Pompey Suffer Addcks Defeat
By Jim Bonner
Updated Saturday, 20th July 2013
Portsmouth 0 Charlton Athletic 3
Guy Whittingham will have plenty to think about in the coming days after his team were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Charlton Athletic at Fratton Park.
Prior to the game the Fans' day event launched the new white away strip with the image of the old "Sports Mail Sailor" embedded into the design. Speaking of the Sports Mail, it was announced today that it will be making a return. Maybe the people who moaned about its disappearance will buy it this time!
As for the match, it was a scrappy affair which began with plenty of commitment and no shortage of fouls. For all of Pompey's effort, their Championship opponents possessed plenty of pace on the counter-attack and were always dangerous.
The Addicks should have taken the lead when Sonny Bradley was robbed near his own box and the ball was threaded through to Callum Harriott who somehow squandered his chance from six yards.
Pompey eventually fell behind when their attack broke down and Charlton broke away downfield quickly. Cedric Evina had plenty of red shirts to aim for with his cross and it found Bradley Pritchard who headed in from point blank range.
Charlton's superiority became apparent as they took control of the game after that goal. John Sullivan saved Harriott's shot with his feet and Souleymane Coulibaly's goal was ruled out for offside.
Pompey's best chances of the first half fell to Jed Wallace but neither of his efforts troubled the Charlton goalkeeper.
The second half saw an improvement on Pompey's performance but no meaningful shots on goal due to overplaying the ball around the box and failing to make set-pieces count.
Charlton made one of theirs count, however, as the Pompey defence failed to deal with a free kick and the loose ball set up perfectly in the box for Harriott to smash the ball past Sullivan.
Both sides made substitutions after that goal but the tide didn't turn in Pompey's favour. Adam Webster was one of the new players to be introduced but his silly challenge on Chris Solly conceded a penalty. Yann Kermorgant stepped up and slammed the ball into the net to complete the comfortable victory.
So, what have we learned from today's defeat?
Romain Padovani was poor. His passes were going straight to Charlton players and he was never really in the game.
Our defenders, Butler aside, struggled with the pace of the opposition attack. Danny East wasn't particularly impressive and may benefit from playing further upfield. Yassin Moutaouakil would have coped much better at right back had he been fit to play.
Fans seem to be split on Tom Craddock but he didn't really do anything of note today. Patrick Agyemang was more effective when he came on with 67 minutes played and he is still the preferred partner for David Connolly.
The wingers stood out, Andy Barcham in particular. I liked the way he runs directly at the defenders and he has a couple of tricks up his sleeve. He should be one to watch.
Although Ryan Bird hasn't signed a contract yet it seems possible that he will do given the fact he had his own squad number (18) and his name on his shirt when he came on.
Overall, it will take time for the new players to bed in, especially the defenders who will need to take the time to improve their communication and sharpen up their marking.
But we shouldn't read too much into this defeat. Bolton came to Fratton Park and got beaten 3-0 last season and look how that turned out!
Pompey go to Bournemouth on Tuesday night for their next pre-season friendly to give them some real glamourous opposition after the Cherries play some tin-pot Spanish outfit tomorrow.