Total Frustration

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 27 October 2007
I absolutely hate games like these.

West Ham came to Fratton Park, played for a point for much of the match and got it. They will say they should have had the victory after Nobby Solano missed two glorious chances, but we could have stolen all three points with a last second penalty...

The game itself wasn't great to watch. We started brightly with Kranjcar weaving some magic and forcing a great save from Robert Green. After that, there wasn't really much to choose between the two sides although Solano should have headed West Ham into the lead.

The second half was no better, probably worse in fact from our point of view.

Alan Curbishley took off Bellamy who was being his usual irritating self and West Ham were set up to contain what little threat we had. Pompey couldn't get their passing game going and Carlton Cole was making a nuisance of himself.

The West Ham striker might have scored but after shrugging off a Pompey defender, his shot hit the crossbar and somehow Solano managed to head wide with an open goal beckoning.

There was nothing more of note to talk about until the final seconds in a game that you had to grind your teeth to watch. The referee blew up for everything and didn't let the game flow and the ball went out of play far too often.

Just when it looked like the game was over, Pompey were awarded a contentious penalty with Danny Gabbidon adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area.

Whether it was a penalty or not won't matter, as Benjani's spot kick was easily read by Robert Green and he made the save to his left. To be fair, if we had won the game it would have been very harsh on West Ham but we've now blown the opportunity to go into the top four. As a consequence, we are now in sixth, and could fall to eighth if Blackburn and Newcastle win their games in hand.

Why Kranjcar or Muntari didn't take the penalty I don't know but that's now two 0-0 draws at home that could so easily have been victories if we had chosen the right penalty taker. How costly will those penalty saves be come the end of the season?

Five league wins in a row was just too good to be true wasn't it?

Pompey Player Ratings

David James: 6 - Did what he had to do despite a couple of indecisive moments.

Glen Johnson: 6 - Solid game.

Sylvain Distin: 6 - Found Cole a handful but was generally good.

Sol Campbell: 6 - A couple of nervy moments at the back but was still solid enough.

Hermann Hreidarsson: 8 - Our best defender on the night. Blocked and covered well.

Pedro Mendes: 5 - Poor passing from Pedro, looks a bit rusty.

Papa Bouba Diop: 6 - Strong and got involved.

Sulley Muntari: 5 - Sub-par performance.

John Utaka: 4 - Anonymous.

Niko Kranjcar: 7 - Our only real threat going forward.

Benjani: 5 - Missed a penalty and didn't carry a threat up front.

Substitutes

Jamie Ashdown

Noe Pamarot

Lauren

Matthew Taylor

Kanu: 6 - Late appearance caused a few problems.

Portsmouth Match Reports


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