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Portsmouth 0 v 1 Crewe Alexandra
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 4th March 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Failures follow flourishes - the new Fratton way
Sunday, 5th Mar 2017 14:57 by staff

So often, Pompey take two steps forward and one back. But in the past week, it's been one forward and two back.

The 3-0 win at Carlisle, which left the Blues right on the Cumbrians' tales in the race for that prized third spot, was arguably the result of the season. Many present felt that certainly the second-half effort by Paul Cook's men was the performance of the season.

It was to be followed by two home games in four days, with Morecambe and Crewe visiting Fratton - a real chance to build on the Brunton Park win, surely. But no, we'd been here before and seen spectacular failure by Pompey in front of their own fans, And now we've seen it again.

The 1-1 draw with Morecambe was disappointing, chiefly because Pompey had led with less than 10 minutes to go and been punished for their failure to turn dominance into more than one goal.

But while the midweek point left mixed feelings, what followed against Crewe did not. There were no positives, not a single crumb of comfort.

A 1-0 defeat - fully deserved, most agreed - left supporters shaking their heads about how the team can flatter to deceive time and time again, and flop so regularly at home when everything is on a plate for them.

This was no unlucky 1-0 loss when Pompey did everything but score. Crewe could actually have won by more as the Blues failed to register a single shot on target.

Is it nerves? Is it complacency? Is it something else? Is it perhaps just that this team, and squad, is not as good as it sometimes appears? Maybe the wins at Luton and Carlisle are the freak results - the home disppointments against the likes of Notts County, Stevenage and now Crewe the norm.

For all their Fratton failings, Pompey are still agonisingly close to breaking into the top three. A win at Crawley on Tuesday would do it, but who would put serious money on that? The odds on a 3-0 defeat should be the same as on a 3-0 win.

Games come thick and fast now, with a trip to Colchester following the Sussex jaunt, then a midweek home clash with Grimsby and another away game, to Stevenage, all coming within the next fortnight.

Wouldn't it just be like Pompey to go and take something like 10 points from 12 from that little lot then lose at home to the Football League's 92nd-placed team Newport County?

For the record, Crewe won at Fratton thanks to George Ray's 77th-minute header during a sustained spell of Alex pressure. And Pompey had no answer to it.

Pompey: Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi (Chaplin 50), M.Doyle; Naismith, Roberts (Hunt 79), Bennett (Baker 63); E.Doyle. Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Rose, Lowe

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 16,810 (216 away fans)


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