Late Brewers Equaliser Denies Pompey

Last updated : 18 January 2015 By Jim Bonner

Portsmouth are now seven games without a win after being held to a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion at Fratton Park following a disappointing second half performance.

The game was a scrappy one as expected with a midfield battle taking centre stage and neither goalkeeper having too much to do in the first half hour.

Pompey did get going eventually and began to create some chances, although Brewers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin almost scored a comedy own goal when his clearance struck the back of John Mousinho and almost crept into the net before the keeper gathered it.

The pressure eventually tod, however, as Pompey took the lead minutes after as Andy Barcham's shot cannonned off of the post and Jed Wallace was there to score the rebound.

Pompey then showed plenty of guile and craft to carve open the Brewers backline on numerous occasions afterwards but couldn't find the second goal despite Barcham's, Craig Westcarr's and Matt Tubbs' best efforts.

Pompey began the second half with the same tempo as Adam Webster headed a corner straight at McLaughlin from close range and later in the half there was a penalty shout for handball but it would have been harsh as the ball bounced off Robbie Weir's thigh and struck him on the arm.

That was as good as it got got Andy Awford's men in the second half, though, as Burton began to play their way into the match without causing too much trouble for a defence being well marshalled by Paul Robinson.

But the pressure continued to increase when James Dunne, making his first start for the team since November, went off with injury and that gave Burton the edge in midfield.

The equaliser came on 83 minutes thanks to a strike out of the blue from Darragh Lenihan from midfield. It wasn't the fiercest of shots and Paul Jones probably should have saved it, in truth. But the goal had been coming in terms of how much possession Burton had in the second half, even if the goal was a strike out of nowhere.

Neither team could find a winner as the final whistle blew to murmurs of discontent from the Pompey fans, many of whom wondered why their team decided to sit back and defend a single goal lead rather than finish Burton off.

But then it wasn't quite as simple as that as the game truly swung in Burton's favour when Dunne went off. He was arguably Pompey's best performer as he kept the midfield together and so when he was replaced by Johnny Ertl it perhaps shouldn't have been so surprising to see Lenihan run through the midfield unchallenged before striking the equaliser.

Not only that, but Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reacted to the pattern of the match and brought on his substitutes early into the second half to nullify Pompey's attacking threat and keep the ball better, which obviously worked and it would get Pompey fans wondering why Awford doesn't do the same, with his changes coming too late and not making much of an impact.

The result has taken Pompey a place up to 16th in League Two but Andy Awford's side are alarmingly now only three points off the dreaded drop and with games against Southend and Wycombe coming up, it's going to be a nerve shredding January which might have dire consequences for the manager yet.

Pompey Player Ratings

Paul Jones: 5 - Should have done better with the goal.

Adam Webster: 6 - Solid enough but should have scored.

Paul Robinson: 7 - Marshalled the defence very well.

Joe Devera: 7 - Decent performance.

Nicky Shorey: 6 - Defended well but passing was poor.

Andy Barcham: 7 - Best performance of the season.

James Dunne: 7 - Was a big miss when he went off after an earlier injury.

Nigel Atangana: 6 - A good first half but faded in the second.

Jed Wallace: 6 - Scored but did little else.

Matt Tubbs: 6 - Chased everything and played his part in the opener.

Craig Westcarr: 6 - Worked hard for a player deemed "lazy" by fans.


Michael Poke

Ben Chorley

Dan Butler

Johnny Ertl (Dunne 73): N/A - Didn't do much.

Danny Hollands (Barcham 90): N/A - Only gven stoppage time to change the game.

Ryan Taylor

Paul McCallum (Westcarr 79): N/A - No time to make an impact.