Pompey End Season With Entertaining Draw

Last updated : 04 May 2014 By Jim Bonner

Danny Hollands' hat-trick wasn't enough to secure a final day win for Portsmouth as they were pegged back three times by Plymouth in an entertaining match at Fratton Park.

With the pressure off, both teams set about attacking the opposition although it was Pompey who did most of the pressing in the first half with Ryan Taylor at the heart of the home side's best moves.

He very nearly scored from close range but was denied by goalkeeper Jake Cole. Danny East also narrowly missed the target with a long range effort and Jack Whatmough also came close to finding the target with a header from Ricky Holmes' cross.

Pompey did take the lead soon after as Taylor produced an excellent cross for Hollands to head his first past Cole just after the half-hour.

The lead didn't last long, however, as Plymouth equalised with their first meaningful attack. A short corner led to Luke Young's cross being well taken by Reuben Reid in the box before turning and lashing the ball past Trevor Carson.

The game then burst into a frenzy as Pompey re-took the lead thanks to some generous defending from the visitors. Holmes sent a cross into the box that wasn't dealt with by the Argyle defence and following a scrap, Hollands poked the ball home for his second of the afternoon.

Again, the lead didn't last long as Ben Chorley was penalised for foolishly tripping Reid outside the box. Conor Hourihane stepped up and fired the free kick straight into the bottom corner of the net although the wall and Carson probably should have done a better job of keeping it out.

The second half started at blistering pace for Pompey who took the lead once again just two minutes in as Hollands completed his hat-trick by heading Holmes' cross home.

The attacking continued with Hollands hitting the side netting, Wallace volleying the ball just over the bar and Holmes who was on a one-man-mission to score with a couple of superb solo runs down the left that almost resulted in a goal.

The standout players in Reid and Hourihane for Plymouth had their chances to score on the break and Carson did have one smart save to make but it seemed like Pompey would go on to end the season in triumph.

However, if there was ever a moment to sum up the entire season it was in the 89th minute when a poor clearance from Michael Drennan allowed the ball to fall to Hourihane who blasted the ball into the net to salvage a draw for the Pilgrims as the match ended in a 3-3 draw.

The players came out for a lap of thanks after the match with fans already debating how many of them would be staying on for next season. Hopefully Andy Awford can sign Hollands permanently and convince Wallace to stay too, although his priority must be signing defenders to repair such a leaky defence.

The players and staff disappeared down the tunnel for the final time to mark the end of another rollercoaster season for Portsmouth Football Club.

Pompey finished the campaign in 13th position which is fitting to reflect Awford's good work since he took over but a top half finish really would have masked the fact that three quarters of this season has been dreadful and unacceptable.

It is up to everyone at Portsmouth to ensure that this doesn't happen again. The board need to back Awford who needs to sign the right players who are up for the challenge of winning promotion from League Two next season.

The evidence during Awford's tenure so far suggests that we can all expect a better season next year and we will have something to cheer about come May 2015.

Pompey Player Ratings

Trevor Carson: 6 - Might have done better with the second goal but was let down by his defence, which is something many have been saying all season.

Adam Webster: 4 - Caught out of position far too many times which will raise questions about his future.

Ben Chorley: 5 - Clumsy showing and could also be shown the door if last two performances are anything to go by.

Jack Whatmough: 5 - Still has plenty to learn.

Nicky Shorey: 7 - Quality and experience is there for all to see. Another good performance.

Danny Hollands: 9 - Hat-trick hero and generally excellent since his loan move. Sign him up!

Danny East: 7 - Much better than his showing at Bury. Worth keeping?

Jed Wallace: 7 - A good performance on what may have been his farewell performance.

Wes Fogden: 7 - Typified attacking display with his energy.

Ricky Holmes: 9 - Saved his best performance of the season for the last game. A constant threat and deserved a goal.

Ryan Taylor: 8 - Linked up really well and caused Plymouth defence problems.


Phil Smith

Joe Devera

Bondz N'Gala

Johnny Ertl (East 75): N/A - Didn't do much. Does he deserve to be at Pompey next season based on football ability alone?

Ben Close

Patrick Agyemang

Michael Drennan (Wallace 78): N/A - Terrible clearance gifted Plymouth a third goal. Hasn't done enough to suggest he'll be wanted here next season.