Relegation Party Ends In Defeat

28 April 2012 10:32
Nottingham Forest 2 Portsmouth 0

Portsmouth bid farewell to the Championship with a 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest courtesy of two Dexter Blackstock goals in the second half.

The result didn't matter a jot to the travelling Pompey fans who sported some funny looking costumes. Bananaman, Austin Powers and even Ali Al-Faraj mingled with the vast amount of Smurfs and Robin Hoods to create a carnival atmosphere in the City Ground.

There was some interesting team news ahead of the game as Jason Pearce and Greg Halford travelled to the ground seperately from the rest of the squad. Pearce is about to finalise a move to Leeds and Halford couldn't play "due to financial reasons".

I'm guessing he has a clause in his contract for an automatic pay increase much like Richard Hughes and Michael Brown had last season. Greg stated on his twitter page that he had definitely not been sold.

Dave Kitson, Tal Ben-Haim, Benjani and Kanu didn't even travel to Nottingham so make of that what you will.

As for the match itself, well, it was your typical end-of-season fare.

Chances were few and far between as Jamie Ashdown easily dealt with a couple of long range efforts whilst Lee Camp spilled a couple of Pompey shots that were never going to be followed up.

There were a couple of moments when Forest players got themselves into good positions and looked like they would score, only to "Quashie" the ball into the Pompey fans behind the goal.

Much to Ashdown's chagrin, the fans refused to give the ball back and were happy to juggle it around the stand until someone eventually gave it back and were then given the "Scummer" chants for such a heinous act.

The singing carried on into a lacklustre second half on the pitch as Blackstock missed from close range and Chris Maguire fired a free kick over the bar.

Ex-Saint Blackstock did get on the scoresheet eventually after some non-existant defending allowed Gareth McCleary to find him a yard out. Cue celebrations and some bemused Forest fans watching the Pompey supporters joining in with the dancing to Chelsea Dagger.

A few Pompey fans thought we had equalised when it looked like Camp may have knocked a corner into his own net but the ball didn't cross the line.

His opposite number then showed us why we need him to sign a new contract next season as Ashdown kept out a couple more Blackstock headers with some agile saves before he was eventually beaten by the same man again from a corner in the last minute of the game.

The final whistle blew to call time on Pompey's season and possibly even the club's existance but that didn't stop the party. The Pompey staff approached the stand for some applause as the Forest fans also showed their respect.

The fans continued to stay as the Forest players also applauded the Pompey contingent with one of their players donating his boots to a young fan. Ex-manager Steve Cotterill also showed his appreciation for the fans of the team he managed earlier in the season.

Some fans continued to wait for Appleton and the players to make another appearance before finally heading home after what has been a long, hard season and one which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

The forthcoming weeks will see players leave for certain but none of that will really matter unless Portsmouth Football Club is saved in the next few weeks, preferably by someone who gives a damn.

However, if this is to be Pompey's curtain call, then those last moments with the players and fans together would have been a poignant end for a club with such proud history and tradition.

Pompey Player Ratings

Jamie Ashdown: 8 - Some more smart saves. Sign him up!

Aaron Mokoena: 5 - Doubtful if he is even good enough for League One.

Karim Rekik: 6 - Strange to see him play at centre half but he was OK.

Ricardo Rocha: 6 - Would definitely do a job in League One next season if he were to renew his contract, he was OK today.

Joel Ward: 5 - Last game for Pompey won't have been a memorable one. Given the runaround at times.

Kelvin Etuhu: 5 - Says he wants to stay but will have to improve on this lacklustre showing.

Scott Allan: 6 - Not at his best today but will surely be a future Premier League star.

David Norris: 6 - Tried to create things but nothing really happened.

Luke Varney: 5 - Didn't look up to it.

Chris Maguire: 6 - Could have made more of his chances.

Ashley Harris: 6 - Got involved but still unsure if he can cut it at third tier level.


Sam Magri

Adam Webster

Alex Grant

Jed Wallace

Marko Futacs (Harris 78): N/A - Should have been given more time.