—END OF LOAD TAG—>
|Steve Finnan (Danny Webber, 86)|
|Papa Bouba Diop|
|Hassan Yebda (John Utaka, 66)|
|Frederic Piquionne (Nwankwo Kanu, 46)|
|Ricardo Fuller (Dave Kitson, 90)|
|Sanli Tuncay (Salif Diao, 76)|
Full Time: Portsmouth 1-2 Stoke. The final whislte goes and it's a devastating defeat for Pompey who looked the better team for much of the game. Diao's late header gives Stoke the three points despite Wilkinson being dismissed in the second half.
Hreidarsson is booked.
Pompey press and press but the visitors run the ball into the corner. Fuller is replaced by Dave Kitson in nothing more than a time wasting exercise.
PORTSMOUTH 1-2 STOKE. Ricardo Fuller breaks down the right hand side and lifts the ball into the middle for DIAO who meets it with a composed header that finds the net. Heartbreak for the basement club, when your lucks out, your lucks really out.
Belhadj whips a ball in from the left hand side and almost finds Dindane in the middle but the striker is forced out of it by Huth. Good defending from the Stoke City man.
Portsmouth have possession but lack incision in the final third. Is there a winner in this one?
Pompey want the three points! Danny Webber comes on for Finnan.
Fuller picks the ball up just inside the Portsmouth half and drives forward before striking for goal from range but the shot is well wide of the mark.
Quincy works a short corner with O'Hara before taking a shot on but he fires it wide with his left-foot as he ran across the edge of the box.
Portsmouth are pressing and the visitors are struggling to get the ball out of their own half. Can basement club grab a winner and a precious three points with the man advantage?
Tuncay makes way as Tony Pulis looks to cope with the red card. Salif Diao enters the action.
The flow of the game has been disrupted by the sending off. O'Hara has to put on some new shorts as his were ripped off by Fuller in a challenge.
Again Dindane is brought down by WILKINSON who sees red as Mike Dean produces his second yellow card.
The Portsmouth defence is all at sea and the loose ball breaks into the path of Sidibe who looks to break towards James' goal but Wilson atones for the error with a fine tackle.
Dindane is pulled to the ground by Wilkinson and the fullback earns himself a caution.
Yebda makes way for John Utaka. Will this addition of pace make the difference for Avram Grant's team?
Finnan comes forward down the right hand side and looks to find Dindane with a cross but Huth heads the ball down to Sorensen who claims the loose ball.
Delap winds up to take a long-throw from inside the Portsmouth half and the inevitable follows. The ball sails into the area and James comes off his line and collects comfortably.
O'Hara is cautioned for dissent after his appeals for a free-kick were ignored.
Kanu holds the ball up well on the edge of the box and wins a free-kick from Shawcross. O'Hara will take once again and again the result is the same as the wall does its job.
Yebda and Dindane link up to win a corner for the home side. O'Hara whips it in and picks out Hreidarsson but he heads well over the bar unmarked.
Quincy shows some great footwork as he steps away from Shawcross before he is fouled on the edge of the box. O'Hara takes the free-kick but he strikes it into the wall.
PORTSMOUTH 1-1 STOKE. Glenn Whelan whips in a corner, Shawcross makes a darting run that drags two defenders out of position creating room for HUTH who powers the ball home with a fine header. Game on!
Whelan whips in a low, flat corner from the right hand side that falls kindly for Whitehead. Whitehead strikes a fierce low drive from the edge of the box but O'Hara clears off the line. O'Hara is the heart and soul of this Portsmouth team.
Portsmouth come out of the blocks flying and the new man Kanu wins a corner. O'Hara whips the ball in, its cleared as far as Belhadj who's cross forces Sorensen into action but the keeper makes the save.
Grant makes one change at halftime that sees Kanu enter the action in place of Piquionne. Perhaps the goalscorer has picked up a knock.
The second forty-five is underway. Pompey need this win badly, and the home fans will be willing them to hold on to this lead.
Halftime: Portsmouth 1-0 Stoke. The whistle goes for halftime and Portsmouth have a deserved lead over Stoke thanks to a goal from Piquionne. Stoke are far from out of this but the home side have shaded the game.
