DETAILED: The worrying stat Portsmouth will want to improve to enhance promotion credentials when compared to Rotherham, Sunderland, Wigan and Charlton after Cambridge stalemate

Pompey’s struggles when facing disadvantaged sides continued yesterday as they were held to a draw with Cambridge United.

By Sam Cox
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 3:00 pm

The stalemate was the second in their last three matches when having a man advantage – following their 0-0 cancellation with Sheffield Wednesday.

And the Blues hold one of the worst records in the league when facing opponents reduced to 10-men – after gaining only two points from a possible six when gaining an upper-hand.

Danny Cowley’s side had to wait 23 days from their last fixture to the trip to Abbey Stadium – and it showed as they looked leggy in an eventful, stop-start fixture.

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But the Fratton Park outfit also failed to make use of Sam Smith’s second yellow card, 15 minutes into the second half.

And Pompey will need to discover a cutting edge to break down teams who fall into a defensive shell.

Unsurprisingly, league-leaders Rotherham hold a perfect record when facing sides who lose a man mid-game.

In the two league fixtures where the scenario has arisen, Paul Warne’s side have been ruthless in front of goal.

Sam Smith was sent off for Cambridge in the 0-0 draw with Pompey at Abbey Stadium. Picture: Dennis Goodwin/ProSportsImages

During a December clash with Gillingham, they humbled Steve Evans’ team 5-1, while Ryan Jackson was given his marching orders.

And the Millers won by the same score-line against promotion rivals Sunderland in October – as Aiden McGeady was sent off early in the second half.

Boasting a worse record than Pompey, however, are Doncaster – who are the only team in League One to lose all of their matches when playing with an extra-man.

While Sunderland share the same record as the Blues in drawing their singular match when receiving an added edge.

Donny fell to an away defeat against a 10-man Rotherham side in August when failing to be buoyed by Mikel Miller’s straight-red for the hosts.

And the Black Cats disappointingly surrendered a lead to strugglers Shrewsbury in November, despite David Davis’ being removed from play on the cusp of half-time.

Joining the Rotherham with a 100 percent record in this regard are high-flying Wigan and transitioning Charlton.

And the former’s league position of third may reflect the gap Pompey will need to bridge in order to secure a top-six position this term.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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