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18:01 1th May 2010

Missed Chances Prove Costly

Portsmouth 3 (Dindane 20, Utaka 39, Brown 67)

Wolves 1 (Doyle 35)

Defensive lapses, a catalogue of missed chances and an inspired display from England keeper David James proved costly to Wolves as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat against relegated Portsmouth.

Mick McCarthy made two changes to the side that had drawn with Blackburn with Karl Henry returning from suspension in place of Dave Edwards who was named as a substitute, and Geoffrey Mujangi Bia came in for the injured Matt Jarvis.

Pompey kicked-off attacking the away end of Fratton Park that housed a sell-out 2,400 visiting support.

There was little of note in a quiet opening although Ronald Zubar had to head clear a dangerous cross from Aruna Dindane.

Mujangi Bia was unlucky with a powerful shot from the edge of the box that hit Anthony Vanden Borre and looped into the grateful arms of James.

A foul by Aaron Mokoena some 25-yards out from goal almost led to Wolves taking the lead. Henry touched the ball to Dave Jones who hit a terrific shot that drew a full length diving save from James. The corner conceded came to nothing.

On 20 minutes, from Jones's corner, Kevin Doyle headed the ball on across goal and Jody Craddock just failed to get a touch at the far post.

Seconds later Pompey took the lead. Michael Brown lifted a free-kick into the Wolves box and Dindane was allowed the time and space to head past Marcus Hahnemann.

Just two minutes later Hahnemann did well to keep out a volley from John Utaka as the south coast side went in search of a second.

Wolves were close once again in the 29th minute after Mokoena had fouled Mujangi Bia just outside the left-hand side of the home area. Kevin Foley rolled the ball back to Jones who flicked it into the air and volleyed a cross that Zubar just failed to get a head to.

James knocked down a shot from Mujangi Bia after Jones had run along the by-line and pulled the ball back, before Wanderers deservedly pulled level in the 35th minute.

Jones drove a free-kick into the box and James could only parry Zubar's header. The keeper then somehow managed to block Doyle's follow up header but again he couldn't hold on and the striker ran in to force the ball over the line (pictured).

But it took Portsmouth just four minutes to regain the lead as Utaka drilled home a low shot from just outside the box.

Hahnemann then had to cut out a driven cross from Kevin Prince-Boateng before the half ended with James blocking at Doyle's feet after Mujangi Bia had slipped the ball into the box.

Half-Time: Pompey 2 Wolves 1

Both sides made changes at the start of the new half with Chris Iwelumo replacing Mujangi Bia for Wolves and Tommy Smith and Joel Ward taking the respective places of Dindane and Mokoena for Pompey.

Christophe Berra was shown the yellow card for a challenge on Utaka before a spectacular effort from Doyle almost conjured up an equaliser for Wolves.

Foley floated a cross to Doyle on the far side of the box and he connected perfectly with a scissors kick that had James diving backwards to touch the ball over the bar.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake came on for Michael Mancienne just before the hour and with his first touch the striker had the chance of scoring. Iwelumo headed down to Doyle who cracked a shot against the foot of the post. The ball rebounded to Ebanks-Blake but he screwed his shot wide of the far post.

Wolves continued to press and James had to push behind a cross from Foley. But, against the run of play, Portsmouth scored a third goal through Brown who fired across Hahnemann and into the bottom corner.

Hahnemann kept a fourth out with his legs after a break saw Boateng run half the length of the pitch before slipping a pass to Smith who was thwarted by the American keeper.

James then somehow kept out a close rang shot from Foley after Iwelumo had nodded down a Zubar cross.

Then, with an almost carbon copy of his earlier miss, Ebanks-Blake was wide of the far post after Foley and Berra had carved out the opening.

Adlene Guedioura was sent on for Foley with 12 minutes remaining and just a minute after his introduction he delivered a cross that Lennard Sowah managed to head behind as both Ebanks-Blake and Zubar threatened.

From another Guedioura centre, Zubar nodded the ball back into the heart of the box but Doyle's header was too high.

The home side broke from defence and should have had a fourth goal but Frederic Piquionne blazed his shot from eight-yards high over the bar after Vanden Borre had pulled the ball back from the by-line.

In the dying minutes Jones fired narrowly wide after playing a one-two with Guedioura, and then he shot over the bar from 25-yards.

Pompey: James (capt), Mokoena (Ward 45), Piquionne, Brown, Finnan, Utaka, Borre, Hughes (Diop 59), Boateng, Dindane (Smith 45), Sowah.

Unused subs: Ashdown, Mullins, Kanu, Ritchie.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Elokobi, Mancienne (Ebanks-Blake 59), Craddock, Berra, Foley (Guedioura 78), Henry (capt), Doyle, Jones, Mujangi Bia (Iwelumo 45).

Unused subs: Ikeme, Edwards, Stearman, Milijaš.

Booking: Berra (50 - foul).

Referee: M. Jones.

Attendance: 19,213.

West Bromwich Albion Academy under 18s 1 Wolves 3 (Rooney 3)

    Data provided by Press Association


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