Pompey end year with another defeat

Pompey concede the opener which saw Dominic Blizzard net for Yeovil     Picture: Steve Reid
Pompey concede the opener which saw Dominic Blizzard net for Yeovil Picture: Steve Reid
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey crashed to defeat once again as they went down 2-1 at home to Yeovil Town to extend their winless run to 12 games.

After a miserable first-half performance that saw the Blues 2-0 down to goals from Dominic Blizzard and Byron Webster, the Blues at least showed some fight in the second half as Paul Benson reduced the arrears.

But they could not find the equaliser, despite hitting the woodwork in the closing stages.

Pompey’s dreadful problems at defending set-pieces reared its ugly head again as they found themselves 2-0 down at the break and booed off by their own supporters.

After a relatively-bright opening to the game, the team’s failure to deal with balls into the penalty box saw them concede the opener inside the first quarter of an hour.

Jamie McAllister’s inswinging free-kick from the right caused chaos, Adam Webster couldn’t clear his lines and it fell to Blizzard whose shot dribbled apologetically into the far corner through a ruck of players.

Fans hoping for a rapid response from Pompey were left sorely disappointed as Yeovil grew in stature and began to dominate.

While Simon Eastwood had little to do in the Pompey goal, opposite number Marek Stech was a virtual bystander at the other end.

Apart from a Mustapha Dumbuya attempted chip that landed on the roof of the Yeovil net and a speculative Liam Walker effort that fizzed over the bar, Pompey failed to carve out a single chance of note.

But it went from bad to worse seven minutes before the interval as Pompey went 2-0 down - yet again, failing to clear a set-piece.

McAllister’s cross into the box eventually dropped to Yeovil defender Webster and his hooked overhead effort took a big deflection and beat a wrong-footed Eastwood.

At that point, the Blues fans had clearly seen enough as chants of ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt’ rang out at Fratton Park before the boos rained down on the players at half-time.

But the supporters were back on side again in readiness for the second half, as Brian Howard and Izale McLeod - who had been booked for dissent and now misses the New Year’s Day trip to Swindon - made way for Scott Allan and Ashley Harris.

While the impact wasn’t instant, Pompey did have a precious goal back nine minutes into the second period to crank up the atmosphere.

Walker took a short corner, made room for the cross and Benson had the easiest task to tap home from a yard as Webster stretched to get the ball back across goal.

It was a much-improved second-half display which showed the fight, character and spirit that was sorely missing from that first 45 minutes.

But even though Pompey showed far more quality and commitment, they struggled to really test the Yeovil keeper.

Benson came close to the equaliser when he connected with another searching cross from Walker, only for the post to deny him, with Stech also flying across his goal trying desperately to get a touch.

Then Darel Russell tried his luck from 25 yards with a low drive that whistled narrowly past the upright as Pompey cranked up the late pressure.

Lubomir Michalik so nearly grabbed the late leveller with a powerful downward header that rattled back off the foot of the post, while Russell then skied the rebound.

But while Pompey came up short, the fans appreciated the fact the players had at least given their all in the second half and clapped them off for their efforts.

League One

POMPEY 1 (Benson 54)

YEOVIL 2 (Blizzard 15, Webster 38)

Pompey: Eastwood, Dumbuya, Michalik, Rocha, Webster, Williamson, Russell, Howard, Walker, Benson, McLeod. Subs: Smith, Ertl, Harris, Allan, Mendez-Laing, Wallace.

Yeovil: Stech, Ayling, McAllister, Hinds, Webster, Blizzard, Upson, Hayter, Williams, Madden, Burn. Subs: Reid, Stewart, Ugwu, Brundle, Agbo.