Pompey Suffer Second League Defeat

Portsmouth's winning streak was brought to an end tonight after a 2-1 defeat to Charlton following a bad tempered match at Fratton Park.

Pompey struggled in the first half and were second best to the visitors who looked dangerous every time they went forward. Lyle Taylor squandered a superb chance to give the Addicks the lead when his tame effort on target was saved by Craig MacGillivray.

The home fans were beginning to get aggrevated by referee John Brooks as he refused to give Pompey any decisions whilst awarding soft free kicks to Charlton at seemingly every opportunity.

The anger grew when Lee Bowyer's men took the lead when Karlan Grant turned in Taylor's cross despite looking like he might have been offside. Taylor then proceeded to assume the role of resident piss boiler by winding up the fans in the Fratton End as the atmosphere heated up.

However, despite Taylor's best efforts to seek attention, the crowd's vitriol was directed at the match officials as Charlton doubled their lead courtesy of a terrible non-decision from the assistant referee on the touchline.

The entire crowd could see that the ball had clearly gone out of play for a throw in yet the assistant ignored it and some poor defending amongst the protests allowed Nicky Ajose to tap in George Lapsie's cross.

There were a couple of half-chances for the Blues after that second goal but a disjointed first half performance ended with Brooks and his assistant getting booed off the pitch.

The second half saw Pompey go through the gears and finally muster some meaningful attacks on Charlton's goal and by the time the clock had ticked past the hour, Jackett's side were well on top.

Lapsie cleared the ball off the line after goalkeeper Jed Steer had saved the initial effort from a corner and a fracas in the box followed that before two somewhat desperate appeals for a penalty from Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis after they went down in the box, with the former once again booked for simulation.

Yet another shot on target, this time from Curtis, was blocked on the line by a combination of Steer and his defenders whilst substitute Brett Pitman's effort looked to be going in until it hit Jason Pearce's face and deflected out for a corner.

It seemed like Pompey were never going to score as a couple more efforts couldn't find the back of the net but there was a lifeline when Andre Green scored his third goal in three appearances with a nice finish past Steer.

That goal caused Charlton to retreat as Pompey pushed for a winner. Ben Thompson received a yellow card for supposedly deliberately handling the ball on the goal line but he would soon be sent off in even more baffling circumstances during the six minutes of stoppage time.

The Millwall loanee clearly won the ball in a fair 50/50 challenge yet Brooks brandished a straight red card to pile on the misery at the end of a bad night for the Blues.

Brooks was booed off the moment he blew the final whistle and soon after Kenny Jackett confirmed he will appeal the red card as to lose such an influential player during such a tough period of the season would be a huge blow.

Whilst this match will be remembered for the appalling standard of officiating it cannot overshadow how poor Pompey were in the first half despite their fightback.

Too many players had off days. The back four were sluggish and struggled to cope with Charlton's front three but they weren't helped by Tom Naylor who produced his worst performance in a Pompey shirt to date.

Oli Hawkins was deservedly hauled off after having no effect on the game whatsoever but it took Lowe an hour to get going whilst Curtis rarely had a final product throughout the entire match.

At least the team showed a lot of character in the second half and on another night would have turned the result around had it not been for some incredible defensive work and a little bit of luck from Charlton, but then how many times have Pompey done that to other teams this season?

Hopefully Ben's red card will be rescinded and ensure he's available for the next two games which could go a long way in determining just how strong Portsmouth's promotion challenge will be.

Barnsley will be a tough place to go to bounce back from this disappointing night despite their poor form and then comes the big one against Sunderland at Fratton Park and that match will require no build up.

In the meantime, Pompey are still in a really strong position at the top of League One and can't let this setback and the circumstances surrounding it get to them.

And let's hope John Brooks never takes charge of a Portsmouth match ever again.

Pompey Player Ratings

Craig MacGillivray: 6 - Good save in the first half and could do nothing about the goals.

Nathan Thompson: 4 - Looked lost on a rare bad night for him.

Jack Whatmough: 5 - Sluggish.

Matt Clarke: 5 - Poorest performance of the season.

Lee Brown: 5 - Struggled to contain the Charlton attack.

Tom Naylor: 3 - Worst showing of his Pompey career but should bounce back.

Jamal Lowe: 6 - Came alive in the second half.

Gareth Evans: 5 - Struggled to get into the game.

Ben Thompson: 6 - Man of the match for Pompey despite undeserved bookings.

Ronan Curtis: 4 - Nothing would happen for him.

Oli Hawkins: 3 - No impact whatsoever.

Substitutes

Luke McGee

Anton Walkes

Christian Burgess

Ben Close

Louis Dennis

Andre Green (Brown 80): N/A - Looked bright and scored. Maybe start him at Barnsley?

Brett Pitman (Hawkins 56): 6 - Changed the game.