Ten Man Pompey Scrape Glovers Draw

Last updated : 21 February 2016 By Jim Bonner

Pompey dropped two points in the race for promotion as Gary Roberts struck late to earn a barely deserved draw against Yeovil at Huish Park.

It was a difficult game to watch and that's not just because of the view from the back of the open terrace in the ground. It lacked any kind of fluency and Pompey were outbattled by the League Two strugglers.

The first half won't live long in the memory for anyone unfortunate enough to brave the dismal conditions in Somerset. Christian Burgess almost scored an own goal with a loose backpass but managed to hook the ball off the line but that would only be the beginning of his miserable afternoon.

The second half wasn't much better as both sides kept losing the ball and neither goalkeeper had much to do, although Artur Krysiak saved a Gary Roberts shot and Ryan Fulton did well to beat Francois Zoko to a loose ball.

The match looked like it was heading to an uninspiring draw but events took a turn for the worse when some woeful defending from Yeovil's short corner led to Zoko stabbing the ball home in the box despite Ben Tollitt's desperate lunge to try and keep it out.

The game seemed to be over when Burgess was sent off for two quick-fire yellow cards. The first was for some needless handbags with one of the Yeovil strikers and then almost immediately he lunged in late on Liam Walsh and was already walking to the backroom before referee Mark Haywood showed him a second yellow card.

That incident seemed to finally wake Pompey up as they produced their best football of the afternoon and it was some excellent passing around the box that ended with Roberts lashing the ball past Krysiak with just five minutes to go.

Marc McNulty had a stoppage time shot deflected wide but Pompey had barely deserved a draw on balance of play and so to steal a win would have been a welcome robbery.

The result isn't a great one in the grand scheme of things. It was good that the players showed some character after Burgess' silliness but they should have done that right from the start as this performance was nowhere near the same level as the previous one against Bristol Rovers.

Too many players were off their game and the defensive players struggled to cope with the conditions and keep hold of the ball. A repeat showing at Barnet, whose home form is one the best in League Two, will certainly result in defeat.

Still, a draw away to one of the worst teams in the division isn't a reason to go slitting your wrists. Automatic promotion isn't out of the question due to Oxford's erratic form but it's frustrating that Pompey haven't capitalised on and now the whole top half of League Two is involved in a battle for promotion.

But Paul Cook's men need to start stringing some wins together soon otherwise they'll fail to make the play-offs altogether.

Pompey Player Ratings

Ryan Fulton: 7 - Always alert.

Ben Davies: 6 - Not as influential as usual.

Christian Burgess: 4 - Had a mare.

Adam Webster: 6 - Not as sharp as he has been.

Enda Stevens: 6 - Kept busy.

Ben Close: 6 - Solid for the most part.

Michael Doyle: 5 - Struggled in the dogged midfield.

Gareth Evans: 5 - No influence and then suffered an injury.

Gary Roberts: 7 - The difference maker.

Kyle Bennett: 5 - Faded as the game went on.

Michael Smith: 5 - Didn't make his mark.


Alex Bass

Matt Clarke

Adam Barton

Kal Naismith

Ben Tollitt (Evans 41): 6 - Showed flashes of quality.

Adam McGurk (Smith 81): N/A - Offered nothing.

Marc McNulty (Bennett 73): N/A - Needed more time.