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Pompey: Andersen, Dickinson, Michalik, Gyepes, Dumbuya, Harley, Williamson, Ertl, Allan, Buzsaky, McLeod. Subs: Eastwood, Compton, Walker, Webster, Thompson, Harris, Rodgers.
Pompey lose to a second half penalty for a foul conceded by MIchalik after a good performance Pompey man of Match: Scott Allan closely followed by Gabor Gyepes
Referee: Mick Russell
Attendance: 18,946 (580 Pompey fans)
Sheff Utd 1 Pompey 0: Michalik's madness means Blues pay penalty
On any other ground, you'd have fancied Pompey's chances at the break. But this was Bramall Lane, where Pompey rarely get anything to take home. And after 45 minutes where Pompey had been the better side but hadn't scored, many would have feared the worst.
And those fears were realised when Lubomir Michalik conceded a needless penalty on the hour by diving in on Chris Porter. Nick Blackman put away the penalty and the Blues never really looked like salvaging anything after that.
It's Pompey's second straight defeat after a run of five wins in six and has them looking over their shoulders at the bottom group in League One.
The bright spot was a second Pompey debut for Scott Allan just hours after he rejoined from West Brom. He was Pompey's driving force in a bright first half but did fade, perhaps with a lack of fitness, after the break.
Pompey started with Allan playing just off Izale McLeod and Mustapha Dumbuya back in the side at right-back.
Sheffield United might have taken the lead inside 25 seconds but Mikkel Andersen spread himself well to save Blackman’s shot as he ran on to a flick-on.
It wasn't long before Pompey found their rhythm and Akos Buzsaky hit the angle of bar and post from nearly 40 yards with the keeper George Long well beaten.
Porter headed wide from Tony McMahon’s cross before Allen began to exert some control over the game. One solo run ended with a shot across the face of goal - then Allan had a shot blocked by a desperate defender.
Another Buzsaky long-range effort was only inches over Long's bar and the break it was Pompey who would have been more disappointed not to be ahead.
The second half started in similar vein for Pompey and Gabor Gyepes almost nodded in from a Buzsaky corner.
But gradually United began to enjoy more of the forward play and they were rewarded when Michalik carelessly conceded a penalty on 66 minutes. There was no immediate threat to Andersen's goal as Porter and the defender raced to get there first to a long ball over the top. Porter did get their first - Michalik's decision to put a foot in was fatal and the striker went tumbling.
There was no dispute it was a penalty - unusual, that, for Pompey at this jinxed venue - and Blackman slid it low to the static Andersen's right.
Ashley Harris and Luke Rodgers came on for Jon Harley and Johnny Ertl, both of whom had had fairly ineffective second halves, but Pompey seemed to have run out of steam and created little in the closing stages.
The Blades showed how they have ground out six 1-0 wins this season by comfortably holding on for another victory of the same margin. Pompey slip to 15th in the division and will look to raise themselves for the FA Cup clash with Notts County on Saturday.
Pompey: Andersen; Dumbuya, Michalik, Gyepes, Dickinson; Buzsaky, Ertl (Rodgers 7, Williamson, Harley (Harris 74); Allan; McLeod. Subs not used: Eastwood, Webster, Thompson, Walker, Compton.
Referee: Mick Russell
Attendance: 18,946 (580 Pompey fans).