Shot-shy Portsmouth's flaws exposed in depressing Cheltenham Town defeat

Pompey lost at Cheltenham today.Pompey lost at Cheltenham today.
Pompey lost at Cheltenham today.
Liam Sercombe’s second-half finish decided a low-quality affair at Cheltenham.

The goal meant the Robins picked up their first-ever win over Pompey in a match which will not live long in the memory.

The result means it’s five games without a win for Danny Cowley’s men with just a single goal arriving in that time.

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The game showed up all of Pompey’s flaws going forward with the season now seemingly meandering to a depressing conclusion.

Pompey made five changes from the team who drew at Bolton on Tuesday.

One of those to come in, Tyler Walker, had an early foot race with Mattie Pollock but slipped as he looked to get his shot off.

Reece Hutchinson then somehow saved his side when lying on the ground, as he stuck out a leg to deny Mahlon Romeo who looked to be clear on goal.

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O’Brien then acrobatically steered a volley just wide from Walker’s cross.

Cheltenham replied through former Pompey target Matty Blair whose 20 yarder was deflected just wide by Connor Ogilvie.

A current player on Cowley’s radar is Will Boyle, and he denied O’Brien a certain goal with a last-ditch tackle after Curtis had stolen the ball off Sean Long.

Hayden Carter then cleared off the line with 10 minutes of the half remaining, after efforts from Alfie May and Callum Wright were saved by Gavin Bazunu.

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Kion Etete then headed over at the end of a flawed but entertaining half.

As much as the first half entertained although the quality was questionable, the second lacked any action of note.

That changed after 69 minutes when Owen Evans superbly flung out a hand to deny Michael Jacobs’ drive from 12 yards.

Moments later Bazunu did likewise to deny Callum Wright.

Sercombe then opened the scoring with 14 minutes left, as Etete fed the dangerous Wright who cut the ball back for the winger to coolly finish by lifting the ball past the exposed Bazunu.

That proved to be the game’s decisive moment on an afternoon Pompey will quickly want to forget.

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