Scrappy game ends in stalemate

Last updated : 05 March 2002 By
Rix started a odd mixture of players as patched up Pompey lined up against the high flying Eagles. Shaun Cooper was a right winger as Tom Curtis came in with Shaun Derry in the centre of midfield. Nigel Quashie took up Robert Prosinecki's position in a midfield strangely devoid of Neil Barrett and Leonardo Biagini. Once again it was an emphasis on defence for a team lacking in confidence.

The game started off scrappily with the pitch not helping. Pompey looked disjointed and Palace started the better team with Tommy Black excelling upfront for the London Club. For Pompey, Shaun Cooper was having a good start to his debut, linking up well with Quashie was was trying desperately hard to provide the link from defence to midfield for Pompey.

However Pompey looked like they could have caused Palace problems if they had confidence in their ability. Nigel Quashie came closest, midway through the first half, when a firm shot was well served. Shaun Derry was starting to assert himself in the centre with some tough tackles flying in. As Pompey went in at half time, Graham Rix would of certainly have been the happier manager with the stalemate at Selhurst.

Pompey started the second half with more 'oopmph' but they still couldn't get men out of their half up to support Crouch. On one occasion, Pitt ran the length of the pitch - only to find himself surrounded by three Palace players and not one Pompey player in site. Like Walsall, the game was uninspiring, but as the second half wore on, Palace began to gamble and pushing more men forward, placing Pompey under increasing pressure.

Palace gambled by bringing on red hot Akinbiyi but Pompey's defence were holding firm and the strikeforce was crying out for fresh legs. However Rix made one of his baffling substitutions, bring on Neil Barrett for the impressive Shaun Cooper. Why a striker wasn't brought on was anyone's guess. However they ground out a draw that anyone would of taken at 8pm.

As Pompey began to look like they could get something from the match, Rix made one of his legendary baffling substitutions with Gary Brady coming on