Anthony Hesse pens a few words on the Pompey home defeat to Plymouth which was snatched from the jaws of victory.
It’s now nearly six hours since the final whistle and I’m sitting in front of this screen still in total shock. I have rarely felt so dumbstruck, and our car journey home was the quietest it has been for many a month.
How we contrived to lose a game that we were pretty much in control of from the start (barring the first five minutes or so) is beyond me. We were cruising to a 1-0 win which was flattering Plymouth when with about five minutes to go the wheels fell off. Pompey attacked down the left and Smith cut inside the box and shot tamely at their keeper wasting a great opportunity for us to go two nil up and almost certainly take all three points. Shame he didn’t think to square the ball into the box to an unmarked Mark McNulty who couldn’t have done any worse!
Argyle immediately broke up the other end forcing a corner. From this set piece Jones failed to do what he’d been doing effectively throughout the previous 85 minutes and collect the cross. The ball was met by Jamille Matt’s head and ended up in the back of the net. Less than a minute later, our opponents were 2-1 up when their impressive substitute Gregg Wylde clinically struck the ball sweetly and scored, leaving roughly 16,000 Pompey fans in deep shock, and the travelling Green Army ecstatic.
I’ve been drastically searching for someone to blame for this gut wrenching defeat for more than five hours now, but without a ‘cat to kick’ I’m still struggling to find any closure. I think it would be harsh to pin that sticker on anyone, to be honest. Leaving the ground, there were murmurs of Paul Jones being at fault, certainly for the first, and possibly for the second. Pompey fans, however, are very fickle, and have short memories; minutes earlier Jones had pulled off a brilliant finger tip save and then a fantastic catch from the ensuing corner kick to keep us 1-0 up. At that point I turned to one of my sons and we agreed that he had surely just cemented his place as our No. 1. Now, he could well end up being dropped for the York game! Others were moaning about our manager, the one the Fratton Faithful had been chanting their support for throughout the game. How any real Pompey fans can seriously question Paul Cook’s credentials is beyond me.
And then there’s the referee, Chris Sarginson. I don’t like knocking officials, but he was truly shocking today. But the truth is, he didn’t lose us the game. Admittedly, Plymouth couldn’t have been aggrieved if they’d ended the game with nine men. Their goalkeeper should have been sent off in the first half, and amid all their nasty tackles there was one shocker that was deserving of a straight red.It didn’t even get a yellow.
I’m sure many Pompey fans are hurting just as me right now, but I feel it is very important to stress that we played well today, and we should be proud of our boys who I believe gave everything. I can guarantee you they will be hurting even more than all of us. What we need to do right now is get right behind them for the remaining games.
Due to work commitments, I can’t go to York on Tuesday, but if I could I would because our players need every one of us to get right behind them right now. On a final note, I understand that if results go right for us on Tuesday night we will have guaranteed a play off place. I’d have taken that at the start of the season, and if we get in the play offs through my blue tinted spectacles I fancy us big time. Play up Pompey!
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