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Portsmouth 1 Rovers 2


Alan75
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Match Report based on Rovers World Match Commentary.

Another away game missed this season, resulted in having to sit at the pc, with Sky’s Soccer Saturday on the screen in the corner and delayed web commentary whilst attempting to contribute to the chat room and make notes on the game. By 5pm I had a thumping headache and was totally exhausted. The only consolation being that Rovers had picked up 3 points and I hadn’t had to experience the long traffic jammed cross-country trip to the south coast.

For the first half hour it appeared that the game could swing either way, however Rovers did have more goal attempts than Pompey. Allowing that Rovers World commentators could be biased I switched to Portsmouth’s own commentators for a while and found that they were also full of praise for the Rovers. No sooner than I had tuned back to Rover’s commentary last weeks headline maker Lucas Neill put Rovers ahead in the 35 minute.

Following a number of corners, with a long distance shot from Tugay pushed away by Hislop and a Cole low shot cleared off the goal line, Neill pounced to fire home from 10 yards. Within 8 minutes Rovers went further ahead when Andy Cole collected a long ball, beating the defender to shoot from around 20 yards past Hislop.

Rovers now in total command the chat room was buzzing, although there was the typical pessimistic comments from some, with stats being quoted of previous encounters with Portsmouth and how Rovers have a habit of capitulating.

Rovers went in at half time 2-0 up and in total control, however Portsmouth came out for the second half, all guns blazing, putting Rovers on the back foot which gave the pessimists in the chat room more fuel for the fire, with the inevitable goal coming in the 57th minute, when De Zeeuw headed past Friedel.

With half an hour of the game remaing Souness made a double substitution, bringing on Yorke and Baggio for Jansen and Tugay. For the remainder of the second half it appeared to be all Pompey, with rovers defending in depth. With the clock ticking down Souness made a further substitute bringing on Johanssen for goal hero Neill, who according to the commentator was limping.

An afternoon in the chat room can be fun, but listening to the match is frustrating especially with delayed commentary and is no substitute to being at the game, when you see the action first hand and savour the atmosphere.

Portsmouth: Hislop, Schemmel, De Zeeuw, Stefanovic, Zivkovic, Stone, Sherwood (Roberts 55), Faye, Quashie (Pericard 84), Sheringham, Ayegbini.

Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, Foxe, Smertin.

Booked: Quashie, Schemmel.

Goal. De Zeeuw

Rovers: Friedel, Neill (Johansson 90), Amoruso, Babbel, Gresko, Emerton, Tugay (Baggio 64), Ferguson, Thompson, Cole, Jansen (Yorke 64).

Subs Not Used: Kelly, Grabbi.

Booked: Gresko, Thompson, Cole.

Goals. Neill, Cole.

Attendance: 20,024

Referee: P Durkin.

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