Portsmouth 2 Scunthorpe United 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 24 January 2004

Harry Redknapp will begin a frantic eight-day search for a striker after seeing Portsmouth book their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time in seven years.

Defender Matt Taylor scored a goal in each half as injury-hit Pompey narrowly scraped passed Third Division Scunthorpe.

But Redknapp is more concerned with bolstering his injury-depleted forward line in the final week of the transfer window.

Czech midfielder Patrik Berger was forced to play up-front alongside 37-year-old Teddy Sheringham, Pompey's only fit senior striker.

Redknapp only returned to the UK on Friday after running a check on Alaves striker Ivano Alonso.

Redknapp said: "It was always going to be a difficult match with no fit front men. I was in Italy last week and only got back from Spain at 4.00am Friday morning. I flew all the way out there to look at a striker who ended up on the bench and only came on for the final 20 minutes to play on the left wing.

"Unless I can find a couple of strikers from somewhere we are going to struggle.

"I am looking for someone to play up-front and score goals in the Premiership. But we have got no money to spend so we are only looking at free transfers and loans, and nobody wants to give you their best players for nothing." Taylor set Portsmouth on their way into the last 16 with a well-worked opening goal ten minutes before half time. The England Under-21 international slotted home at the back post after Scunthorpe goalkeeper Tom Evans could only parry Sheringham's close-range shot.

Taylor doubled Pompey's lead midway through the second half with his second goal of the game - only the left-back's third of the season.

The former Luton star drilled the ball into the bottom left-hand corner after Sheringham had superbly turned substitute Sebastien Schemmel's cross into his path.

Scunthorpe had wasted two glorious opportunities to get themselves back into the match, before Taylor completed his brace.

Steve Torpey should have scored within a minute of the restart, but headed over with only Portsmouth goalkeeper Shaka Hislop to beat after Matt Sparrow had crossed from the right, before Paul Hayes forced a fine save from Hislop just two minutes later.

The Division Three outfit gave their lofty opponents a fright when substitute Andy Parton volleyed them back into the match four minutes from time.

Portsmouth's Serbian international defender Dejan Stefanovic failed to deal with a throw-in, allowing substitute Parton to rifle home with a ferocious right-foot volley from ten yards out.

But Parton's goal proved to be the only ray of sunshine for the 2,000 travelling Iron fans, as Portsmouth shut up shop to hang on to their victory.

Scunthorpe manager Brian Laws was delighted with his side's efforts, but lamented those two second-half misses.

"I am delighted with the performance particularly in the second half," he said. "We were a little bit under the kosh for the first 20 minutes but we limited Portsmouth to half chances after that.

"The trouble is we kept on missing glorious chances and had we have scored early in the second half, who knows what would have happened? "At least we gave our fans something to remember with the late goal and I know who was the more nervous manager for the final five minutes.

"Portsmouth are a very capable side but if we play like that every week then we should start to jump up the league table." Man of the Match: Matt Taylor's two superbly taken goals showed the England Under-21 defender is finally coming back to his best form.

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