Pompey extending half-time interval with goals conceded
Pompey have good reason to be concerned as they take stock of the length of the queue heading into the physio's treatment room.
Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Oldham brought with it another addition to the injury list, with Nathan Thompson – who was filling in at centre-half for the injured Christian Burgess – left concussed after an clash with Drew Talbot.
The former Swindon man now joins Burgess and Jack Whatmough in requiring medical attention, leaving manager Kenny Jackett with a major selection headache in the centre of defence.
With Matt Clarke the only senior centre-half fit for duty, Pompey have certainly been left exposed at the back.
But it’s not the only sign of defensive vulnerability Jackett should be worrying about.
Closer attention to when the Blues are most likely to concede shows a disturbing trend.
To date, Pompey have conceded 16 goals in 12 first-team fixtures this season.
Not ideal, as they sit 15th in the League One table.
But more worrying is that five of those goals have come minutes after the resumption of the second half – and have proved costly.
Eoin Doyle’s second for Oldham in their 2-1 win at Fratton Park turned out to be the winner, with Brett Pitman’s effort on 90 minutes proving a consolation.
It came on 47 minutes – two minutes after the restart – and was the third time this term the Blues have conceded at that exact moment in a game.
The first was Wes Thomas’ opener for Oxford in the U’s’ 3-0 victory over the Blues at the Kassam Stadium.
And in Pompey’s next league game – against Walsall – the same happened again.
On this occasion Luke Leahy’s effort was cancelled out by Pitman – but it still prevented the Blues from winning the game.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s effort in Cardiff’s 2-1 victory against the Blues in the Carabao Cup came on 48 minutes – but once again it proved the side’s tendency to conceded immediately after the restart.
On that occasion, Pompey lost out on progression in the competition.
In the league, the Blues have dropped three points due to these crucial strikes (Oxford would have won regardless) – points that would have seen them move up to 10th in the table.
Devante’s Cole’s effort on 52 minutes for Fleetwood didn’t affect the final score, with Pompey winning 4-1. But it acts as further proof that Pompey are at their most vulnerable at the back after the break.