Sheriff Kimbo at the Reserves - Pompey
14th September, 19:00
As you may have seen, our very own Glensider has already provided a report that I, to be honest, do not have much to add to in terms of the game!
One advantage I did have was that I did have a team sheet but to be honest, I also couldn't tell you who any of their players were! I thought their number 10 - Gautier Mahoto - looked quite good but has a serious attitude problem that he needs to work on. Their wide men - Gael Nlundulu and Paris Cowan-Hall - also caused a few problems but that was about all that was notable. Well, other than the horrendous pink kit that their keeper was wearing. Pompey have many problems at the moment and judging on this performance, their answers do not lie in reserve.
That is not to say it was easy; they were well organised and were set up to frustrate us. A 6-1 mauling perhaps still fresh in their minds from last season, this Pompey side reminded me a bit of their first team, in as much as they are no pushovers, but you're going to be disappointed if you don't beat them. No disrespect meant to Portsmouth there, I'm just saying how I see it!
We were in control quite early on, with 'The Hoff' going close with our first chance. Weimann, Herd and 'The Fonz' all went close afterward, but the deadlock was broken with a wonder goal by Barry Bannan.
After spraying out a great ball to the right hand side, Albrighton whipped in yet another dangerous cross which Pompey failed to deal with. The ball landed to Bannan who still had lots to do, but he went round at least three men and drove the ball home in a manner that was deserving of a stage bigger than a mere Monday night reserve game. The wee lad has something a bit special.
We nearly went close a couple more times, the Fonz unlucky not to score after a good bit of skill of his own leaving the full-back for dead only to be foiled by the keeper. The Fonz clearly has a match-winning ability in him, and with him providing his own danger, Albrighton whipping in his almost trademark crosses and Bannan knocking the ball about in a way that can only be described as 'Cowans-esque', Pompey were left with a difficult defensive task that, to their credit, they managed well. They offered little offensively and when they did, the ever impressive pair of Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker dealt with it pretty easily.
The second half petered out a bit, Villa still in control, Pompey still trying but failing to provide any real threat. Bannan was less influential but continued to look impressive. Albrighton continued to whip in crosses that you just wish had a Carew head on the end of them!
The deciding goal came from a superb long range effort from Chris Herd, who had been set up following some good work by Andreas Weimann.
All in all, a good nights work for the young lads. I can see the title staying where it is already...
Andy Marshall - 7
Eric Lichaj - 7
Shane Lowry - 6
Herd - 7
Ciaran Clark - 8
Nathan Baker - 7
Marc Albrighton - 7
Andreas Weimann - 6
Nathan Delfouneso - 7
Barry Bannan - 9
Dominik Hofbauer - 6