Pompey End Season With Defeat
By Jim Bonner
Updated Sunday, 28th April 2013
Shrewsbury Town 3 Portsmouth 2
Portsmouth ended another season with defeat after losing 3-2 to Shrewsbury in a game that summed up the entire campaign.
Pompey were dire in the first hour that reminded everyone why we've been relegated to League Two. A fortunate break was the catalyst for a comeback that was almost completed but just fell short.
David Connolly was dropped for Ashley Harris as the visitors began sluggishly. The hosts won a corner early on and Connor Goldson, who must have been the tallest player on the pitch, was left completely unmarked to head the ball past Simon Eastwood.
Shrewsbury thought they had a second goal when Eastwood fumbled Jon Taylor's shot into the path of Tom Bradshaw who squared for Dave McAllister to tap in but Bradshaw was offside and so the goal didn't count.
Shrewsbury did have a second goal after the referee awarded them a soft free kick on the edge of the box. Joe Jacobson struck it into the far top corner as Eastwood didn't move because of a deflection.
Pompey fans had little to cheer during that dire first half but kept themselves entertained with various inflatables being bounced around the stand by people dressed up as Batman, Robin, Superman, Scooby Doo and Shaggy amongst others.
The Shrews continued to dominate early in the second half although there were signs that Pompey had finally come to life when Jed Wallace drove through midfield and saw his shot deflected wide.
However, Pompey fell further behind when some more lacklustre defending allowed Akwasi Asante plenty of time and space to shoot, although the ball took an unfortunate deflection off Sam Sodje before deceiving Eastwood.
Pompey fans may not have cared but the afternoon may have been turning into an embarrassment until just after the hour when Chris Weale spilled Wallace's shot and Harris beat him to the rebound before eventually putting the ball in.
That goal woke Pompey up and they began to play some football. Wallace drove the ball across goal for Patrick Agyemang to tap in a second goal and it seemed like the comeback was on.
However, despite the late pressure there was no third goal as the referee blew the final whistle and called an end to Portsmouth's brief stay in League One.
The players and management came out for one final embrace and a few of them will have played their last game for Portsmouth Football Club. Those who decide to stay will have a lot of work to do to ensure next season is a memorable one.
For this may well have been the worst season in living memory. Sure, the last ten games were a massive improvement on the previous 36 but to go so long without winning and enduring so many dire performances both at Fratton Park and on the road means that the last year will not be fondly remembered.
Still, the Trust now has the club and the future looks brighter than it did this time last year. If Guy can keep hold of most of this squad and make a few key additions then there is no reason why next season cannot be a memorable one for all the right seasons.
Pompey Player Ratings
Simon Eastwood: 5 - A bit dodgy at times but unlucky with deflections.
Yassin Moutaouakil: 4 - Passing was terrible for an hour.
Gabor Gyepes: 5 - Not his usual self.
Sam Sodje: 5 - Lacked his usual strength.
Dan Butler: 5 - Caught out too often.
Shaun Cooper: 5 - Rarely involved.
Johnny Ertl: 6 - Didn't boss the midfield as he has done.
Therry Racon: 6 - Probably Pompey's best performer.
Jed Wallace: 6 - The driving force when Pompey came alive.
Patrick Agyemang: 6 - Not his usual menacing self.
Ashley Harris: 6 - May have scored but did little else in truth.
Adam Webster (Gyepes 60): 6 - Slotted in well.
Jack Maloney (Moutaouakil 75): N/A - Added some fresh legs into the side.