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npower championship fixture
Kick off 8pm (GMT)
Pompey hit rock bottom after Royals loss By Steve Wilson (article)
Published on Tuesday 6 March 2012 22:01
Pompey slipped to the bottom of the Championship table after they crashed to a 1-0 loss at high-flying Reading.
The Blues went down by the single Noel Hunt goal midway through the first half in a match that was largely devoid of action.
With Pompey caught napping at the back for one of the few occasions, a cross came in from the right for Hunt to divert beyond a helpless Stephen Henderson.
In response, Pompey failed to muster anything of note as they struggled to string any kind of passing movement together.
In fact, Pompey had to wait until the 68th minute with their first meaningful attempt at the Reading goal as Scott Allan tried his luck from long distance.
But as poor as Michael Appleton’s side were going forward, their supporters turned in another magnificent showing, with 1,340 travelling fans making all of the noise throughout the 90 minutes.
POMPEY: Henderson, Mokoena, Rocha, Pearce, Halford, Ward, Mullins, Thorne, Norris, Allan, Varney. Subs: Ashdown, Webster, Etuhu, Futacs, Kitson
READING: Federici, Cummings, Gorkss, Harte, Karacan, Pearce, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, McAnuff, Roberts, Hunt. Subs: Tabb, Le Fondre, Church, Andersen, Cywka.
Pompey in all Black. Pearce captain
12 mins Rocha injured but recovers
25 mins GOAL for Reading. Noel Hunt near post header from a cross by Jason Roberts.. Poor defending. Jason Roberts causing Pompey problems.
35 mins Norris injured
No threat from Pompey at all this half. Pompey struggling to get anything going. Thumping high balls but no aerial power..No-one to hold ball up...
Doncaster 2-0 up at Forest. We are bottom of the pile! Given current form we would be relegated anyway..no need for 10 point reduction
Half Time Reading 1 Portsmouth 0
Appleton needs to change it..
Pompey having a bit more territory at least - but still no shot on goal
70 mins Reading nearly make it 2-0 - Le Fondre with his first touch glances into the side netting
Pompey have definitely been better this half
Love that from Pompey fans - "let's pretend we've scored a goal"...followed by huge cheer . Still no shot on goal from Pompey
79 mins Kitson on for Norris
86 mins FIRST CORNER for Pompey
Futacs on for Allan
Full Time Reading 1 Portsmouth 0
Summary: No attacking ideas from Pompey...we need to go down fighting..Appleton needs to change it so we a shot on GOAL!! (not one on target in whole game). Pompey rock bottom of the league now
Portsmouth Form Guide
Appleton unable to bring in a striker on loan as he intended. Pompey face an in-form Reading away, whilst their own form is 1 point out of the last possible 18.
With Reading on a roll, it would be hard to predict anything better than a defeat by 2 clear goals.
Reading 3 Portsmouth 1
Pompey go to the Mad Stad looking for some hope.
Pompey travel to in-form Reading for a Tuesday night encounter looking for a result in the relegation battle in the Championship.
Luke Varney and Dave Kitson might start as Michael Appleton looks to freshen the sde up after Saturday's defeat to Middlesbrough. Kelvin Etuhu and Kanu are still injured with respective hamstring and back injuries.
Andy Griffin is unlikely to feature against his former club due to a hamstring injury whilst Jimmy Kebe and Matt Connolly are also doubtful. Jason Roberts, once on loan at Pompey back in 2003, should start.
Pompey fans need to be united in their support for the team tomorrow despite the current division amongst those who want the club to survive at any cost, and those who would rather see Pompey liquidated if Balram Chainrai takes control again.
For now, if there is to be any hope of survival then escaping relegation to League One will play a part in any owner willing to buy the club. Should Pompey go down, there will be no more parachute payments and thus the club would lose out on around £16 million over the next few years.
However, this fixture could not have come at a worse time for Portsmouth. Reading have won their last six games whilst Pompey have failed to win any of the last six and just don't look like scoring.
