PORTSMOUTH 2-1 COVENTRY CITY
SAT DEC 03 At Fratton Park, Portsmouth
City Murphy, Keogh, Wood (Christie 77), Cranie, Cameron, Clingan,Baker, Gardner (McSheffrey 67), Bigirimana, Platt (McDonald 67), Jutkiewicz. SNU Dunn, Bell
Portsmouth Henderson, Ward, Rocha, Pearce, Mullins (Varney 67), Halford, Mattock, Kitson, Norris, Thorne, Huseklepp (Benjani 88). SNU Ashdown, Moekena, Futacs
HT PFC 1-0 CCFC FT PFC 2-1 CCFC ATT 12,236
Referee Carl Boyeson Assts Ryan T.Atkin and Nigel Lugg
Goals Greg Halford (pen 18), Lukas Jutkiewicz (54) Joel Ward (57),
Man Of The Match - Cody McDonald for not putting a foot wrong and getting one more touch than he had last week.
Never going to be the following we had at Brighton but by kick off time, around 800 City fans were in the away end. They gave the team some good backing and again deserved a lot better than what they got
CITY TEAM NEWS:
Andy Thorn made three changes bringing in Richard Wood, Gael Bigirimana and Nathan Cameron.
Tim Fisher and Associate Director David Shortland who is being tipped to be the next City Chairman along with Shortland's wife Paula.
Coventry City are rock bottom of the Championship table after a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth and Doncaster beating leaders Southampton.
After a week, where both Coventry City and Portsmouth supporters have more questions than answers concerning their respective clubs, we travelled down to Fratton Park on a coldish day and arrived at Fratton Park in plenty of time to join the City fans in the stand to the right of some of the worst toilet facilities in the entire Football League.
City attacked the far end for the first half and were soon giving the ball back to the home side with Sammy Clingan, who according to the CT this morning, has been offered a contract worth £8k a week, the main culprit.
Michael Appleton's side were able to keep the ball in the City half after Murphy had pushed away a Kitson second minute shot from the right and Gardner who, last week put everything forward but this week, was forced to pass backwards or sidewards, getting back to head off his line to concede a tenth minute corner.
In the 18th minute, the City supporters, minus one ejection, were fuming at keeper Joe Murphy, who is being heavily protected by his manager rather than being taken out of the firing line, who came out at Joel Ward who was struggling to keep the ball in play. Inexplicably, Murphy decided to whip his legs away and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty. Greg Halford stepped up, waited for Murphy to dive to his left and calmly stroked the ball into the net.
City, who need to drop a six passes tactic in order to secure the ball which is only adding to them losing possession, played in Erik "The Viking" Huseklepp who for me was Pompey's best player for a 26th minute attack and it was only thanks to a Dave Kitson shot on the turn taking a deflection that the ball went the far side of Murphy's left hand post.,
Having tired of the "Andy Thorn Sky Blue Army" and "SISU Out" chants, the City support were now resorting to giving ironic cheers every time Murphy caught a ball before the half ended with efforts from Jutkiewicz and Bigirimana going over the home keeper's bar.
Henderson spent the first half keeping himself warm but in the 54th minute, he was picking the ball out of the net when Richard Wood got down the left and delivered a cracking cross for Lukas Jutkiewicz, to slip into the net before celebrating with the City support.
There were plenty of celebrations amongst the City support but three minutes later, the Pompey fans who are clearly looking forward to their upcoming trip to Southampton, were the ones celebrating when Joel Ward hit a shot from the right which went across Murphy and into the far corner of the net.
News had been coming in that Doncaster were leading Southampton and City were now bottom of the league. Whether the need to get back in the match was transferred to the players and management is unclear but Thorn whose press conference on Thursday gave the impression that he was expecting the sack, made a double change bringing on Cody McDonald and Gary McSheffrey for Clive Platt who had done reasonably well and Gary Gardner.
McSheffrey sent the ball onto the roof of the net and in the 72nd minute, had a one on one with the keeper but must to the disgust of the City fans, he fired straight at Henderson and the chance came to nothing.
Both sides might have had a penalty before Huseklepp and Kitson wasted good chances.
With Richard Wood limping off and being replaced by Cyrus Christie, Carl Baker was unlucky seven minutes from time when his left footed drive from twenty yards was pushed over for a corner but yet again, Coventry City failed to display any fighting spirit and played the last few minutes like a side resigned to League One.