Pompey and Mansfield played out a dull and uninspiring goalless draw at Fratton Park yesterday.
The game was lifeless and bored fans into submission as Paul Cook's men managed a measly two shots on target whilst the visitors offered absolutely nothing going forward.
A bright start saw two half-chances for Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith respectively but the first half soon petered out into a tedious affair lacking quality attacking play.
The second half was a dire affair with the only noteworthy attempts at goal coming from Ben Davies' free kick that sailed narrowly wide and a Conor Chaplin shot that was deflected off target.
Despite five minutes of stoppage time there was to be no late winner as the final whistle was greeted with a smattering of boos amongst the mild applause for Paul Cook's blunt team.
That performance will surely mean a change of approach from the manager when it comes to home games now. Cook can't blame his team's luck or the referee for yesterday's showing as the Mansfield defence wouldn't have had an easier afternoons work all season.
The system relies on the wingers producing crosses and the trio ahead of the two defensive midfielders to create chances for a lone striker who is able to make things happen on his own up front. After the last few matches at Fratton Park you would have to admit that it hasn't been very effective.
Davies and Stevens may be capable of delivering the ball into the box but Bennett returned to his wasteful self yesterday, Kal Naismith failed to take his chance to get into the first team, Rommy Boco offered nothing and whist Caolan Lavery worked hard, he never added any real quality up front on his own.
He needs a strike partner to work with as does Matt Tubbs who also made no impact when he came on late in the game yesterday. Whether the stubborn Cook admits defeat and tries something else is another matter, however, given how much of an advocate of possession football he is.
On the bright side, it was another clean sheet and a draw at home to a side chasing promotion isn't the worst result in the world so long as the away record continues. Pompey remain second in the league and are in a far better place than this time last year.
Still, you would like to think that things could be even better if the right formula can be found at Fratton Park.
Pompey Player Ratings
Brian Murphy: 6 - Nothing to do.
Ben Davies: 8 - Outstanding performer once again.
Christian Burgess: 7 - Comfortable on the ball and showed some interest in going forward too.
Adam Webster: 7 - Won virtually everything.
Enda Stevens: 7 - Solid in defence and tried to support the attack when he could.
Michael Doyle: 7 - Another good showing.
Danny Hollands: 6 - Steady enough.
Kyle Bennett: 5 - Wasteful.
Rommy Boco: 4 - Looked out of his depth.
Kal Naismith: 5 - Never influenced the game.
Caolan Lavery: 5 - Worked hard but wasn't a threat.
Nigel Atangana (Boco 56): 6 - Slotted in fine.
Conor Chaplin (Naismith 56): 6 - Tried to energise the team.
Matt Tubbs (Lavery 78): N/A - Needs to play with Lavery, not instead of him.