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19:10 3th October 2009

Pompey Beat Below Par Wolves

Wolves 0

Portsmouth 1 (Yebda 19)

Portsmouth registered their first win of the Premier League campaign thanks to a below par Wolves performance and a first-half header from Algerian midfielder Hassan Yebda.

But Mick McCarthy's team were denied a 63rd minute penalty after Marc Wilson clearly handled Michael Kightly's cross.

The only change to the starting line-up saw Kevin Foley returning at right-back with Greg Halford pushing forward into right midfield and Dave Edwards taking a central role.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and inside the first minute David James saved a header from Christophe Berra after a long throw from Halford.

Portsmouth responded immediately with a cross from Michael Brown that was cleared by George Elokobi as Tommy Smith threatened.

James took a Matt Jarvis corner in the heart of a crowded six-yard box and then Wayne Hennessey had to beat away a low effort from Kevin Prince-Boateng at the near post as play continued to switch from end to end.

Jarvis ran half the length of the field before drilling a low left-foot shot towards goal but James was perfectly positioned to save at his near post.

Kevin Doyle volleyed wide after he had chested down a half clearance and Boateng went close with a shot on the turn from 20-yards that flew inches over the bar.

Pompey made the breakthrough in the 19th minute following a Jamie O'Hara corner. The home defence failed to clear its lines and when Boateng flighted in a cross the unmarked Yebda ran in to head home.

There was an opening after another of Halford's long throws with Berra again helping the ball on. It fell to Jarvis on the far side but his low cross was booted clear by a defender.

Portsmouth almost had a second as the game neared the 30 minute mark with Hennessey having to dive low to his right to keep out Aruna Dindane's shot after Smith had squared the ball to him.

Steve Finnan fouled Karl Henry 25-yards out from James's goal in a central position and, with everyone expecting Halford to take a pot at goal, he laid the ball off to Foley on the overlap. His cross found Berra whose shot took a deflection and went across the face of goal before going behind for a corner.

In the 34th minute Doyle headed over following a Jarvis corner and then Doyle used his pace and skills on a run down the left but his cross ran through the goalmouth with no-one able to get a touch.

In stoppage time both Andy Keogh and Doyle had shots charged down after Foley had pumped a cross into the Pompey box.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Pompey 1

It proved to be Foley's last action of the game as he was replaced at the start of the second-half by Kightly with Halford reverting to full-back. At the same time Sylvan Ebanks-Blake went on in place of Keogh.

After just 12 seconds Hennessey had to save a Dindane header but Wolves hit back with a shot from Jarvis that was deflected as it flew wide.

There was a brief flare up between Kightly and O'Hara when the Wolves man had appealed for a penalty after they had tangled in the box and both were booked after the referee had intervened.

A return pass from Ebanks-Blake almost saw Edwards in the clear but a defender just got a boot to the ball, and the Berra headed a couple of feet wide of the far post after he had connected with another Halford throw.

Wolves should have had a 63rd minute penalty when Wilson clearly handled Kightly's cross but to the fury of the crowd the referee waved play on.

Both sides made changes as the game approached its final stages with Stefen Maierhofer adding his height to the attack after he had replaced Elokobi. Henry moved into the left-back slot.

Henry was soon tested but he made a precision tackle on Danny Webber to prevent the Portmouth substitute getting in a shot after he had cut into the box.

Boateng was booked for a foul on Henry some 25-yards out and Halford's curling free-kick was just wide of the angle.

Three minutes from time a foul by Brown on Edwards just outside the area saw Henry roll the ball back to Halford who flicked it up into the air before sending a volley through the wall.

James managed to get down and palm the ball away but only as far as Ebanks-Blake who shot over from a tight angle.

Wolves piled on the pressure in the three minutes of stoppage time but it was the visiting fans that were making all the noise at the end.

Wolves: Hennessey, Foley (Kightly 45), Elokobi (Maierhofer 80), Edwards, Mancienne, Berra, Halford, Henry (capt), Doyle, Keogh (Ebanks-Blake 45), Jarvis.

Unused subs: Craddock, Hahnemann, Milijaš, Zubar.

Booking: Kightly (55 - ungentlemanly conduct)

Pompey: James, Wilson, Kaboul, Finnan, O'Hara, Brown (capt), Smith (Vanden Borre 90), Boateng, Dindane (Webber 73), Ben-Haim, Yebda (Mokoena 78).

Unused subs: Begovic, Williamson, Utaka, Belhadj.

Bookings: O'Hara (55 - ungentlemanly conduct), Brown (84 - foul).

Referee: H. Webb.

Attendance: 29,023.

Bolton Academy Under 18s 1 Wolves 0

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.