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Tuesday September 18, 2012 7:45 PM
Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England (map) League 1 Fixture Attendance 12,121
Result: Portsmouth 1 Swindon Town 2 (HT 0-1) Scorer Pompey: Michalik (90 mins)
Scorers Swindon: Matt Ritchie (45 mins) Williams (55 mins)
POMPEY: Andersen, Dumbuya, Gyepes, Michalik, Harley, Williamson, Russell, Howard, Compton, Obita, McLeod. Subs: Eastwood, Thompson, Walker, Rodgers, Ertl, Harris, Webster.
SWINDON: Foderingham, McEveley, Navarro, Collins, Ritchie, Roberts, McCormack, Thompson, Williams, Miller, Ward. Subs: Archibald-Henville, Devera, Benson, Bessone, Coke, Rooney, Bostock.
Pompey’s wait for a home win goes on as they went down 2-1 to Swindon at Fratton Park.
The Blues were totally outplayed in the first half and were lucky to find themselves only 1-0 down as former Pompey winger Matt Ritchie cracked home the opener.
PHOTO: Matt Ritchie scorer for Swindon on his return to Fratton Park
The hosts were only a goal behind thanks to the heroics of Mikkel Andersen, who made several fantastic saves in a frantic opening period as Swindon laid siege to the Pompey goal.
But Pompey were right up against it early in the second half as Andy Williams arrowed home a superb shot to double their advantage.
Pompey never really looked likely to force their way back into the game, but a late flurry in the final few minutes gave them hope as debutant Lubomir Michalik headed home from a corner.
But while Pompey pushed for a late leveller in stoppage time, Swindon held on for the points.
Swindon looked the better side all over the pitch and thoroughly deserved their win
Pompey v Swindon : PREVIEW
POSTED BY KYLEWHITWORTH ⋅ SEPTEMBER 17, 2012
Pompey return to league one action with their second home fixture in 4 days following Saturdays defeat to Walsall. They welcome the eccentric Paolo Di Canio and his Swindon Town team to Fratton Park, and will be desperate for their first home victory of the campaign.
Pompey will be without Conor Clifford after the Blues decided against extending his loan deal, boss Michael Appleton is expected to bring in a striker on loan before this fixture but remains tight lipped on the name of the player.
Kevin Long is expected to miss out after suffering an injury against Walsall, but Gabor Gyepes may have a part to play after taking part in training on Monday. New signing Lubomir Michalik will be pressing for his first start.
Jordan Obita is available for selection after serving his three game suspension.
Swindon welcome back Alan Navarro, the midfielder missed their last fixture with a knee injury.
Long term absentees Gary Roberts and Troy Archibald-Henville will be pushing for starts after being welcomed back into the Swindon match day squad last day out.
Former Pompey youth starlet Matt Ritchie will start for the Robins, the impressive midfielder made 7 appearances for the Pompey.
Pompey and Swindon have met 67 times in all competitions, and honours have been fairly even. The Reds having three more victories than Pompey.
Pompey have won the last two home games between these sides at an aggregate of 9-3 so the crowd can expect goals!
Swindon’s last maximum at Fratton Park was back in October 1997 as they ran out 1-0 victors.
Pompey sit 17th in the league on table with 5 points from six games, while Swindon are placed 12th with 8 points from six games.
Pompey last 5 (League Only) – D L L W L
Swindon last 5 – W W L L D
Likely Pompey line up – Andersen, Dumbuya, Michalik, Thompson, Harley, Williamson, Howard, Obita, Compton, Rodgers, McLeod
Likely Swindon line up - Foderingham, McEveley, Devera, Ward, Ferry, Ritchie, Navarro, Miller, Benson, Williams, Rooney
Pompey 1 Swindon 2 by Neil Weld at Fratton Park
Matt Ritchie came back to haunt his former side as the Blues slipped to a third home defeat of the season.
The Fratton academy graduate opened the scoring just before half-time with a fierce drive.
And Andy Williams bagged his first Robins goal early in the second half to complete a miserable few days for Pompey.
Their only consolation came in stoppage-time, when Lubomir Michalik headed home a consolation on his debut.
Michael Appleton made four changes from the side that lost at home to Walsall three days ago.
