Late Dempsey Leveller Completes Awful Day

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 26 October 2008
Clint Dempsey volleyed in a late equaliser to earn Fulham a point and break Pompey hearts after Peter Crouch had given us the lead.

Fratton Park was host to a strange atmosphere as the home fans showed that were 100% behind Tony Adams and Joe Jordan but Harry Redknapp came in for some abuse when Pompey took the lead.

John Westwood and co. were housed in a bandstand in the corner of Fratton Park where the old scoreboard used to be and that just added to the strange atmosphere tonight.

I thought we played well today although at times we lacked cohesion and ultimately paid the price for losing our shape at the end of the game as well as failing to score the second goal.

Tony Adams has to take some of the blame for the late equaliser as he decided to bring on the returning Niko Kranjcar at the end when surely it would have been more sensible to bring on Hermann Hriedarsson to shore up the defence and kill the game off.

There were plenty of positives to take from the game though. Jermain Defoe was lively as always and certainly didn't look disinterested. My only gripe with him is that he was too selfish at times and when he did finally pass, hey presto, Crouch scores!

Crouch was good today because he linked up play well and won almost every header. Belhadj and Traore linked up well again on the left and both were unlucky not to score, especially Belhadj after his super solo run.

Younes Kaboul replaced the injured Sol Campbell and I thought he had his best game in a Pompey shirt to date. He was dominant in the air, quick enough to snuff out the majority of the Fulham threat and had a header cleared off the line too.

We had a couple of decent shouts for a penalty too as Traore was bundled over in the box and Niko Kranjcar was also fouled in the area. However, we'll be kicking ourselves for conceding so late on (what was Noe Pamarot doing?) and a draw at home to a side who will almost certainly finish in the bottom six this season isn't the best result in the world.

We have to move on though. Redknapp may be gone but Portsmouth Football Club lives on. The next week promises to be very interesting indeed.

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 6 - Good save late on but had no chance with the goal.

Noe Pamarot: 6 - Started well but takes the majority of the blame for Fulham's equaliser.

Younes Kaboul: 7 - Best performance yet.

Sylvain Distin: 7 - Worked well with Kaboul.

Nadir Belhadj: 7 - Always a threat.

Papa Bouba Diop: 6 - Solid down the right.

Lassana Diarra: 7 - Industrious return to the side.

Richard Hughes: 6 - Got stuck in.

Armand Traore: 6 - Got forward well.

Jermain Defoe: 7 - Lively showing.

Peter Crouch: 8 - Goal capped good all-round play.

Substitutes

Jamie Ashdown

Djimi Traore

Hermann Hriedarsson

Arnold Mvuemba (Diarra 83): N/A - Replaced the tired Diarra.

Niko Kranjcar (A. Traore 84): N/A - Good to see him back.

John Utaka

Kanu

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