: 6 - Relatively quiet for Pedro today.

Matthew Taylor: 6 - Not a bad game by all means, but ended up being sacraficed for Andy Cole.

Lomana LuaLua: 7 - Very lively but still a bit too selfish when there's better options available. Had a great free kick saved by Niemi.

Kanu: 6 - Not as influential as he was against Reading.

Subs

Dean Kiely

Andy O'Brien

David Thompson: N/A - No time to rate him but he looked lively for the last five minutes. We could be seeing more of him with O'Neil being injured.

Andy Cole: 7 - He's proving his worth off the bench. Always nice to score against your former club too.

Benjani: N/A - Not enough time to really influence the game.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 11th November 15:00

Blackpool 2 - 3 Portsmouth

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