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Arrrgggh. An unbelievably frustrating game to finish off a pretty awful week.

We played extremely well considering the events leading up to the game, Belhadj and Traore inspired down the left again in contrast with right-sided pairing of Pamarot and Diop which was as useless as it sounds.

We really should've had the game sewn up before 'MC Deuce' volleyed in the equaliser in the ridiculous amount of space given to him by Pamarot and Distin. Crouch was probably MOTM, held the ball up well and allowed Defoe and Belhadj to run at the woeful Fulham fullbacks.

It was nice to Niko return and he probably should've won a penalty, will be interesting to see how we try and fit him into the current first XI.

PUP nevertheless and roll on the inevitable thrashing at the league leaders tomorrow
 

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FT: Portsmouth 1 - 1 Fulham

26 October 2008

POMPEY 1 FULHAM 1



Fulham struck late in the game to cancel out Peter Crouch’s opener and deny the Blues victory in a match they dominated at Fratton Park.

The Blues made three changes from the side that lost to Braga in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. Younes Kaboul replaced the rested Sol Campbell in the centre of defence, with Sylvain Distin skippering the side.

Nadir Belhadj came in for Hermann Hreidarsson at left-back, while Lassana Diarra recovered from a knee injury to replace the suspended Sean Davis in midfield.

The visitors threatened first but David James always had Jimmy Bullard’s 35-yard free-kick covered as it whizzed just past the post with only 50 seconds on the clock.

Then, on nine minutes, Kaboul’s bullet header was cleared off the line by Paul Konchesky after the French defender had connected with Diarra’s corner.

There was a nervy moment at the other end when Andy Johnson just failed to meet Simon Davies’ low cross and James fumbled the ball behind for a corner.

Pompey were starting to look the stronger side and on 19 minutes Jermain Defoe fired inches wide after Armand Traore and Crouch had combined well to tee him up.

Richard Hughes then stung the fingertips of Mark Schwarzer with a fierce low drive that the Fulham keeper grabbed at the second attempt.

Crouch was unable to make a decent connection with Traore’s low cross on 25 minutes and his weak effort was comfortably dealt with by Schwarzer.

The Cottagers keeper then kept out Belhadj’s shot after the Algerian’s surge into the area had taken him past three white shirts.

But Fulham almost caught Pompey by surprise on 36 minutes with Bullard again firing just wide from long distance.

The Blues were soon back on the attack however, and Traore tested Schwarzer with a powerfully-struck shot from 30-yards.

Fulham did have the ball in the back of the net before the break when Johnson stooped to head home, but Zoltan Gera was flagged for offside in the build up.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Fulham 0

Defoe had the first decent chance of the second half on 51 minutes but fired wide after doing well to make space for himself on the edge of the box.

He then forced a fine save from Schwarzer with a swerving shot that the Australian keeper parried away.

Diarra wasted a glorious opportunity on 61 minutes when he gave the ball away on the edge of the Fulham area after doing so well to win possession in his own half.

But it did not matter because Pompey were ahead less than a minute later, CROUCH drilling the ball into the bottom corner after being left unmarked in the box.

The Blues wanted another and Defoe lashed the ball into the side netting, before Belhadj clipped the outside of the post.

Fulham had a good opportunity to equalise on 81 minutes but James comfortably held onto Bobby Zamora’s angled volley.

After more than two months out with an ankle injury, Niko Kranjcar replaced Traore for the last few minutes of the match.

The visitors almost levelled late in the game but James made a fine save to deny Brede Hangeland from point-blank range.

But they did manage to steal a point when an unmarked Clint Dempsey met Erik Nevland’s cross to steer the ball home.

Pompey poured forward in search of a winner and sub Arnold Mvuemba had two shots blocked in stoppage time.

But they could not find a way past Schwarzer for a second time and had to settle for a solitary point.

Pompey: James; Pamarot, Kaboul, Distin (c), Belhadj; Diop, Diarra (Mvuemba 83), Hughes, A. Traore (Kranjcar 84); Defoe, Crouch

Goals: Crouch 61

Subs not used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, D. Traore, Utaka, Kanu

Fulham: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Nevland 84), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Gera (Dempsey 71), Murphy (c), Bullard, Davies; Zamora, Johnson

Fulham: Dempsey 87

Subs not used: Zuberbuhler, Baird, Kallio, Milsom, Ki-Hyeon

Referee: Mark Halsey

Attendance: 19,233
 
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