Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Fratton Park, Portsmouth
npower League 1
Portsmouth 0 DONCASTER ROVERS 1
Referee – Mr I Williamson
Attendance – 11,792
A visit to Portsmouth on the South Coast was the order of the day, a team who accompanied us down from the Championship. The Rovers made three changes, with Paul Quinn, Sammy Clingan and Chris Brown from the previous starting eleven being replaced by Rob Jones, Paul Keegan and Martin Woods. Chris Brown dropped to the bench, where Jon Maxted replaced Neil Sullivan and Jordan Ball completed the full complement. The home team made two changes. Two loan signings, Paul Benson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing made their debuts, replacing Ashley Harris and Jon Harley, who both dropped to the bench.
Portsmouth got the game underway, with the early minutes spent by both teams sounding each other out. Paynter was caught offside twice and Hume once as the home side showed their defensive strategy. Pompey won a corner in the seventh minute, which was cleared and shortly after McLeod got in a strike from outside of the area but put it wide. In the 11th minute, the home side were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out in a central position. Howard took it and placed it near the penalty spot where a deflection put it out for a corner. Following up Russell fired wide. Five minutes later the Rovers had a free kick halfway in the Pompey half. It was touched to Martin Woods, whose shot from 25yards was tipped over the bar by Andersen. In the 20th minute a good move down the home left ended with McLeod receiving and from the byline he fired into the sidenet. Then, in the 24th minute, came the breakthrough and it was the Rovers who made it. Attacking down their left, the Pompey defence had chances to clear but Martin Woods got possession and put a good cross to the near post where it was squeezed in by HUME to put the Rovers in the lead. Minutes later Pompey attacked down their left, the Rovers failed to clear when the cross came over and fell to Williamson on the right but his effort was deflected for a corner. Williamson earned a booking for a foul on Martin Woods in the 34th minute. The game now developed into end-to-end stuff, with Portsmouth attacking directly whilst the Rovers were more measured in their approach. Russell, for the home team, had a go from 25yards saved and McLeod also had a similar shot saved comfortably by Gary Woods as time ran down to the break.
Half Time – Portsmouth 0 Doncaster Rovers 1
The Rovers got the second half going and spent time in the opposition half before the home team got their game going. As the game got a bit feisty the referee began to produce his notebook and note some names. Past the hour and the home team exerted a period of sustained pressure but the Rovers defended well and lifted the siege in the 68th minute when they moved upfield and won a corner. Three successive corners followed, with Jones bringing a good save from the keeper from the first one and Cotterill’s delivery of the last one caused the keeper problems on his goal-line before he pushed it away. Back came Pompey with a free kick that brought a header from Benson which Gary Woods saved. Then a corner to the home team was cleared. In the 78th minute McLeod was played in on goal but as Gary Woods came out he lifted the ball over the bar. Three minutes later and Keegan, of the Rovers, fired high over the bar from 35yards. As time ran down the Rovers were once more under the cosh but they were steadfast in their resolve to keep a clean sheet and collect the three points.
Result – Portsmouth 0 Doncaster Rovers 1 (Hume 24)
Teams – Portsmouth – Mikkel Andersen; Mustapha Dumbuya, Gabor Gyepes, Lubomir Michalik, Carl Dickinson; Lee Williamson, Brian Howard ©, Darel Russell, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing; Paul Benson, Izale McLeod
Subs used – Ashley Harris for Williamson 71 mins; Jack Compton for Dickinson 83 mins;
Subs not used – Jon Harley, Liam Walker, Johnny Ertl, Adam Webster, Simon Eastwood gk
Cautions – Williamson 34 mins; Russell 51 mins; Howard 62mins; Dickinson 81 mins; Benson 85 mins;
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Andy Griffin, Rob Jones ©, Tommy Spurr, James Husband; David Cotterill, James Harper, Paul Keegan, Martin Woods; Billy Paynter, Iain Hume
Subs used – Chris Brown for Paynter 75 mins; David Syers for Cotterill 82 mins; Shelton Martis for Hume 88 mins;
Subs not used – Robbie Blake, Michael Woods, Jordan Ball, Jonathan Maxted gk
Caution – Keegan 55 mins; G Woods 90+3 mins;