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Pompey Pegged Back By Dons
Milton Keynes Dons 2 Portsmouth 2
Portsmouth let a two goal lead slip at stadium:mk yesterday to draw with MK Dons in an entertaining game.
Pompey should have had the lead in two minutes when Izale McLeod surged into the box and was brought down by goalkeeper David Martin.
Unfortunately Brian Howard missed his second spot kick in a week as his effort hit the post. Michael Appleton has since said in his post-match interview that "one of the strikers" will be on penalty duty from now on.
If MK Dons thought they'd got away with that miss when the ball ricocheted off the woodwork then they thought wrong as Pompey continued to attack and former Dons forward McLeod lashed the ball into the far corner just three minutes in.
Having been a key player in MK's recent rise, Izale was nailed on to score against his former club, I'm sure many Pompey (and even Dons fans) recognised this and were delighted to take money from the bookmakers.
The home fans were then stunned as Gabor Gyepes headed in Howard's free kick to score his third goal in as many games and double Pompey's lead.
This was an open game, however, and the Dons almost got back into it when Charlie MacDonald fired narrowly wide. Some last-ditch defending from both sides kept the score at 2-0 with the home defence particularly looking vulnerable from set-pieces.
But the Dons were gifted a way back into the game when a short corner led to Dean Bowditch's cross being turned into the net by Adam Webster. The youngster knew little about it and can count himself very unlucky for that error.
Unfortunately, that goal gave Karl Robinson's men a second wind in the second half. Pompey retreated into their shell and were outplayed as a result.
Bowditch "Quashie'ed" a volley over the bar early on and Pompey then survived a goalmouth scramble as we began to see the ugly team of old resort to hoofing the ball hopelessly up the pitch, which saw the ball come straight back at us.
Despite being passed off the park, there was one excellent opportunity to put the game to bed when Lee Williamson played Wes Thomas through.
The Bournemouth loanee did well to take the ball onto his left foot and past two Dons defenders but curled the ball wide much to the dismay of the 2,500 Pompey fans behind the goal.
That miss would utimately be paid for as the Dons won a corner which was headed onto the crossbar and stabbed in from a yard out by Darren Potter for the equaliser.
With the scores at 2-2 and the Dons dominant, it seemed like Pompey may crumble and go on and lose the game. Akos Buzsaky came on and made his debut for Pompey but only had time to fire one shot wide from distance.
Despite some late pressure Pompey held on for a creditable draw and have now taken 7 points from the last 9 available.
However, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed with a draw having held a two goal lead and having played our best football of the season in the opening half an hour or so.
Had Pompey's forwards not been so hesitant, or if the midfielders had been more willing to shoot in good positions rather than pass then the game could have been won before the break.
On the other hand, most Pompey fans would have taken a point before the game and would have certainly taken the draw when MK equalised with twenty minutes to go.
The result leaves Portsmouth in 17th place with 12 points, effectively 2 points when (or if) the club comes out of administration. Bury are currently bottom of League One on 4 points so they could be "overtaken" next week.
And if Pompey keep up the good work then there is no reason why they can't be a League One club next season, too.
Pompey Player Ratings
Mikkel Andersen: 6 - Held some dangerous crosses well.
Mustapha Dumbuya: 6 - Good on the ball but caught out of position too often.
Gabor Gyepes: 7 - Just can't stop scoring!
Lubor Michalik: 5 - Struggled in the second half.
Adam Webster: 6 - Unfortunate own goal but solid otherwise and a threat when running down the wing.
Lee Williamson: 6 - More involved than in previous games.
Brian Howard: 6 - Another missed penalty but didn't play too badly.
Johnny Ertl: 7 - Gave the midfield some extra steel.
Jon Harley: 6 - Steady but nothing more.
Izale McLeod: 7 - Fired up in the first half but faded in the second.
Wes Thomas: 6 - Worked hard but missed a sitter.
Akos Buzsaky (Howard 81): N/A - Came on too late to make an impact.
Jordan Obita (Thomas 81): N/A - Wasteful.
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