Michalik was handed a place alongside Gabor Gyepes in the centre of defence, while Jordan Obita returned from suspension on the right and Jack Compton started wide on the left.
Kevin Long missed out with a back injury, with Josh Thompson, Ashley Harris and Luke Rodgers all dropping to the bench.
Swindon came roaring out of the blocks and had plenty of chances to break the deadlock in the opening minutes.
Williams was first to go close, meeting Gary Roberts’ cross and heading narrowly over the crossbar.
Mikkel Andersen then failed to hold Ritchie’s low drive and the ball had to be cleared behind.
Darel Russell only just managed to hack away the resulting corner at the far post and Andersen did well to keep out Jay McEveley’s follow-up effort.
Swindon did have the ball in the net on eight minutes, but Williams’ header was ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
Pompey were being run ragged and they offered the Robins a great opportunity when Gyepes missed a clearance.
That left James Collins one-on-one with Andersen, but the Swindon striker struck his shot straight at the Blues keeper.
Pompey did start to look more assured as the half progressed and Izale McLeod had a shot blocked, before a lovely passing move ended with Compton over-hitting his cross.
Lee Williamson then picked out McLeod with a fine pass, but the striker hit a first-time effort over the bar.
McLeod went closer on 21 minutes, drawing a save from Wes Foderingham. The loose ball fell to Williamson, who should have shot first time but took a touch that allowed McEveley to make a key block.
But the action was soon back down at the other end of the pitch and Andersen did well to divert Williams’ angled drive over.
The Blues keeper then made a super stop to deny Collins from the resulting corner and recovered quickly to keep up Alan Navarro’s follow-up effort.
Andersen had to rely on a defender to bail him out on 33 minutes, though. The Dane came out to punch a corner but completely missed the ball, forcing Gyepes to head off the line.
Pompey soaked up that spell of pressure and almost caught the Robins on the break. Darel Russell picked out Obita unmarked on the left, but the wide-man’s low shot was turned round the post by Foderingham.
McLeod and Compton then had half-chances as the Blues looked to end the first half with a flourish.
But it was Swindon who opened the scoring just before the break as Ritchie’s low angled drive beat Andersen at his near post.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Swindon 1
The start of the second half was not quite as frenetic as the first, although Pompey wasted a free-kick on the left and Compton glanced an Obita cross wide.
But the Blues were left with a mountain to climb when Williams cut inside from the left and fired home a fierce shot that left Andersen with no chance.
Pompey were struggling to make much of an impression going forward and Appleton tried to shake things up on 67 minutes by bringing on Harris for Obita.
But it was still Swindon looking more likely to score and Ritchie blazed a shot over after Roberts had pulled the ball back on the edge of the box.
Rodgers replaced Compton for the closing stages as Pompey desperately searched for a route back into the game.
But the Blues appeared devoid of attacking ideas, with Swindon content to pass the ball around in midfield.
Pompey finally showed some intent going forward on 83 minutes when McLeod embarked on a fine run from the halfway line.
The striker found Howard unmarked in the box, but the skipper wanted too many touches and Foderingham saved.
Then, from the resulting corner, Michalik headed against the crossbar from six yards out.
And moments later Foderingham came tearing off his line to deny Rodgers as the Blues charged forward.
There was more to come as Foderingham palmed clear Harris’ curling shot from deep and McLeod sent the loose ball crashing against the post.
MICHALIK finally pulled one back at the death when he converted Harris’ corner, but the Blues had left it far too late to get anything from the game.
Pompey: Andersen; Dumbuya, Michalik, Gyepes, Harley; Williamson, Russell; Obita (Harris 67), Howard (c), Compton (Rodgers 78); McLeod
Goals: Michalik 90+2
Subs not used: Eastwood, Webster, Thompson, Ertl, Walker
Swindon: Foderingham; Thompson, Ward, McCormack (c), McEveley (Bessone 89); Ritchie, Navarro (Coke 60), Miller, Roberts; Collins (A.Rooney 38), Williams
Goals: Ritchie 45, Williams 55
Subs not used: Archibald-Henville, Devera, Bostock, Benson
Referee: Steve Rushton
Too Little, Too Late By Jim Bonner
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2012
Portsmouth 1 Swindon Town 2
Pompey fell to their third straight home defeat in the league after a woeful performance against Swindon Town tonight.
