Pompey Lose Again

Last updated : 19 April 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey's poor end to a disappointing season continued with a tame 1-0 defeat to promotion chasing Bury.

It was a match of few chances although Gary Waddock's side dominated most of the attacking play in the first half, although it was only Jed Wallace who ever looked like scoring.

The Pompey midfielder beat Adam El-Abd on the wing and cut inside before forcing a save from Nick Pope and then his own individual skill created another chance as he beat a couple of defenders before testing Pope with another strike.

Bury were denied a goal in what should have been their only real opportunity in the half when Tom Eaves broke through the Pompey defence and ran through on goal but was stopped in his tracks by a superb challenge from Adam Webster.

However, the Shakers took advantage of some extremely slack defending right before half-time when Joe Riley's long ball into the box was headed in by Ryan Lowe with nobody anywhere near him. Paul Jones could also take his share of the blame for the goal as he should have come out to at least punch the ball away.

The second half is barely worth mentioning as Bury were content to sit on their lead with a blunt Pompey struggling to break them down as they failed to create a single meaningful chance.

Academy midfielder Adam May did make his debut late in the match as he came on for Ben Close who didn't look out of place in the midfield having started the match, but it wasn't a debut to remember as the final whistle blew to a chorus of boos from some of the fans who bothered to stay.

The performance was certainly one of a team seemingly going through the motions. Wallace did his best to try and inspire his team-mates but even he faded in the second half. Bury weren't particularly great but they never needed to be and played like a team who knew one goal would be enough to win the match. 

If there are any positives to take from the match it would be that the youth prospects didn't do too bad. Close was probably the man of the match (although Wallace got the official award yet again) and Webster did his chances of earning a new contract no harm.

You could also take a backhanded positive from the result as a second consecutive defeat means its less likely Gary Waddock will be appointed as permanent Portsmouth manager in the summer.

That's where the straw clutching ends, however, as its a result that leaves Pompey in 16th in League Two and on course for their worst ever finish to a league season. In fact, the last two games of this season would have to be won just to match last season's points total and even that may not be enough to improve on the mediocre 13th place finish.

Too many players didn't do enough to justify being on the pitch yesterday. Matt Tubbs looks lost without Ryan Taylor to play off whilst Craig Westcarr was lazy and didn't pose a threat.

The huge problem was the midfield which possessed as much penetration as a eunuch. Danny Hollands didn't get forward enough or create any chances whilst Nigel Atangana's passing was woeful once again and he looks out of his depth at Football League level.

The defence were generally solid but were guilty of going to sleep when it mattered most whilst Jones probably should have claimed the cross leading to the goal. Perhaps it's time to give Michael Poke a chance in the last two games?

Those two matched can't come quick enough in a season that we're all desperate to see end of. It's imperative the board get their fourth managerial appointment right so this football club doesn't suffer another terrible campaign like this one and the three before it.

Pompey Player Ratings

Paul Jones: 5 - Takes his share of the blame for the goal and had little else to do.

Joe Devera: 6 - Probably the best defender on the day.

Nyron Nosworthy: 6 - Experience dug Pompey out of a couple of dangerous moments.

Adam Webster: 6 - May yet have a future at Pompey as a centre back.

Nicky Shorey: 6 - Solid if unspectacular.

Nigel Atangana: 4 - Passing was absolutely terrible.

Danny Hollands: 5 - Ineffective.

Ben Close: 6 - Didn't look out of place.

Jed Wallace: 6 - Pompey's only bright spark but faded in the second half.

Craig Westcarr: 4 - May as well not have turned up.

Matt Tubbs: 4 - Barely had a meaningful touch.


Michael Poke

Dan Butler

Johnny Ertl (Nosworthy 66): 6 - Did a job at centre back.

Wes Fogden

Adam May (Close 85): N/A - A day to remember for him, unfortunately nobody else will.

Conor Chaplin (Tubbs 70): N/A - Not the right game for him to make an impact in.