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Saturday November 17, 2012 3:00 PM
Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England League 1 Fixture
PHOTO: Mikkel Andersen is beaten by Doncaster's Hume for the only goal of the game
Pompey 0 Doncaster 1 by Neil Weld at Fratton Park
Pompey’s worrying lack of form continued against Doncaster as Iain Hume’s goal sent them crashing to a sixth successive defeat.
A lack of communication at the back for the Blues allowed the striker to score from close range midway through the first half.
The hosts had chances to take something from the game, with Lubomir Michalik hitting the woodwork and Izale McLeod missing a great opportunity.
But Pompey were unable to find the back of the net, stretching their goal drought to 488 minutes.
Guy Whittingham made two changes from the side that lost at Bury seven days earlier.
Loan signings Paul Benson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing were both handed debuts, with Ashley Harris and Jon Harley dropping to the bench.
Doncaster looked threatening early on, but it was Pompey who had the first few chances.
Lee Williamson’s low cross into the box was sliced behind by Rovers skipper Rob Jones and then McLeod brought the ball down neatly before scuffing a shot wide.
Brian Howard also had a crack on 20 minutes after Mendez-Laing had been fouled on the edge of the box, but his goal-bound free-kick was headed behind.
Mikkel Andersen was the first goalkeeper called into action, tipping over a fierce drive from Martin Woods.
But Pompey were soon back on the attack and McLeod sent an angled drive just past the post after being released by Darel Russell’s incisive pass.
Once again, however, it was sloppy play at the back that undid the Blues as Doncaster broke the deadlock on 24 minutes.
Martin Woods got free down the left and sent in a low cross that Howard and Andersen left for each other, allowing Hume to nip in and poke home.
But, in fairness, Pompey did come close to an immediate leveller, with Benson just unable to connect with McLeod’s pass.
Williamson did make contact, though, sending a volley straight into the face of Paul Keegan and then watching as the ball ricocheted narrowly wide.
Russell then hit a cleanly-struck effort from 25 yards on 38 minutes, but the shot was straight at Gary Woods in the Doncaster goal.
But Pompey saved their best opportunity for just before the break. The visitors could only half-clear a free-kick and Mendez-Laing, lurking on the edge of the box, sent a thunderous volley inches over the top.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Doncaster 1
After a slow start to the second half, Pompey began to slowly move through the gears as they went in search of an equaliser.
Howard sent a superb free-kick into the box on 54 minutes, but Gabor Gyepes was unable to turn it in at the far post.
Williamson did have the ball in the back of the net moments later, but McLeod was offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out.
However, Doncaster were still looking dangerous going forward themselves and Martin Woods curled a free-kick over after Howard had been booked for fouling former Blues right-back Andy Griffin.
The visitors then won a series of corners and Andersen had to get low down to his left to keep out Jones’ free header.
Whittingham decided to freshen things up on 71 minutes, bringing on Harris for Williamson in an attacking move.
And the teenager immediately looked dangerous, swinging in a corner that Michalik headed against the crossbar.
Pompey should have been level on 79 minutes when Howard’s defence-splitting pass sent McLeod one-on-one with Gary Woods, but the striker attempted a delicate dink and sent the ball over the bar.
There was one more great chance when, in stoppage-time, Gyepes came forward for a corner and headed narrowly over.
But time ran out as Doncaster held on for all three points to heap more misery on the Blues.
Pompey: Andersen; Dumbuya, Michalik, Gyepes, Dickinson (Compton 83); Williamson (Harris 71), Russell, Howard (c), Mendez-Laing; McLeod, Benson
Booked: Williamson, Russell, Howard, Dickinson, Benson
Subs not used: Eastwood, Webster, Ertl, Harley, Walker
Doncaster: G.Woods; Griffin, Jones (c), Spurr, Husband; Cotterill (Syers 82), Harper, Keegan, Ma.Woods; Paynter (Brown 76), Hume (Martis 88)
Goals: Hume 24
Booked: Keegan, G.Woods
Subs not used: Maxted, Mi.Woods, Blake, Ball
Referee: Iain Williamson
Report from the News
Goal-shy Pompey’s miserable run continued in a 1-0 loss to Doncaster - their sixth straight defeat.
Former target Iain Hulme scored the decisive goal in the 24th minute after abject defending from Guy Whittingham’s men.
A mix-up between Brian Howard and Mikkel Andersen let the striker in to net at the near post – and it proved to be the match-winner.
Pompey gave debuts to Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Paul Benson, the former impressing tremendously in a wide role.
However, the attacking duo couldn’t help prevent another loss, in the process stretching it to 488 minutes since the Blues netted a goal.
Lubomir Michalik came closest with a 75th-minute header which struck the crossbar, while Izale McLeod wasted a one-on-one following a glorious Howard pass.
