What we learnt from Pompey defeat to Rovers

Pompey goalkeeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey goalkeeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler
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Neil Allen looks back on Saturday’s defeat to Blackburn and assesses the main talking points.

Battling conditions

In the modern era there was Leicester at Fratton Park in November 2002, when the match descended into a water polo encounter.

More recently, in October 2013, rainfall of biblical proportions saw the fixture with Wycombe called off at half-time, with areas of Fratton Park flooded.

Ewood Park did not quite match such rainfall, nonetheless the final 20 minutes made for ridiculous viewing.

Both sets of players inevitably struggled in worsening conditions, unable to keep their feet and making playing football practically impossible.

At one stage, a Matt Clarke slide tackle saw him win the ball – only to continue his momentum by careering into the ball and it striking his hands.

Meanwhile, Dion Donohue attempted a cross from the left, only for the ball to suddenly stop and the left-back to instead kick air in embarrassing fashion.

It plummeted into farce and how those professional players asked to combat such conditions must have hated it.

Mind you, the supporters found little to enjoy themselves about after watching their team put in an awful performance for a 3-0 defeat in dreadful weather.

Mixed day for McGee

It never rains but it pours sometimes, certainly for Luke McGee.

But at least he is one of the few Pompey players who can emerge from Saturday’s defeat with a semblance of credit.

McGee appeared to pick up a muscle injury during the match to see him limping in the final stages.

Then, post-match, along with Dion Donohue, he was called in for routine drug testing – a lengthy delay which ensured he was one of the last to leave the dressing room.

In terms of his performance, however, he produced two excellent moments with the scoreline goalless to prevent an even more crushing defeat.

On 26 minutes, the keeper was called upon for his first contribution – a magnificent finger-tipped save to thwart Richard Smallwood.

The thunderous attempt had arrived from 30-yards from the right foot of the midfielder, but McGee was equal.

Then, barely 60 seconds later, the impressive Bradley Dack drove in an angled shot which Pompey’s stopper somehow kept out with his feet.

Danny Graham’s follow-up effort clipped the crossbar from six yards out and the Blues breathed again.

In a match when so many of his team-mates were not up to scratch, McGee at least contributed positively.

Miserable away days

The Football League computer served up two away trips within four days for Pompey fans.

The sum of those 991 miles travelled were two poor performances, two defeats and only one goal.

In addition, Kenny Jackett’s side totalled only five shots on target and six corners to add to the away following’s misery.

Clearly, it is not good enough from a team which previously had won three games in all competitions and dared to suggest they had discovered some consistency.

In the first half against MK Dons alone it was the Blues’ finest 45 minutes under the Kenny Jackett regime.

Yet their ineffectiveness during two fixtures on the road have raised concerns over the effectiveness of Pompey away from Fratton Park.

Still, at least next match is a welcome home fixture – albeit against third-placed Bradford.