Pompey slip to defeat at Morecambe
Pompey's search for a first League Two win of the new campaign continued tonight as they slipped to a harsh 2-0 defeat at Morecambe.
The result, which follows draws with Carlisle and Crewe, means Paul Cook’s men have collected two points from a possible nine on offer so far this term to find themselves down in 20th position in the early-season table.
The visitors made the worst possible start at the Globe Arena when they fell behind with only 10 minutes on the clock.
The Blues, who surprisingly left Conor Chaplin out of their match-day squad, initially cleared their lines from a corner but failed to deal with a follow-up delivery as defender Ryan Edwards lashed home at the second time of asking.
A huge talking point in the game then arrived in the 21st minute when Pompey felt they should have had a penalty when Carl Baker was upended in the box.
Referee Nigel Miller waved away strong appeals as the Shrimps countered immediately, with Tom Barkhuizen unleashing a stunning 25-yard drive past the despairing dive of David Forde to stun the visitors.
The Blues rallied to dominate much of the play in the first half but at the interval they had not conjured any real chances of note to find a way back into the game.
It was a different story in the second half as the previously untested Barry Roche made a series of good stops in the Morecambe goal to prevent frustrated Pompey.
Baker was the Blues’ most likeliest scorer and he was kept out twice by Roche with Gary Roberts another to be denied by the Shrimps stopper.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Roche served up his best yet as substitute Curtis Main was brilliantly denied from point-blank range with dominant Pompey unable to find the breakthrough their efforts deserved.
It was deja vu moments later as Roche again prevented Main, before Christian Burgess’s near-post flick met the same fate.
Last season he broke Pompey hearts with a last-gasp headed equaliser but the goalkeeper excelled in his usual role tonight with a finger-tip save denying Roberts from a fiercely-struck free-kick.
Having been a spectator for the entirety of the second half, Forde then sprang into action late on to keep out Shrimps sub Paul Mullin as the visitors slipped to a thoroughly undeserved 2-0 defeat.