Yet, despite an improved second-half display, Pompey slipped to 19th in League One.
Mendez-Laing and Benson were the only changes to the side which suffered defeat at Bury last weekend.
That meant Ashley Harris and Jon Harley dropping to the bench, while Akos Buzsaky was again missing from the squad.
When the match got under way, it was Izale McLeod who would have Pompey’s first attempt on goal, swivelling round to drill in a shot which trickled wide in the seventh minute.
At the other end, a free-kick was touched to Martin Woods, who crashed in a shot from distance which had Andersen pushing it over the bar.
A marvellous move from the Blues on the 20th minute saw Andersen throw the ball out to Mendez-Laing and he surged through the heart of the Doncaster defence.
The winger then slipped through a superb reverse pass with was collected by McLeod on the left-hand side of the box, yet the striker could only shoot the wrong side of the near post.
It was the visitors, however, who took the lead in the 24th minute.
Mustapha Dumbuya failed to get the ball clear and when Martin Woods capitalised he crossed from the left and Hume slid home a goal while Andersen and Howard stood still waiting for the other to intervene.
The response was immediate, McLeod’s cross from the left half-volleyed by Williamson and taking a wicked deflection off a defender’s head to ricochet just past the post.
Paul Keegan the gave possession away on the edge of the area and Russell drilled in a first-time shot with Woods held comfortably.
The half ended with the impressive Mendez-Laing striking a ferocious shot from 25-yards out narrowly over the bar.
Pompey picked up after the break and in the 56th minute had the ball in the back of the net from Williamson, only to be ruled out of off-side earlier in the move.
Andersen kept the scoreline down, though, in the 69th minute when he pushed the unmarked Rob Jones’ header past the post after David Cotterill’s corner.
Regardless, it was better from the hosts after the break and in the 75th minute substitute Harris’ corner was headed against the bar by Michalik.
A stunning pass from Howard then released McLeod through the middle but the striker’s attempt to clip it over the on-rushing keeper also saw it clear the bar.
It was a glaring miss and one the hosts were left to rue as the equaliser would not arrive and a sixth defeat in a row ensued.
Doncaster 1 (Hume 25)
Pompey: Andersen, Dumbuya, Gyepes, Michalik, Dickinson (Compton 83), Williamson (Harris 71), Russell, Howard, Mendez-Laing, Benson, McLeod. Subs: Eastwood, Harley, Walker, Ertl, Webster.
Doncaster: G Woods, Griffin, Husband, Jones, Harper, Keegan, M Woods, Paynter (Brown 75), Cotterill (Syers 82), Spurr, Hume (Martis 87). Subs: Maxted, Blake, M Woods, Ball.
Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).
Match preview by kyle whitworth ⋅
Managerless Pompey are back in League One action this Saturday, as they welcome Doncaster Rovers to Fratton Park. Guy Whittingham will again lead the Blues, and will keen to arrest a poor run of form which has seen his side lose their last five games in all competitions.
Visitors Doncaster joined Pompey in relegation from the Championship last year, but they started the season brightly and find themselves in play-off contention despite losing their last two league fixtures.
Pompey will be hoping for another magical Fratton atmosphere, following the recent development of the Pompey Supporters Trust’ proposed purchase of the club.
Pompey expect to have Akos Buzsaky and Darel Russel fit to play, but on-loan midfielder Scott Allan serves the last of a three game suspension.
New signings Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Paul Benson have received clearance to feature, after signing from Peterborough and Swindon respectively.
Stopper Mikkel Andersen will play his penultimate fixture for the Blues, as the terms of his loan deal will mean he returns to Reading after Tuesday’s home fixture against Leyton Orient.
Doncaster manager Dean Saunders will be without winger Kyle Bennett and defender Jamie McCombe, but expect Rob Jones to feature after the defender missed the visit of Bournemouth with concussion.
David Cotterill is expected to play against his old employers, the former Swansea man enjoyed a short spell under namesake Steve the Championship.
Pompey and Doncaster have met 14 times in all competitions, with the Blues enjoying 10 successes to Rovers’ 2 victories.
Pompey fans will remember last season’s fixtures fondly as Pompey did a league double over Donny, the highlight a late win at the Keepmoat as Dave Kitson and Marko Futacs scored in injury time to seal a 4-3 victory.
Pompey (last five league only) – W L L L L
Doncaster – W W W L L
Likely Pompey line up – Andersen, Dumbuya, Gyepes, Michalik, Harley, Williamson, Mendez-Laing, Howard, Buzsaky, McLeod, Benson
Likely Doncaster line up – Woods, Quinn, Husband, Spurr, Griffin, Cotterill, Harper, Clingan, Paynter, Brown, Hume