FA Cup Horror Show

Last updated : 05 January 2002 By

Pompey crashed out of the FA cup with a shocking display against lowly Leyton Orient. 4-1 was the final score and it's left fans calling for Rix's head.

Pompey started the match with a full strength team against a Leyton Orient side who were assembled for the same money that Prosinecki earns in two weeks. And at first it was the first division team who looked like well a first division team against their London opposition.

Pompey started the game stroking the ball about with confidence with a midfield of Harper, Quashie, Prosinecki, O'Neil and Pitt showing their qualitity. Leyton Orient couldn't get anywhere near the Blue's and Pompey went ahead within the first ten minutes - through an Orient own goal. Pitt crossed the ball into the box and Smith chested the ball into his own net.

Despite the goal lead, Pompey refused to make their quality count never raising the tempo to a level that Orient wouldn't be able to cope with. Pitt, Crouch, Prosinecki and Quashie tried but was left in the lurch by O'Neil, Harper and Lovell. Harper in particular refused to try - despite easily having the beating of his man.

In defence Pompey were as woeful as they have been for months since Hiley and Tiler played together. The likes of Zamperini and Buxton must be wondering what they've done - Primus must take over the captains armband from Hiley if Pompey are to shore up their defence. Yoshi once again made some mistakes and it's up to Mandaric to give Rix an option with regard to the goalkeeping situation. Kawaguchi is a quality keeper but is obviously not ready for English football.

As Pompey went in at half time, no one in Fratton Park expected the shock that would come in the second half. The nightmare began early a free kick was lined up by Dorrian and he took it before the whistle was blown and Pompey were caught off guard as he rocketed the shot into the top corner.

Pompey responded straight away but the referee ruled out a Crouch goal and then Rix's empire crumbled around his feet. Leyton Orient with the wind behind their sails went straight for the jugular and shocked Pompey, themselves and most probably the whole of the watching football world.

The worst was to come and striker Steve Watts seized on a moment of madness from Kawaguchi before neatly slotting the ball into the back of the net. Pompey once again failed to make their quality count and Orient stunned the increasingly angry fans by going three goals into the lead when Hiley and Yoshi had a bad misunderstanding in Pompey's increasingly leaky defence. It left Gray to slot the ball into the empty net.

Fratton Park errupted into a torrent of anger and Rix shouldered most of the blame but getting rid of Rix would be a bad decision for Mandaric - this club needs consistency and if anything, Redknapp needs to offer Rix support and Rix must swallow his pride to accept Redknapp's knowledge.

The fourth goal was a killer as Tiler gave up and allowed substitute Iyseden Christie to charge through and rocket a shot into the top of the net. 4-1 was a score that will have shocked most Pompey fans - put your oar in on our message board and check the site tomorrow for more reaction to this game.