First-half display costs Pompey

Ben Chorley goes for goal from a Pompey corner-kick Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Chorley goes for goal from a Pompey corner-kick Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey turned in one of their poorest displays of the season as they crashed to a miserable 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

The game was effectively over as a contest inside half an hour as the lifeless Blues conceded a third goal to an Argyle side which has lost just once on home turf this season.

And while they showed some spirit with their attempts to get back into the game after the break, they failed to really trouble the Plymouth goalkeeper as the home side twice rattled the frame of the Pompey goal as they went searching for more goals.

Boss Andy Awford switched the formation in a bid to get his side firing on their travels, with Jack Whatmough, Ben Chorley and Nick Awford drafted into the line-up in a 4-5-1 formation.

But the game started in awful fashion as Nicky Shorey tripped Lewis Alessandra in the penalty area inside six minutes with Reuben Reid, who was linked with the Blues in the summer, blasting home the penalty.

Pompey’s defence was missing in action again midway through the half as Kelvin Mellor picked out Alessandra in acres of space to clip home beyond a helpless Paul Jones.

The Blues were left shell-shocked and their misery deepened on the half-hour mark when Reid drilled home his second goal via the far post after more good work from Mellor down the right flank.

While Pompey were marginally better after the break, Plymouth had taken their foot off the gas and knew the job was done.

But that didn’t stop them twice hitting the woodwork through Lee Cox and Deane Smalley as the game finished in low key style to seal an awful day for Pompey.