No road rage for Pompey at Palace

Dave Kitson went close for Pompey in the closing moments at Selhurst Park
Dave Kitson went close for Pompey in the closing moments at Selhurst Park
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey ended their barren run away from home with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

With nothing to show from their past five matches on the road, the Blues earned a vital point from their trip to Selhurst Park - but left thinking they deserved more.

Palace looked the livelier of the two sides in the early exchanges, clearly buoyed by a run of seven matches without a defeat.

Their lively and fluid movement saw them create a string of half chances in the opening 25 minutes.

But Darren Ambrose saw his shot fly over the bar, before Nathaniel Clyne’s neat one-two with Wilfried Saha came to nothing as Jason Pearce cleared.

Saha then had his shot blocked by Aaron Mokoena as Pompey struggled to cope with their hosts.

However, when Liam Lawrence headed over from 12 yards following a superb cross from Tal Ben Haim, it was clear the home team were not going to have it all their own way.

Indeed, Ward soon had a back-post header smack against the crossbar on the half-hour mark, before a poor first touch from Luke Varney failed to make the most of Lawrence’s inch-perfect through ball.

Half-time arrived with Norris just failing to connect with another Ben Haim cross – and the theme continued in the second half as Pompey built on their possession.

Ward saw his cross-cum-shot parried for a corner by keeper Julian Speroni seven minutes after the restart, while the referee waved away Kitson’s appeals for a penalty when he was upended by Paddy McCarthy.

As Palace failed to cope under the Pompey pressure, the Blues went for goal again when Varney failed to make the most of a break down the left.

But as the home side’s goal lived a charmed life, it was clear Pompey would have to settle for a share of the spoils, with Kitson’s last-gasp header sailing over the bar reaffirming their lack of luck in front of goal.