Portsmouth 2 Blackpool 1

Last updated : 08 January 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Blackpool boss Steve McMahon hailed football a "cruel game" after seeing his side slip to an injury time defeat against Premiership Portsmouth.

Steve McMahon said: "Thats how football goes sometimes I was just about to praise what a good performance we had put in and then they go and snatch a victory at the death.

"I thought we would have had a good chance if we had earned a reply and that's the only upset from today's performance." The second division side gave as good as they got in the first half and almost took the lead on 31 minutes when Gareth Evans cross shot from the left had to be tipped over by Portsmouth keeper Harald Wapenaar.

But the brave Lancashire side came undone by a sucker punch on 35 minutes when Matthew Taylor's pinpoint cross from the left was headed in by defender Sebastien Schemmel for his first goal in a Pompey shirt since his move from West Ham in the summer.

But the brave Blackpool outfit equalised two minutes before the break when the free scoring Scott Taylor notched his 6th FA Cup goal of the season to level matters.

Midfielder Martin Bullock found Taylor in the box and he turned neatly to drill home a deserved equaliser.

The second period was Portsmouth's as Blackpool struggled to create any chances.

Striker Deon Burton went close on three occasions and should have done better on 63 minutes when his double header from two yards out both hit the crossbar and was cleared to safety.

Portsmouth began to show their Premiership class in the closing period and former England man Teddy Sheringham should have scored the winner on 82 minutes when he headed over from 6 yards out after Taylor had again provided a pinpoint cross from the left.

But Steve McMahon's men finally fell to the home side's pressure when Teddy Sheringham's header deep into injury time from a Matthew Taylor corner was saved by keeper Lee Jones only for fellow striker Yakubu Ayegbeni to ram home the rebound.