Sheringham's Side Snatch Pompey Point

Last updated : 20 October 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey missed out on the chance to return to the top of League Two after conceding a 93rd minute equaliser to Stevenage at Fratton Park.

The story of the match was a similar one to previous home games with the hosts dominating possession but failing to create too many clear cut opportunities.

This was all too evident in the first half where Paul Cook's men played some good football and yet only had a couple of Rommy Boco chances to shout about. The first was a shot that flew past the post and the second was a tame header from a Ben Davies cross that was easily saved by Jesse Joronen in the Stevenage goal.

Apart from that, there were too many crosses that were either blocked or not met by Pompey player due to a lack of blue shirts in the box. There was a good penalty shout when Boco was seemingly taken out in the box but the referee wasn't interested.

For the record, the visitors arguably had the best chance of the first half when Armand Gnaudulliet's free header sailed over the bar and they had a glorious chance to take the lead just minutes into the second when the Pompey defence was opened up only for Dipo Akinyemi to fire the ball wide when he should have scored.

Matt Tubbs really should have punished them for that miss but somehow couldn't get on the end of a tantalising cross from Gary Roberts.

Joronen then had to make a couple of routine saves from Michael Doyle and Kyle Bennett before finally being beaten by a strike at his near post by substitute Conor Chaplin after he had been put through by Adam Webster.

Pompey had completely dominated the vast majority of the second half yet the mentality changed as soon as the goal was scored and all of a sudden Teddy Sheringham's men started to look a threat.

Tom Pett missed a great opportunity to level the scores after he missed the target but Pompey failed to kill the game and that would prove costly as some terrible defending allowed a long throw to be met by the head of Brett Williams and the ball looped over Aaron McCarey for the extremely frustrating equaliser.

The Wolves loanee certainly takes a chunk of the blame for that goal as he failed to take command of his area. That was his last game for Pompey unless his loan gets extended but there has been nothing to suggest he deserves that based on his performances since he signed.

This now also may be the time when Paul Cook decides to change his system as there are simply not enough players in the box when chances are created at home. Davies and Bennett whipped in some excellent balls into the box but there was nobody there to stick it in the back of the net. Two up front would be welcome on Saturday when Mansfield come to town.

Still, to sit second in the league after fourteen games is still a good achievement and people who believed that this season was going to be a cakewalk will have been served a harsh reminder that Portsmouth have never done things the easy way and never will.

There's no need to panic and certainly no reason to boo the team off, but a win at Fratton Park to celebrate would be welcome in the near future!

Pompey Player Ratings

Aaron McCarey: 5 - Shoulders a lot of the blame for the equaliser.

Ben Davies: 8 - Another excellent performance.

Christian Burgess: 7 - Typically cool until late on.

Adam Webster: 7 - Played his part at both ends.

Enda Stevens: 6 - Solid for the most part.

Michael Doyle: 7 - Went about his business effectively again and also produced a couple of superb passes.

Adam Barton: 6 - Can pass the ball sideways well enough...

Rommy Boco: 6 - Energetic first half but soon faded.

Gary Roberts: 6 - Not quite at his best.

Kyle Bennett: 6 - Full of running but still a bit wasteful.

Matt Tubbs: 5 - Struggled to make an impact.


Brian Murphy

Matt Clarke

Danny Hollands

Nigel Atangana (Barton 79): N/A - Mentality of the team changed when he came on. Coincidence?

Kal Naismith

Conor Chaplin (Boco 71): 7 - Instant impact.

Caolan Lavery (Tubbs 61): 6 - Seems to have something about him.