Pompey Suffer Second Half Collapse

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 08 November 2009
Pompey suffered an extremely damaging defeat at Ewood Park after letting a 1-0 lead slip in the second half of the game to lose 3-1 to Blackburn.

It was going so well after a scrappy first half where Jamie O'Hara had given Pompey the lead with a long range shot that crept past Paul Robinson into the corner of the net.

The Pompey defence were comfortable in a first 45 minutes where a poor Blackburn side struggled to break the visitors down and kept giving the ball away.

There was a contentious decision in the first half that may have changed the outcome of the game when Pascal Chimbonda could count himself extremely lucky to stay on the pitch as he only received a yellow card after he seemed to throw a punch at/shove Jamie O'Hara.

But the game was turned on its head in the second half after Sam Allardyce brought on Jason Roberts and Benni McCarthy for the woeful Morten Gamst Pedersen and El-Hadji Diouf.

Those changes brought instant dividends as a more attacking Rovers came at Pompey who struggled to deal with the constant threat at David James' goal. However, it was criminal defending from a corner which allowed Roberts to tap in the equaliser.

Prior to that, Dindane was injured and replaced by Tommy Smith but Pompey retracted into a shell after that forced switch and I can barely remember a meaningful effort from us after the equaliser.

Rovers took the lead thanks to a contentious corner decision as the ball looked like it came off Chimbonda (who shouldn't have been on the pitch anyway) but some terrible marking from the resulting corner allowed Ryan Nelsen a free header past James.

Pompey huffed and puffed, Kanu came on but had no impact and the result was beyond doubt when McCarthy crossed for ex-Pompey loanee Roberts to score his second goal of the game and ensure Portsmouth fans would be travelling back home miserable.

I was very disappointed with this result not just because of our dire second half performance where we failed to adapt to Blackburn's new system, but because of the huge damage it has caused to our survival prospects.

If we had held on to that narrow lead, we'd be off the bottom of the Premier League knowing that another win would take us out of the relegation zone.

As it is, we're now four points adrift of safety following Hull's stoppage time win against Stoke, who are our next opponents in a fortnight after the international break. I hate to say it, but all hope could well rest on going to the Brittania Stadium and taking all three points.

Saturday was a day to forget but unfortunately I can only see more of these days on the horizon in the coming weeks. Have Pompey just blown their survival chances?

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 5 - Awful kicking.

Anthony Vanden Borre: 6 - Better going forward than at the back.

Younes Kaboul: 6 - Solid apart from the set-pieces.

Marc Wilson: 5 - Still learning.

Tal Ben-Haim: 5 - Given a tough second half.

Aaron Mokoena: 6 - Our scapegoat wasn't as bad as some people claim to be. Just because he played is NOT the main reason we lost!

Jamie O'Hara: 7 - Bright performance and scored (slightly fortuitous) goal.

Michael Brown: 6 - Quieter than usual.

Kevin-Prince Boateng: 5 - Very little influence.

Frederic Piquionne: 5 - Did little.

Aruna Dindane: 5 - Ineffective until injury.

Substitutes

Jamie Ashdown

Mike Williamson

Nadir Belhadj

Hayden Mullins

Danny Webber

Tommy Smith (Dindane 52): 5 - Struggled to get into the game.

Kanu (Mokoena 78): N/A - No impact.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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