No crock of gold at end of Blues’ trip to the KC Stadium

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The rainbow emanated from the KC Stadium turf, arching majestically towards the heavens.

In biblical terms, Noah regarded it as a symbol of hope delivered by God.

Fitting then that such a natural phenomenon should greet the visit of a resurrected Pompey.

A swift pre-match shower produced the glorious sight as those in the ground made their way to their seats on Saturday.

A year earlier, a trip to east Yorkshire represented the end of the footballing world to long-suffering Blues fans.

A club tottering on the brink of existence, many wept at the prospect a fixture at Hull seemingly signified a last breath.

Forget merely chasing rainbows, Blues fans also craved somebody with a crock of gold to preserve the club’s existence.

Well, that dream has come true.

Under Convers Sports Initiatives it continues to exist these days, even daring to flourish under a stewardship centred on investment.

So many reasons to be cheerful, except there remain gloomy storm clouds overhead.

An abject display from Pompey against Hull in the here and now has contributed to such a mood among fans.

The truth is these are supporters whose expectations have been cranked up as a consequence of this new level of ownership spending.

They expect more from a team possessing nine new faces – six of them recruited for transfer fees.

Two of which have arrived with million-pound-plus price tags in Greg Halford and Erik Huseklepp.

Pompey followers certainly deserved better than what was produced at the KC Stadium on Saturday, during an appalling performance from Steve Cotterill’s men.

Granted, it was a fixture which was always going to test.

It was unquestionably going to be a tough trip against a Hull side seeking a third successive win and possessing a footballing make-up which has rendered them difficult to break down, albeit at the cost of their attacking instincts.

Subsequently, Nigel Pearson’s men secured an all-too-familiar 1-0 triumph – their fourth such scoreline of the season.

In truth, it should have been so much more handsome against the woeful Blues.

Had it not been for the brilliance of Jamie Ashdown on three occasions, Cotterill’s troops would have received a hammering.

From the moment Robert Koren drove home on 11 minutes, Hull dominated.

Cotterill later criticised Erik Huseklepp’s failure to win a header in midfield during the build-up to the goal.

And he pinpointed to the criminal failure to close down Koren as he adjusted his sights.

In many people’s eyes, Ashdown should also bear some responsibility for conceding a goal low down at his near post from some 25 yards.

Regardless of the culprit, they were crucial mistakes which led to the opening goal of the game.

And Pompey never looked like getting back on level terms.

Of course, the sending off of Luke Varney 12 minutes from time checked any lingering hope of snatching something late on.

Not that the visitors deserved anything from a fixture they won so memorably 2-1 last season.

Almost to a man they failed to reach satisfactory performance levels, particularly during a shocking first half.

As ever with Cotterill sides, there was a marked improvement after the break.

It still wasn’t good enough, though, with a Benjani Mwaruwari volley from a difficult angle their greatest foray on the opposition goal.

Even find-of-the-season and the man who can do no wrong at present, Jason Pearce, had an off-day, with an uncharacteristic shaky performance.

Alongside him in the centre of defence, Halford can surely be the only player to emerge with any credit at all.

As for Ashdown, he may have conjured up three wondrous saves from the outstanding Robbie Brady, but he blotted his copybook with his earlier part in the only goal of the game.

For Pompey supporters, what made the performance even more unpalatable is that it came on the back of that impressive West Ham display.

A mere week earlier, Cotterill’s troops had ventured to Upton Park, scored three goals against the title favourites and unjustly still suffered defeat.

For all that was good and to be applauded from that showing, they were awful and warrant any criticism that comes their way for Saturday.

Not that Cotterill attempted to sugar-coat such a display in his post-match dealings with the press.

As frank as ever, he admitted the best side won and conceded his side hadn’t produced enough shots to win the game.

There were barely any positives to be taken from a thoroughly depressing day in Hull.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Varney is now facing the prospect of a three-match ban following his straight red card for a challenge on James Chester.

Referee Andy Haines had no hesitation in reaching his decision.

Cotterill disagreed and is contemplating an appeal.

For those who rely on television footage for an opinion, that was rather inconclusive.

Still, before Koren’s decisive strike, Pompey did have their positive moments.

In the third minute Aaron Mokoena flung in a deep cross from the right to create a difficult chance which Benjani headed wide at the far post.

Tal Ben Haim then knocked a ball down the left channel, Benjani collected and rolled a pass into the path of Varney, only for Hobbs to swoop and clear with the goal opening up.

Next up, David Norris fed Huseklepp whose excellent delivery was headed wastefully over by Benjani from close range.

Then, on eight minutes, Koren struck the far post with a beautifully curling right-foot effort.

Martyn Waghorn netted with the follow-up, only for the linesman’s flag to decree he was in an off-side position.

Barely three minutes later, there could be no disputing Koren’s strike which sped past Ashdown.

Effectively, it was game, set and match Hull at that very moment.

The hosts pushed forward for more – and they should have had plenty, such was their supreme dominance.

As for Pompey and their fans, the final whistle couldn’t come soon enough to end a forgettable day.

A glorious rainbow and new hope heralded the return to the KC Stadium.

A dark mood accompanied the Blues on their departure.