Boro deal another blow to Pompey’s survival bid

George Thorne battles with Middlesbrough goalscorer Barry Robson  Picture: Steve Reid

George Thorne battles with Middlesbrough goalscorer Barry Robson Picture: Steve Reid

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Pompey’s survival bid was dealt another blow as they went down 3-1 to Middlesbrough.

Three second-half goals left Michael Appleton’s men five points from safety in the Championship after another tough week.

Barry Robson, Matthew Bates and Marvin Emnes did the damage for the visitors.

Greg Halford’s penalty made it 2-1 and briefly gave Pompey hope in a breathless second half.

But they were undone by Emnes seven minutes from time as they pushed for an equaliser.

George Thorne and Scott Allan had Pompey’s best first-half chances.

Allan whistled a shot just wide from the edge of the box and Allan went even closer with an excellent free-kick from 25 yards.

Stephen Henderson had to pull off some fine stops to keep his team level, though.

First, he denied Barry Robson’s free-kick, and he then excelled himself with a brilliant full-length effort to keep out Nicky Bailey’s drive.

In between, he saved Ricardo Rocha’s blushes with his header on its way in until the Irishman pushed it away to safety.

A disputed spot-kick gave Boro the lead after 56 minutes when Robson fired home, after ref Trevor Kettled judged Ricardo Rocha to have fouled Seb Hines.

Their second arrived after 63 minutes when Bates nodded home, before Halford tucked away his penalty in the 66th minute after a handball by Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Emnes settled the affair on the break though, to deliver a blow to Pompey’s hopes of staying up.

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