Catching Up: Portsmouth (A)

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Father Jack HackettWe know what it must seem like to you. Yes, it has taken us four days to produce our thesis on the goalless draw at Fratton Park, but we have been busy with other things. Honest guv, honest! It is mainly because we realised that ALOOT might need some new artwork – if you were unfortunate enough to have been born yesterday, Gary Smith’s face will be unfamiliar to you. As will, it seems, the concept of rain.

But we’re here now aren’t we. And a nice day out to report back on for those among us who had the misfortune of remaining at home at the weekend. It was a decent draw on the road and we reckon you’d be safe in thinking we were the more threatening. We hit the crossbar in the dying moments and flashed one just wide in the second half. But more crucially from a Stevenage perspective, it is a second successive clean sheet. For the first time since August that one…

Portsmouth, for their part, are a team that belie their league position in terms of who plays for them on the pitch. Well, they wouldn’t be in the worst four teams of the division. But it is still a mystery to us how they kept 11 men on the pitch. And the amount of long balls put into the stands behind the goals – has someone told them that the punters are now de facto players given their financial predicament?

And what of the travelling support. Healthy in number at around 500; loud in voice as now seems to be the norm in the Brave New World under Graham Westley III; and drenched in in the south coast sunshine. Is this what they call “summer”. Laughs were had at that triple bill of “Let’s Pretend We Scored A Goal” that led to “3-0 To The Stevenage” – them Pompey fans must’ve thought us northern folk to be somewhat odd.

Ratings To Pretend To Score Goals By:

Arnold     7     An ever-increasingly safe pair of mittens.
Gray       7     Stifled whatever threat Pompey offered on their left.
Roberts    7     Does what you expect him to do. Defend. Lead. Rule.
N'Gala     7     Is it possible a spell at Barnet can make you better?
Grant      7     Tenacious in the midfield. Booked for being headbutted.
Dunne      7     Don't go asking this lad for mercy. He ain't Duffy...  
Morais     7     Not fully fit but tireless in his running. An asset. 
Ehmer      7     Imagine if we could sign this lad permanently. Imagine.
Akins      7     Lucas' legs were motoring up and down the flank. 
Freeman    8     The form we craved for so much this season has returned!
Lopez      6     Not for the want of trying, but given no real openings.

Haber      7     Twonked the overbelly of the crossstick. #canadacomms
Mahon      6     Back from injury, back in the hunt. You wouldn't dare.
Comminges  6     Back from silly suspension. Not much time to shine.

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