Isle of Wight   Pompey Supporters Club

Northampton   3 - 1  Pompey



A wet night in Northampton

I’ll try to write this so I don’t sound too much like my old man…..

Where to start…. The best way to some Tuesday night up is probably another typical Pompey away day. After a great win Saturday optimism was high, there was a late rush for tickets from many which lead to yet another great away following to a retail park on a wet Tuesday night.  But as per usual Pompey quickly quashed that optimism.

We started well, buzzing the ball around the park moving quickly, closing down but as per not really creating any chances. After 10-15mins Northampton began to get into the game and the inevitable happened. Northampton broke quickly, through the middle, passing forward, at pace, creating utter panic at the centre of our defence, McGee hesitated and we were 1-0 down. 

Heads dropped and Northampton took complete control of the rest of the half resulting in Pompey going two down 10mins or so after the first goal with a great inswinging corner that our defence and keeper flapped at and in the ensuing panic  it was bundled over the line by our own Matt Clarke. 

Northampton appeared to ease off for the remainder of the first-half, possibly realising they didn’t want to embarrass Pompey too much. However, towards the end of the half we had a chance and hit the post, even if it was a Northampton player that did it for us it still counts. It was the first time we had attacked at pace with Kennedy down the right whipping a ball in low that create some panic in their defence for once.  

The second-half – By now the rains getting worse. Pompey are a different side and came flying out of the traps. Pace, pressure, purpose all of a sudden across the team which lifted the 1200 or so Pompey fans. Sure enough they raise our hopes even higher when the ball fell to the impressive Kennedy who hit the ball on the half volley into the back of the net from about 15yrds out in-front of the majority of our fans – happy days! 

It didn’t stop there though, we were flying and were all over Northampton. Sure enough only a couple of minutes later the ball found Lowe at the back post, a grand total of three yards, out who headed the ball wide. Needless to say I reckon I could of put that one away along with 99.9% of the other Pompey fans, it should have been 2-2. 

The majority of us were waiting for the inevitable Northampton break and resulting goal but to be fair Pompey kept the pace and pressure up and the natives were becoming restless. Around the 55th minute the ball again found its way to Lowe this time around 15 yards out to the left had side of the goal. Screams of “hit it” rang out from the Pompey fans, When Lowe did hit it eventually hit it (after taking a touch or two) the ball looked destined for the top right hand corner but somehow swerved away at the last possible second. This time, a little more luck and it would have been 2-2. 

The impressive combination of Kennedy, O’Keefe and McCrory, kept the pressure on Northampton and really showed their quality and what they will bring to Pompey this season. I’d sign them all now if we could. 

But sure enough Pompey did a Pompey in the 70th minute with Northampton attacking down the right, whipping a ball in that caused no end of panic (again) from our central defenders and keeper to find a Northampton player on the far left, six yards or so out with no one marking him (well that’s what I could see). 3-1, game over, and it was still raining. To be fair to Pompey they kept going and were the better team in the second half with Northampton’s keeper pulling off a few good saves and their defence somehow clearing another Pompey effort off the line. 

In summary, the score line flattered Northampton but at the end of the day we created our own downfall with a very poor display in the first half, not taking our chances and probably not getting an equal share of the luck on the night.

McGee had a poor night by his standards. Clarke and Burgess are great with the ball, passing, making runs etc. But the simplest bit of pressure and its full on panic stations. Thompson looked OK. McCrory looks good. O’Keefe, I’d sign him permanently now if we could, looked solid. May….. made some very simple errors again. Deserved to be subbed. Probably could do with a rest from the first team.

Kennedy, our best player by far, sign him up! Lowe, desperately needs to some shooting practice. Chaplin is better used off the bench as an impact player.

Pitman…well he’s pretty useless away from home and certainly when the team is under pressure. Someone said last night he reminds them of Kanu…..

KJ – Got it wrong in first half, got it right in the second half. Should of changed it up top towards the end bringing Bennett and Main on for Chaplin and Lowe/Kennedy (looked tired towards the end) but didn’t. Needs to work out how to stop the Jekyll and Hyde performances, and fast!

Onto Saturday and the mighty Fleetwood!!

Ben Hougham


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