Collins crosses from the left hand side and picks out Tuncay who is unmarked in the area. Tuncay rises to meet the cross but he heads horribly wide from eight yards.
Portsmouth come forward again and win a corner that O'Hara will deliver. The ball comes in at pace and Wilkinson has to concede another corner but the second comes to nothing.
Sanli Tuncay takes a strike for goal from a tight angle but he is denied by a superb save from David James at his near post.
Stoke have responded well to going behind and are camped in the Pompey half at the moment but are lacking incision in attack.
Whelan will deliver Stoke's first corner of the game as the visitors look to respond quickly. The delivery finds Shawcross but he can only head the ball to the feet of James who collects with ease.
PORTSMOUTH 1-0 STOKE. The deadlock is broken! Quincy beats two defenders on the left hand side, plays a one-two with O'Hara before forcing a save from Sorensen. The rebound drops to PIQUIONNE who slots home with composure.
The opening corner of the game goes the way of the home side thanks to determined work from Quincy. O'Hara is the man to take the corner but he cannot pick out a team-mate and the set play comes to nothing.
Delap looks to set Fuller through and finds the striker with a through ball. Fuller turns and runs goalbound with pace and power but Hreidarsson makes a fine tackle to quell the danger.
Portsmouth are dominant at the minute as Belhadj has a cross cleared as far as O'Hara. The midfielder then tries to find Dindane but the ball is cut out, it drops to Belhadj but he fires wide with his first-time strike.
There's a slight delay in play as Wilson and Fuller clash in the air and require some treatment. The game now resumes play and both players seem to be ok.
Controversy at Fratton Park. The home fans are livid as Piquionne has a goal ruled out for offside. Quincy slid the ball into the Frenchman who slotted home neatly but was ruled offside. The replays suggest it was a poor decision.
Wilkinson pumps the ball long and finds the head of Collins who nods the ball down. Sidibe is there to latch onto the ball but his snap shot rolls well wide from inside the penalty area.
The game has started fairly slowly and Piquionne in particular is becoming very frustrated with seeing little of the ball. The Frenchmen has a word with O'Hara as he looks to become more involved in proceedings.
Quincy gets the opportunity to run at the Stoke defence and he has no hesitation in doing just that but Wilkinson is alert to the danger and makes a firm but fair challenge to win possession.
A very scrappy passage of play ends in a Delap throw-in which he takes to Tuncay before the Turkish international strikes high over the bar from the eighteen yard line.
Wilkinson brings down Belhadj on the Pompey left and O'Hara has the opportunity to deliver but the ball in sails into the arms of Sorensen.
Dindane breaks down the right hand side and crosses but the danger is cleared by Shawcross. Tuncay leads the counter for Stoke but he loses possession and a promising move breaks down.
Finnan drags Sidibe down on the left hand side and concedes a free-kick. Whelan whips in with pace towards the back post and finds Shawcross meets it with a header but sends it wide.
Papa Bouba Diop concedes a throw-in inside his own half and gives Delap the opportunity to test out the Pompey backline. The ball is inevitably tossed into the box but it comes to nothing and the home side can clear with ease.
The game is underway.
In a similar system to the home side Fuller, Sidibe and Tuncay all start for Stoke City. The back four is a familiar one with Huth and Collins in the middle with Shawcross and Wilkinson at full-back. Delap, Whitehead and Whelan play in midfield.
Avram Grant selects an attacking line up including Piquionne, Dindane and Owusu-Abeyie. Supporting the three strikers today are the three man midfield of O'Hara, Diop and Yebda with Hreidarsson partnering Wilson in the centre of defence.
Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Collins, Delap, Whitehead, Whelan, Sanli, Fuller, Sidibe
Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Belhadj, Yebda, Diop, O'Hara, Dindane, Piquionne, Owusu-Abeyie
Hello and welcome to Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club who will hope to put all their financial woes behind them and put on a show for their loyal and faithful fans. Stoke however, are here to spoil the party.
Its been a fairly predictable season in the Premier League.
Southend United have gained promotion to League One after a tense penalty shootout again Wycombe Wanderers that ended in 7-6.
Clubs across Europe are rubbing their hands together in glee as Sami Khedira has announced hell be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
Hull and Newcastle will be fighting for their Premier League lives on Sunday in yet another instalment of relegation drama