There might be some hope that Kebe doesn't play and that with Varney's return, there might be some pace in the team. We can also take heart from the fact that our record against the Royals is very good and Pompey did beat them much earlier in the season.
However, I'm not expecting anything from this game and in all honesty, the result will probably matter little come the end of the season, if not before should the worst happen.
But there is still some pride to play for if nothing else.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Adam FEDERICI
RB: Shaun CUMMINGS
CB: Kaspars GORKSS
CB: Alex PEARCE
LB: Ian HARTE
RM: Jobi McANUFF
CM: Jem KARACAN
CM: Mikele LEIGERTWOOD
LM: Jimmy KEBE
CF: Noel HUNT
CF: Jason ROBERTS
GK: Stephen HENDERSON
RB: Tal BEN-HAIM
CB: Jason PEARCE
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
LB: Greg HALFORD
RM: Joel WARD
CM: George THORNE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
LM: Scott ALLAN
SS: David NORRIS
CF: Marko FUTACS
Last Time: Reading 2 Portsmouth 0 (Championship - 02/04/2011)
After some early Pompey dominance the home side caught us on the break and took the lead through Shane Long's close range effort.
Kevin Friend endeared himself to Pompey fans once again after sending Ricardo Rocha off for an apparent professional foul on Long outside the box. To rub salt into the wounds, Friend then somehow awarded Reading a penalty for that challenge which Long converted.
There were unsavoury incidents at the end of the match as a small section of both sets of fans wanted to start a fight, whilst ex-owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim was chased out of the ground on this day to forget.
You only have to look at the form tables to see which way this is going to go. There is little hope here, I'm afraid.
Reading 2 Portsmouth 0
Match Preview from Vital Pompey
Reading vs. Pompey Madejski Stadium
Reading v Pompey
This is very much a case of 'promotion chasing' verses 'relegation avoiding' (not withstanding extinction threatened!) tonight when Pompey make the shortish trip to Reading.
Vital Quotes: With Reading unbeaten in 6, winning the lot I think, and Pompey without a win in six all the signs - especially with us away from home - point to another Reading win, although can we strike when least expected?
Forgetting the clock is ticking for the club to stay in business for a minute the fixtures are running out if we are to avoid relegation - this, for many, is not a game to expect much from but if we could get anything maybe it will make all the difference...
Reading Team News: Matthew Connolly - ankle, Jimmy Kebe - knee and former Pompey man Andy Griffin - hamstring - are all fitness doubts. Kebe missing out would be a bonus for Pompey though!
Player to watch: Hal Robson-Kanu The summer transfer target for Pompey scored what is described as a 'spectacular goal' at the weekend and could well keep out Kebe even if he is fit?
Pompey Team News: Luke Varney returned as a sub at the weekend and Chuck came through the game without problem on his return so both could start, Chuck almost certainly.
Kanu - back - and Kelvin Etuhu - slight hamstring tear - are both out
Appy looks as though his hopes of bringing in a striker on loan before the game have failed?
Player to watch: Stephen Henderson Playing quite possibly, if not probably, for Pompey for the last time?
He will be a bloody busy man tonight but if he can get some help from the defenders around him, and us some luck, maybe just maybe we can get something?!
Match Facts & Stats In 45 previous meetings in total Pompey hold a 21-10 lead, with 14 draws. Pompey even have a better record away at Reading leading 8-7 with 7 draws.
The last meeting came in August with us winning that game at Fratton in the opening weeks of the season, so we are actually looking to 'do the double' over Reading and I doubt many will be able to claim they are trying for that this season, let alone actually do it!
Ref Watch: Brian Murphy (from George and Mildred, he's a Pompey fan you know!)
Match Prediction: Expectations will not be high, but you never know.
Next Fixtures: On the road again, Brighton is where we pitch up next at the weekend with our first, and maybe last, visit to The Amex.
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Read more: http://www.portsmouth.vitalfootball.co.uk/matchprere.asp?a=275170#ixzz1oLEYAqS5