New Manager - Same Old Story
Portsmouth 0 Newport County 2
Richie Barker's first game in charge of Portsmouth ended with a disappointing defeat to Newport County as the defensive frailties of his team would have shocked the new manager.
For Pompey fans, however, it was a case of "we've seen it all before" as Newport took advantage of some extremely embarrassing defending in the second half to ease their way to their second win over the Blues this season.
The game didn't start very well as the visitors could have had a penalty when Dan Potts hauled down Christian Jolley in the box. Referee Darren Deadman looked to have pointed to the spot but after some consultation with his assistant, gave a free kick on the edge of the area instead, which came to nothing.
Jolley's miscontrol meant that Pompey got away with not conceding early on as he was found in plenty of space in the box thanks to some poor communication between Joe Devera and Yassin Moutaouakil, who were both terrible on the day.
Pompey did improve as the half wore on as David Connolly curled his shot over the bar after a nice passing move and Patrick Agyemang's effort was cleared off the line.
Andy Barcham's run on goal was halted later in the half and he felt he should have had a penalty after being tripped in the box. The match lulled after that but Newport again had a great chance to score when Harry Woreley wasted a free header from a cross.
The second half began in a scrappy fashion as Pompey attempted to play hopeless long balls to the front two and when they did keep the ball on the ground, the little flicks and tricks weren't finding anyone in a blue shirt.
The game took off when Agyemang headed Ricky Holmes' corner at goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley with his save being hacked clear by Pipe before a Pompey player could get to the loose ball.
Straight after that, Newport attacked and Robbie Willmott's cross found an unmarked Jolley in the box yet astoundingly he managed to blast the ball into the side netting as the Fratton End laughed at his woeful finishing.
However, that laughter soon turned to anger as Newport took the lead with a well crafted goal, although Potts and Moutaouakil in particular should have done better to track Ryan Jackson who received a pass and cut the ball back for Michael Flynn who finished from close range.
The first goal may have been good, but the second was an absolute joke. A long throw somehow evaded everyone in the box and even bounced before Flynn volleyed the ball home at the far post.
The goal sparked a furious reaction from some Pompey fans as seats in the ground were slammed down, with disgruntled fans leaving. An argument broke out at the back of the Fratton End between a man who was shouting expletives at the players and a woman who told him to "fuck off and support Southampton" as they both tore into each other. It may have been the most entertaining part of the afternoon for those who were there to witness it but it was hardly the image of unity that this club is trying to convey.
The only real positive to come out of this game was Jed Wallace's contribution. As a substitute, he came on and hit the post when he struck Connolly's cutback and the woodwork denied him again as his angled drive cannoned off of the crossbar.
The rest of the team struggled to create anything meaningful in the remaining minutes and were roundly booed off again once the final whistle blew.
It was certainly an eye opening experience for Richie Barker and he has admitted that he has a hell of a job to do and that some players could be shipped off when the January transfer window arrives.
Devera is surely in the firing line as he has arguably been Pompey's worst player all season. He can't head a ball, can't pass it on the floor, lacks basic marking skills and lacks any kind of composure when in possession. Pompey fans have said he is worse than the infamous Carl Tiler and it would be hard to disagree as yesterday was just the latest in a string of poor performances.
Moutaouakil has to be close to being kicked out, too. He has no positional sense and it's no exaggeration when I say he is the worst passer of a football I have ever seen.
There are others who could (and should) be criticised but the bottom line is that Barker has a lot of work to do to turn this round. Let's hope that Steve Coppell's contact book is gargantuan because a long search for new blood is what this team needs. Again.
When this season began nobody dared to even think that Pompey could be relegated to non-league but next Saturday's match at Bristol Rovers is a huge six-pointer for the club. Lose that one and the shit really does hit the fans who pay good money to watch such dreadful performances week in, week out.
Pompey Player Ratings
Trevor Carson: 5 - Couldn't be blamed for the goals but needs to command his area better.
Yassin Moutaouakil: 3 - Continues to be a liability.
Joe Devera: 3 - Hard to imagine that he is a professional footballer.
Sonny Bradley: 5 - Won most of his battles in the air but still struggles against players with movement.
Dan Potts: 4 - Gotten the better of by Newport wingers too often. Will never make it in the Premier League.
Ricky Holmes: 5 - Bafflingly awarded the official man of the match award despite rarely threatening and some poor deliveries.
Therry Racon: 5 - Off the pace.
Shaun Cooper: 5 - Centre midfield isn't the position for him. Too sluggish.
Andy Barcham: 5 - Needs to be more direct as that is when he is at his best.
Patrick Agyemang: 5 - Wasteful and sluggish at times.
David Connolly: 5 - Didn't pose much of a threat.
Simon Ferry (Cooper 80): N/A - Not someone who is going to win you the game with ten minutes to go.
Jed Wallace (Holmes 66): 6 - Unlucky not to score and Pompey's only bright spark.
Ryan Bird (Agyemang 66): 5 - No real impact.
Source: Fratton Faithful
Related Portsmouth News