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Portsmouth match report
15 October 2016 18:20 Post ID: #71890
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The Dockyard Derby ended all square at 2-2 at Home Park.

It was a cracking game of football that had no place being played in League Two.

In the end it was a satisfactory and fair point for Argyle against a good but niggly team with classless fans and a constantly moaning manager.

Ultimately it was about two crossbars, Graham Carey's shot hit the crossbar and rebounded out while the shot from Danny Rose was adjudged to have crossed the goal line after bouncing down from the bar.

We were not at our best, especially during the early stages of the second half but it's the sign of a good team that we salvaged a late point to keep our unbeaten run going.
I thought the two goal scorers had difficult games and found the back of the net easier than finding a green shirt but credit to Yann Songo'o and Connor Smith for winning the point.

Both Portsmouth goals had unsavoury celebrations, the first goal saw the Pompey players taunting the fans in the Devonport End and the second goal sparked a pitch invasion with one fan approaching Luke McCormick, thankfully nothing happened, although the chants of "let him die" when McCormick fell down injured was over the top but now expected from Pompey fans.

Argyle manager Derek Adams kept faith with the starting eleven from the Stevenage game and we started the better team, Portsmouth had two tactics - either fall down injured or get the ball to Kyle Bennett who caused the Argyle defence all sorts of problems with his direct running with the ball.

Portsmouth do have several players who would struggle to reach 5 foot 9 inch in height so it appeared that our best chance of scoring was in the air and so it proved, especially when Carey provides such quality from free-kicks.
His long free-kick was aimed into the corridor of uncertainty on the six yard line and there was Songo'o to head in. Home Park, that was previously suffering from heavy rain, erupted in the sunshine.

Argyle now stepped up a gear and Pompey looked very shaky and on the ropes, a second goal at that point in the match would have killed off the Blues.
Meanwhile on the touchline Paul Cook was questioning and moaning about every decision.

There was a scare when Chaplin fell down in the penalty area, a weaker ref might have given a penalty but this ref wasn't having any of it and booked Chaplin for diving.

Meanwhile on the touchline Paul Cook was questioning and moaning about every decision.

The equaliser came when Jimmy Spencer lost possession and Pompey raced away and good work from Chaplin set up Bennett to side foot past McCormick.

Portsmouth were the better team at the start of the second half, we couldn't close them down and they romped through our midfield.
McCormick and his defenders were busy trying to stop the Blue tide but Adams saw the danger and replaced the ineffective Jake Jervis with Smith and switched to a 4-1-2-3 formation with Songo'o sitting in front of the defence with David Fox and Smith in front of him and Carey on the right.
It might have been better for the left-footed Carey to play on the left and the right-footed Jordan Slew to play on the right.
The move had the desired effect because not only did we now win the midfield battle the two full-backs, Gary Miller and Ben Purrington, had a bit more protection.

Unfortunately Smith caught the Songo'o disease and constantly gave the ball away, although credit to Pompey for closing us down very quick.

Meanwhile on the touchline Paul Cook was questioning and moaning about every decision.

We hit a purple patch midway through the second half and should have took advantage, the best effort came from Carey when he danced inside and hit a left foot shot that cannoned off the crossbar.

As the game entered the closing stages it looked like one goal either way would win it.

Adams swapped Spencer for Craig Tanner, who played as a central striker, and Ryan Donaldson for Slew.

Portsmouth scored what they thought was the winner when McCormick made an excellent save from Main, the ball was cleared to Rose who hit a dipping 25 yard shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down and supposedly crossed the goal line.
Ugly scenes followed and the game was delayed for a few minutes while the pitch was cleared.

We rallied and good work from Purrington and Donaldson set up Smith who side footed home from 18 yards, a very similar goal to the Pompey first goal. Home Park erupted once again. Get in!

Meanwhile on the touchline Paul Cook was questioning and moaning about every decision.

With five minutes of added time we searched for the winner and finished the game strongly but overall a draw was a fair result.

Portsmouth are a very good team going forward, so it's a mystery why they resort to conning the ref, although they do look suspect in defence when under pressure.

Several Argyle players were not at their best, Jervis, Songo'o, McCormick and Spencer didn't have the best of games but they gave 100% effort. McCormick's kicking was wayward and was probably affected by the terrible abuse aimed his way.
Songo'o really struggled with his distribution and in the end he was so afraid of giving the ball away he just got rid of it quick, often putting a team mate in danger.

Fox, Carey, Miller and Slew were the pick of the bunch. Fox is always calm and measured, Miller had his best game in a green shirt, Carey was looking to create a spark and Slew did well when running at the Portsmouth defence.

Nauris Bulvitis and Sonny Bradley were not allowed to play the ball across the back four because the Portsmouth strikers clearly had a game plan to close them down, this meant the whole team was hurried and had to play the ball long to Spencer.

Overall, a very good game and we stay top of the league.

Man of the match: Carey.

McCormick 6, Miller 7, Bulvitis 6, Bradley 6, Purrington 6, Songo'o 6, Fox 7, Carey 8, Jervis 5, Slew 7, Spencer 6. Subs: Smith 6, Donaldson 6, Tanner n/a.

Meanwhile on the touchline Paul Cook was STILL questioning and moaning about every decision.
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