A late flurry of chances from the home side cannot mask how terrible the performance was for the rest of the game and Paolo Di Canio's team will not be gifted an easier three points this season.
Swindon completely dominated the first half and if not for some superb saves from Mikkel Andersen, the scoreline could have been embarrassing as Pompey's passing and general defending was extremely sloppy.
Pompey did have a short spell in the first period, with the best chance falling to Izale McLeod who shot straight at Wes Foderingham, the ball came back to Lee Williamson who took too long to shoot and had his effort blocked.
But the Robins were taking great advantage of the lack of pace between Pompey's latest centre back partnership of debutante Lubor Michalik and the returning Gabor Gyepes, whilst their wingers were making mincemeat of Dumbuya and Harley.
They should have scored when James Collins was one-on-one with Andersen but the Pompey keeper saved his poor effort before becoming the key player of the half.
The Danish stopper had produced a good save to deny Andy Williams a goal from his angled drive, but his save from Collins' close range strike was even better and then he recovered in time to stop Alan Navarro's follow up, which was greeted with warm applause from the home supporters.
Gabor Gyepes then had to clear the ball off the line later in the half but Swindon were not to be denied as the predictable happened when former Pompey youngster Matt Ritchie beat Andersen at his near post right before half-time, but kept his celebrations reserved out of respect for his boyhood club.
The second half was just as bad as the first as Swindon doubled their lead after Williams made easy work of getting past two men and cut inside before firing the ball into the far corner, giving Andersen no chance.
The crowd were restless and broke out the ironic songs such as "We're all going on a League Two tour" and the classic "Always look on the bright side of life" as their team were devoid of any ideas and kept losing the ball in what is now a trademark of Michael Appleton's side.
It was until the last ten minutes when Pompey actually started playing. Brian Howard tested Foderingham with a shot after some good work from McLeod to take the ball past three players. Michalik then headed the ball against the crossbar from the resulting corner.
McLeod then hit the post after Foderingham had saved Ashley Harris' curling shot as Pompey fans wondered where this drive and commitment was for the previous 80 minutes.
Michalik finally did score for Pompey when he headed in Harris' corner in stoppage time but there was no time to find an equaliser and it was another defeat for Pompey.
This defeat has got fans asking serious questions about the manager and his post-match comments are baffling. Appleton says we lost the game because "we weren't clinical enough" but he's "not sure how we came away with nothing" - was he watching a completely different game to the rest of us?
He even says "we passed the ball really well" - even the idiots ironically cheering our completed passes in the second half could see that we were being dominated by the opposition and couldn't keep hold of the ball, so why can't the manager?
I had also taken a friend to their first Pompey match tonight and even they said "Why hasn't the manager made a substitution yet?" - It's glaringly obvious that Appy doesn't react quickly enough to what is going on during the game and his tactics can also be questioned after more aimless long balls today.
It was a very frustrating night and was the lowlight of a bad day for the club as the ownership situation became even more clouded with another chancer in Laurence Bassini bidding for the club. You only have to look at what he did at Watford to realise how bad he'd be for the future.
I wonder just how much worse the whole situation can get. I guess we'll find out on Saturday when Notts County murder us...
Pompey Player Ratings
Mikkel Andersen: 7 - Kept the score respectable but still made a few mistakes.
Mustapha Dumbuya: 5 - Carried the ball forward only to pass it back or sideways. Also struggled with Swindon's wingers.
Gabor Gyepes: 5 - Sloppy and sluggish.
Lubor Michalik: 5 - Scored but very ropey.
Jon Harley: 4 - Barely in the game.
Lee Williamson: 4 - Not the player I expected him to be.
Darel Russell: 5 - Gave the ball away too often.
Brian Howard: 5 - Couldn't influence the game.
Jack Compton: 4 - Couldn't beat a man.
Jordan Obita: 5 - Ineffective for the most part.
Izale McLeod: 6 - Ironically his best showing in a Pompey shirt.
Ashley Harris (Obita 67): 6 - Got into the game late on.
Luke Rodgers (Compton 78): N/A - Why didn't he start?