Robins Hold Holders

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 03 January 2009
A Pompey side containing many fringe players were held to a draw by a battling Bristol City and must now play a replay at Ashton Gate to secure passage to the fourth round.

It wasn't a great game in truth although Pompey had enough chances to win, with Sylvain Distin having two shots cleared off the line and Niko Kranjcar planting his free header wide in the second half.

They were the only decent chances for us in a scrappy encounter of little quality against a mediocre outfit. Gary Johnson's men only managed to test David James once all game and hardly saw the ball in the second half.

Our problem was that we were playing 4-5-1 for the entire game and despite having plenty of possession we didn't have any runners to latch on to any through balls and the City defence dealt with the crosses and long balls to Crouch quite comfortably.

Whilst Tony Adams has to take his share of the blame for not changing the game at all with a tactical switch or a substitution, I don't think he should be criticised too much as he is having to work with a threadbare squad of players at the moment and needs an opportunity to bring players in.

But as a consequence for our negativity we've now got a very tough replay to navigate at Ashton Gate. You can guarantee that will be a tough game away from home but on the other hand it gives time for Adams to strengthen the squad, if he has the money to do so.

One more final message for those fickle fans who booed the team off at the end today. Yes, it wasn't the best performance against an average team but if you think we were bad then I point you towards the richest club in the world; hammered at home by a side marginally better than Southampton whilst the second richest club drew at home to Southend United.

This is the FA Cup, shocks do happen and for now we're still in the competition. Hopefully we'll be able to see the tie through when it's replayed on Tuesday the 13th.

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 6 - One good save but nothing else to do.

Martin Cranie: 6 - Surprisingly started after his recall from Charlton and did alright.

Sol Campbell: 7 - Solid enough.

Sylvain Distin: 8 - Stood up strong and almost scored a few times.

Nadir Belhadj: 5 - Gave the ball away too often.

David Nugent: 6 - Worked hard but wasted on the wing.

Marc Wilson: 6 - Looks a better prospect at right back.

Arnold Mvuemba: 4 - Not good enough.

Niko Kranjcar: 6 - Lively but should have scored.

Peter Crouch: 6 - Needs a strike partner.

Substitutes

Asmir Begovic

Hermann Hreidarsson

Lauren

Noe Pamarot (Cranie 82): N/A - On for injured Cranie.

Armand Traore

Glen Little

Kanu

Portsmouth Match Reports


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