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Rovers Robbed

3 - 2

Fratton Park

30th November 08

Attendance: 18,500


It was more heartache yesterday as Rovers made it 9 games without a win in a real mixed bag performance. A short summary of the game would be a great Rovers performance in the first half, some suicide defending to put the side 2-0 down, some spirited play to draw level, a scandalous 'foul' on David James preventing a 3-2 lead and then Pompey scoring a winner to send the away fans home devestated again.

In the first half Rovers were clearly the better team with Santa Cruz going close and Warnock slicing wide from a good opening where he really should of scored. Brett Emerton's corners were also causing problems, one in particular was headed onto the cross bar by a Pompey defender.

It was 0-0 at the break and I feel Blackburn could feel unfortunate to not be in the lead.

In the second half the ugly side of Rovers reared its head again. Portsmouth came out looking refreshed having had a kick up the proverbial by Tony Adams and went at Rovers with a new verve. Crouch headed Glen Johnson's cross past Paul Robinson and 4 minutes later Rovers got caught out again with some shocking defending from Chris Samba. Defoe raced onto a great through ball and rounded Samba far too easily, Rovers were 2-0 down and to be fair to Paul Robinson in goal, he had pulled off some great saves but could nothing about either goal.

However, the promising sign from Paul Ince's side was that instead of hide and capitulate Rovers galvanised themselves and came back. The spur they needed was provided by Matt Derbyshire. He replaced the frankly shattered Benni McCarthy and provided the spark that Blackburn needed.

Here is the important thing as well - he did it in his prefered central striking role!

Derbyshire headed home a looping cross from Gamst Pedersen and Tugay scored a screamer 5 minutes later to send the away fans wild. 2-2 and Rovers were right back in it.

However, the turning point came on 77 minutes when Derbyshire scored again and had the goal disallowed for a 'foul' on David James. In truth Andre Ooijer who was the rumoured guilty party had done nothing wrong. He stood his ground as David James leant over him and spilled the ball. Derbyshire then whipped it home. The goal was chalked off but it shouldn't of been.

Portsmouth then claimed victory as Sean Davis lashed home a rebound when Rovers again should of cleared.

In summary though. Paul Ince's charges should of won and could of won if it hadn't of been for some slack defending and a shocking referee decision.

Story of our season so far. But the positives to be taken from the game are -

- Much, much better performance from the side than at Spurs.
- Coming from 2-0 down shows real character, especially for a side in the bottom 3.
- Despite what people say, all the players are willing to fight for Ince.

We just need to catch a break. Keep the faith.

Star Player

Matt Derbyshire.

On for half an hour but was frankly excellent and lifted the side single handedly.

I did say early in the week that he always looks like scoring when played up front - and thankfully I was proved right.

Anyone doubting he is a Premiership class player should watch this.

Player Ratings

Robinson - 8

Some great saves and could do nothing with any of the goals.

Ooijer - 6

A steady days work but could of got forward more.

Samba - 5

Not one of his better days. Was at fault for second goal.

Nelsen - 7

As usual as solid as a rock.

Warnock - 6

Back at left back and did a lot to help the side's balance. Supported Pedersen well but was a bit too eager to get forward.

Emerton - 7

Vastly improved from the Spurs game, looked fitter and offered pace. More of this please.

Andrews - 5

Unfortunately offered very little. Let the game pass him by, should not be scared to go forward. Need more from Keith.

Tugay - 7

Same as usual. Great on the ball, kept things ticking over and always makes space for himself. Great goal - does he ever score a bad/scrappy one?

Gamst Pedersen - 7

A much better showing again. Looked lively and his crossing was up to scratch.

Santa Cruz - 8

Needs a goal but you can't fault that work rate. Unlucky not to have scored and provided a focal point for the attack.

McCarthy - 6

Skill was there and looked eager but the fitness wasn't there to match it. When he does get back up to speed after his bereavance leave he will be a real handful.

Derbyshire - 8

Great work rate again and caused Pompey all sorts of problems. Should of had 2 goals but for the referee.

Villanueva - 6

Given little time to impress.

Paul Ince

People will again moan as we lost but this was much better tactics wise and in spirit from Paul. He had the team playing together and really how much more bad luck can we have?

He had the players in the right positions.

It is the players that need to cut out the mistakes. I am sorry but Ince did very little wrong.

Liverpool At Home

I know people may think I am insane (again) but could this be the game to turn things?

Not expected to get anything and with the unpredictable nature of this season... you never, never know.

Writer:Mikey D
Date:Monday December 1 2008
Time: 11:59AM

Best of Vital Network


Again more heartbreak but this was sooo much better. Lets get to the Liverpool game and back the team.
Mikey D
01/12/2008 12:02:00
How unlucky can we be? We should have won this one. P.S. Rovers were robbed as it was Roque's house on saturday (His wife and Julio S.C. were in when 3 guys broke in and with knifes stole money and jewels)
01/12/2008 12:07:00
There are certain things that we can do to stop this but there are certain things that seem to count against us that cant be helped.
Mikey D
01/12/2008 12:11:00
It was a foul on the keeper & you were not robbed. We can all bleat about decisons that do or don't go your way. You are where you are on merit.
01/12/2008 12:53:00
Yes 'storage' you are right of course - but it is annoying to have scored two goals away from home and not take at least a point from the match.
01/12/2008 13:25:00
And of course we could just quote you 'Storage': "So pleased we knicked it. So that's that jinx broken." Which as far as I can tell means... we were robbed, as you knicked it... and you hadn't won at home due a jinx, which throws your there on merit argument out!
01/12/2008 13:28:00
As a Pompey fan I think you guys were very unlucky to at least not take a point home. Our ability to shut shop after taking the lead was amazing last season, in that we won every game we took the lead in apart from the very first of the season.
I do think that James was fouled, as Oojer didn't make an attempt for the ball and a quick elbow in the midrift will put most people off.
I do however know that you guys will turn it around, and will not be scrapping at the end of the season for points. Now that our 'jinx' is broken, here's to yours going soon as well!
01/12/2008 14:18:00
Sorry storage but Ooijer was stodd with his back to James, not leaning into him at all and James lent over him, spilled the ball on his own terms. If it wasnt for "protect the keeper at all costs" that is instilled in referees then the goal would of counted. Unfortunately I do need bleat about the decision... sorry if it riles you but it was a perfectly good goal. Well done on your win but the goal was fair and square.
Mikey D
01/12/2008 14:18:00
What a cracking comment from sneakay there. Kudos to you squire! I haven't seen the disallowed goals yet but from the sounds of it both had a strong case to stand. I think it is particularly annoying when you look at what happened against us with the United goal a few weeks back. But I guess it evens out as Ooijers was offside on the opening day! Still an improved display and the team out there looked a much better proposition. I hope we can get a bit of luck against united and pool this week to lift our season!
01/12/2008 16:11:00
Erm... I am of course a Rovers fan. But come on boys!! Ooijer fouled James. He backed into him and put an elbow in his ribs. It was a soft foul and tbh Ooijer should have had more sense, we might well have scored any way. The goal we conceded were abysmal... I watched motd2 without knowing the score, and having only seen the highlights I can't comment on the performance as a whole, only that we let in soft goals and that I noticed MGP again barely bothering to get back (wtf is up with him). Also Mikey, surely Samba was at fault for the 3rd goal too? Soft barely does it justice!
02/12/2008 00:45:00
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