Bournemouth 2 Pompey 1

Johnny Ertl impressed in midfield for Pompey, along with Romain Padovani, at Bournemouth   Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Johnny Ertl impressed in midfield for Pompey, along with Romain Padovani, at Bournemouth Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

Plymouth’s goalkeeping crisis ahead of Pompey clash

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Barely 48 hours earlier, it was Cristiano Ronaldo who graced Dean Court, in front of almost 12,000 mesmerised supporters.

Last night there were 1,806 fans in attendance as Pompey, rather than Real Madrid, graced Bournemouth’s turf.

The result was not a 6-0 mauling the Spanish giants dished out – a scoreline which had some of those Cherries fans who had paid £60 a ticket leaving early to avoid the traffic.

Instead, Eddie Howe’s team squeezed home with a late winner in a 2-1 win.

But Blues boss Guy Whittingham will be satisfied with the scoreline, regardless of his side picking up their second defeat in the row.

On Bournemouth’s first-half display alone, their triumph was thoroughly deserved, only for seven half-time substitutes to disrupt their dominance.

By that stage, Mohamed Coulibaly’s stunning strike had given the hosts the lead in the 34th minute as Pompey struggled to contained them.

There was to be no successive drubbing in front of the Bournemouth crowd, though, as Andy Barcham struck in the 64th minute with a curling 25-yard right-foot finish to make it 1-1.

It capped a hard-working and improved display in the second period from the visitors, epitomised by Romain Padovani and Johnny Ertl in the midfield engine room.

Then came the blow as substitute Harry Cornick saw his 80th-minute drive deflected past Phil Smith to give Bournemouth victory.

Inevitably, there will be questions over Pompey’s lack of cutting edge, with Tom Craddock in particular struggling in attack before he came off with a knock.

Throw in the goalless draw at Braintree and last Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Charlton and Whittingham’s men have not won in their past three friendlies, scoring in just one of them.

Still, it would be foolhardy to panic over such outcomes as the new-look squad compose their fitness and adapt to their new-found surroundings.

After all, pre-season results don’t dictate the path of the campaign ahead, as Pompey fans well know.

Last year, Michael Appleton’s side defeated Championship Bolton 3-0 at Fratton Park, Kieran Djalili among the scorers.

The winger would last just two weeks into his first Blues contract before it was terminated. He is currently playing in Ireland at Sligo Rovers.

Even in the division one-winning campaign under Redknapp in 2002-03, Pompey won just three of their seven summer friendlies in the build-up.

They were triumphs over Bognor, Newquay and Torquay, with two defeats and two draws among the other results.

Certainly little reason for Pompey fans to get too carried away with last night’s defeat against Bournemouth, with the tricky sight of Rayo Vallecano next on the horizon at Fratton Park this Sunday.

In the build-up to Bournemouth, there was a return for Yassin Moutaouakil following the slight groin problem which kept him out of the Charlton friendly, the Frenchman replacing Danny East at right-back.

Smith came in for John Sullivan in goal, while Jed Wallace dropped out for Ricky Holmes on the right flank.

In attack, Patrick Aygemang was named as Craddock’s strike partner, David Connolly the one missing out.

In a tight start to the game, 18th minutes had gone before there was any notable goalmouth action.

Cherries left-back Charlie Daniels fired in a low cross and, although former Pompey loanee Wes Thomas slid in with a connection, it was straight at Smith.

At the other end, Craddock engineered the visitors’ first attempt on goal in the 29th minute when he fired in a left-foot shot which ex-Blues shot stopper Darryl Flahavan dealt with comfortably.

Bournemouth broke the deadlock, though, in the 34th minute with a classy finish from Coulibaly which screamed past Smith.

The hosts were in the ascendancy and in complete control by now.

And when the ever-dangerous Simon Francis crossed from the right, Thomas headed wide when he should have done far better.

On the stroke of half-time it was Francis again distributing from the right and Miles Addison’s overhead-kick bounced just wide of the far post.

The Cherries brought on seven substitutes at the break and, much to Pompey’s relief, Francis was among the departures, as was Coulibaly.

Meanwhile, Whittingham made just the one switch, the troubled Dan Butler replaced by East, who slotted in at left-back to display his versatility.

Pompey levelled in the 63rd minute when Barcham picked up Holmes’ pass, switched it to his right foot and curled the ball home from 25 yards. The visitors’ spirits were lifted and, moments later, Holmes saw his shot pick up a slight deflection as it flashed narrowly past the post to earn a corner.

Bournemouth, though, came within a whisker of regaining the lead in the 77th minute.

Ian Harte swung in a cross from the left and Jayden Stockley’s flying header smacked against the foot of the right-hand post before being scrambled away. It was Cornick who settled the contest, though, his 80th-minute shot deflecting home to give Bournemouth their victory.

As for Pompey, Sunday’s final pre-season fixture is looming – and expect two new additions in their squad by then.

But whatever happens against Vallecano, the real work does not start until Oxford come to Fratton Park for the League Two opener on August 3.