Pompey Smash Potters

Pompey comfortably eased their way into the quarter finals of the Carling Cup after a surprising 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City.

Ashdown, Vanden Borre, Belhadj, Mullins, Piquionne and Webber all took their place in a weakened Portsmouth side to take on a Stoke team filled with reserve players and it showed as Pompey took them apart from the start.

Frederic Piquionne opened the scoring after heading in Nadir Belhadj's excellent cross whilst before that he could have scored if his earlier effort wasn't cleared off the line by Andy Griffin.

Stoke were poor and failed to test Ashdown for the whole of the first half as Pompey were playing some good football but couldn't find that incisive pass to score that second goal.

The second did come after the break when Piquionne cut past Griffin and laid off a neat ball for Danny Webber to slot in his second goal for Pompey and the game was over just a couple of minutes later when Steve Simonsen fumbled Brown's free kick, allowing Piquionne to tap in an easy third goal for Pompey.

The home fans were enjoying the rest of the game as Pompey began to toy with their opposition and the travelling supporters couldn't even cheer Tuncay's goal as it was ruled out for offside.

Their misery was compounded when Mokoena played Kanu through on goal who rounded Simonsen to score Pompey's fourth goal of the season to wrap up the comprehensive victory, as surprising as it was.

People will moan that it was only Stoke's reserves and that we'll only get beat in the next round by a much stronger team but I thoroughly enjoyed tonight's performance and Paul Hart may now have to think about playing Frederic Piquionne from the start against Wigan who was excellent all game.

I was impressed with how well Belhadj and Vanden Borre got forward too and whilst I don't expect them to start on Saturday they'll have reminded Paul Hart that they are worthy of a place on the bench.

I'll hold my hands up and admit that I would trade this win for a scrappy 1-0 win against Wigan on Saturday but it feels good to be in the last eight of the competition and who knows? With a performance like tonight's and a bit of luck we could be going to Wembley again!

Pompey Player Ratings

Jamie Ashdown: 6 - Little to do.

Anthony Vanden Borre: 7 - Impressive going forward.

Younes Kaboul: 6 - Dealt with Stoke's long balls.

Marc Wilson: 7 - Continues to improve.

Nadir Belhadj : 8 - Defended better than usual and supported attack brilliantly.

Michael Brown: 7 - Put in a good shift.

Hayden Mullins: 6 - Solid if unspectacular.

Hassan Yebda: 7 - Influenced the game.

Aruna Dindane: 6 - Linked up with attack well.

Frederic Piquionne: 9 - Scored two and set up one more. Could start on Saturday.

Danny Webber: 7 - A real bright spark.


Antti Niemi

Tal Ben-Haim

Richard Hughes (Dindane 77): N/A - Given a rare outing.

Angelos Basinas

Aaron Mokoena (Yebda 63): 6 - Did his job.

Gael Nlundulu

Kanu (Webber 68): 7 - Showed Hart he still has plenty to offer Pompey.