Pompey Fall in Clarets Collapse
By Jim Bonner
Updated Sunday, 1st April 2012
Portsmouth 1 Burnley 5
Pompey fans left Fratton Park shellshocked yesterday following a crushing 5-1 defeat thanks to a second half capitulation.
Supporters are still dumbfounded as to how that result came about considering the first half performance and Burnley's form coming in to the game, having failed to win their last seven matches.
Luke Varney made some penetrating runs through the opposition defence early on, working well with Chris Maguire and Tal Ben-Haim down Pompey's right but couldn't find a goal despite the early dominance.
So it came as a surprise when Burnley took the lead after their first corner of the game. The ball fell to Keiran Trippier who drilled the ball, with the slight aid of a deflection, past Jamie Ashdown for the opener.
Despite that setback, it wasn't long before the hosts equalised as Varney once again got into a position on the byline and he squared the ball for David Norris who rifled the ball into the net for the equaliser.
Pompey continued on the front foot with Varney, Maguire and Allan all going close and although Ashdown had to do well to palm Ben Mee's deflected shot over the bar, the first half was more than satisfactory with many fans believing Pompey would go on to win.
Those feelings were soon blown away....
The second half couldn't have gotten off to a worse start. The Pompey defence obviously left their brains in the changing room as David Edgar's cross was glanced in by an unmarked Danny Ings.
Norris almost hit back with another equaliser by converting another cross but he was just beaten to it by a Burnley defender on the line.
That was as good as it got for us as our team lost all shape, communication and skill which led to an almighty collapse in the last twenty minutes as Charlie Austin bagged a hat-trick.
The first of his goals came with the aid of his hand, although the slack Pompey defending gave him so much time to score he probably wouldn't have needed to use it anyway.
The second was a calamitous error from Jason Pearce as his weak backpass to Ashdown was collected by Austin who rounded the keeper and put the ball into an empty net.
The former Poole Town striker claimed the match ball deep into stoppage time as Eddie Howe's men quickly counter-attacked with virtually every man in a blue shirt in the opposition penalty box.
The final whistle blew with the stunned home supporters left in the stadium contemplating such a disasterous second half, trying to work out what the hell happened.
Fans would have been frustrated with the amount of time wasting from Burnley's "really hurt" players, Stuart Attewell's inept refereeing (how do you give a foul when a player has clearly fallen over!?) and Luke Varney's second half performance.
Perhaps the players just ran out of steam? I think Eddie Howe's tactical change played a part, especially as Michael Appleton didn't react to it.
So where do we go from here? The result leaves Pompey's prospects of Championship survival hanging by the thinnest of threads given that results went against us.
That doesn't bode well for the South Coast derby next week as Southampton are now in a position to make relegation an absolute certainty (if it wasn't already).
We will now have to go to St. Mary's and win to stay alive in the fight for Championship survival.
Pompey Player Ratings
Jamie Ashdown: 5 - Defence did not help him at all.
Tal Ben-Haim: 5 - Great going forward, not so much at the back.
Greg Halford: 4 - Shambolic showing.
Jason Pearce: 3 - Huge error punctuated his worst performance in a Pompey shirt.
Karim Rekik: 4 - Lost all confidence in the second half.
Scott Allan: 6 - Energetic as usual.
George Thorne: 6 - Excellent in the first half, lost it in the second.
David Norris: 6 - May have scored but did little else.
Joel Ward: 4 - Offered little.
Chris Maguire: 5 - Not a patch on his previous performances.
Luke Varney: 5 - Useful in the first half but dire in the second.
Kelvin Etuhu (Ward 69): N/A - Should probably start the derby next week.
Luca Scapuzzi (Thorne 81): N/A - Replaced the injured Thorne, hopefully he makes a quick recovery.
Marko Futacs (Allan 69): N/A - Barely touched the ball.
|31 Mar 2012|
|Team lineups: Portsmouth v Burnley 31 Mar 2012|
|30 Mar 2012|
|Portsmouth vs Burnley Preview|
|27 Mar 2012|
|Pompey Cruise To Victory Over Tigers|
|Team lineups: Portsmouth v Hull City 27 Mar 2012|
|26 Mar 2012|
|Portsmouth vs Hull Preview|
|25 Mar 2012|
|Cov Blow Survival Hopes Sky High|
|24 Mar 2012|
|Team lineups: Coventry City v Portsmouth 24 Mar 2012|