BARNSLEY 1 (Hammill 13)
Saturday November 20, 2010, KO 3.00pm
LIVE FROM OAKWELL
IT was battling Barnsley as the Reds stood up to everything on a very controversial afternoon at Oakwell and came away with a thoroughly deserved three points.
Barnsley boss Mark Robins named an unchanged side for the clash with Pompey after guiding the Reds to two successive Championship victories. With Chris Wood returning to West Brom, his place on the bench went to youngster Steven Bennett.
Portsmouth were missing former Barnsley loanee Carl Dickinson following the left back's dismissal against Doncaster last time out. Dickinson though was at Oakwell to watch his Pompey teammates. Despite naming a very strong, expensive and experienced starting eleven, the visitors were only able to nominate six substitutes as Dickinson's suspension hit Portsmouth's wafer-thin squad.
Portsmouth caught the Reds cold with less than a minute on the clock as John Utaka's pass sent David Nugent away down the left channel. The striker did well to turn and shoot but his effort flew just wide of the post with Luke Steele stranded.
It was fast and frantic. Nathan Doyle brought a save from Jamie Ashdown on ten minutes with a right-footer from 20 yards while Jim O'Brien did not quite get enough on a smart flick from Adam Hammill's corner two minutes later and the ball fizzed in front of the Pompey keeper.
Again it took something right out of the top drawer to break the deadlock and once more it came from the right boot of the imperious Hammill on 13 minutes. The winger pounced on the edge of the area after Pompey had struggled to clear Garry O'Connor's cross and lashed an unstoppable shot past Ashdown into the back of the net. It was goal number seven of the season for the in-form Hammill and another real cracker.
Hammill almost turned provider on 17 minutes after robbing Joel Ward on the touchline before firing in a great cross towards the back post. O'Connor was up for it but the striker was beaten in the air by Ashdown. O'Connor then did brilliantly on the edge of the area to hold the ball up and find Bobby Hassell but the full back saw his well-struck shot blocked 18 yards from goal.
Referee David Foster had already shown he was going to give the Reds a tough time with some debateable decisions when he totally bamboozled Barnsley on 20 minutes. Doyle did well to ease Michael Brown away and turn only to be harshly judged to have fouled the Pompey midfielder. Foster gave a very, very soft free kick and then compounded things by flashing a yellow card to Doyle for kicking the ball away. It was Doyle's fifth booking of the season and he will sit out next week's game with Watford. It was very, very harsh.
David Foster was quick on the draw with his yellow card again on 25 minutes when Goran Lovre went through Liam Lawrence but, to be fair to the official, he got it spot on. It was not a very good challenge by the Serbian.
It was heating up a little at Oakwell. Steele saved from Utaka on 27 minutes before the Reds were infuriated by more refereeing inconsistency moments later when Hugo Colace was clipped from behind by Hayden Mullins. This time referee Foster kept his yellow card in his pocket.
Brown saw a shot deflected well wide on the half hour while Hammill was given the freedom of Oakwell to turn and shoot from 35 yards seconds later but this time his effort flew high over the top.
A superb run by O'Brien gave O'Connor the chance to put his laces through the ball on 34 minutes but the striker fizzed it over from 22 yards although his effort appeared to take a deflection on the way. Unsurprisingly Portsmouth were given the goal kick.
O'Brien was then inches away from a second goal on 42 minutes when he let fly with a real right-foot thunderbolt from 25 yards that flew past Ashdown but just wide of the far post.
Aaron Mokoena amazingly got away without a booking on 44 minutes when he handled to deny O'Connor breaking onto the ball. O'Brien smacked the free kick well but found Ashdown in the right place to save.
A lively first half set the game up well and the second didn't disappoint. Hammill fired the first shot in anger on 53 minutes when he brought a decent stop from Ashdown from 22 yards.
Hammill then did well to win a corner on 54 minutes only for the referee to totally dumbfound Oakwell by giving Pompey a goal kick. O'Connor saw a flicked header bounce away on 56 minutes before referee David Foster again dumbfounded Oakwell by giving a goal kick after Ashdown had brilliantly and clearly turned Goran Lovre's goalbound header onto the bar and over. It was a fine save by the Pompey keeper and an absolutely shocking decision by the referee.
O'Brien fired a cross right through the six yard box on 61 minutes as the Reds as confidence grew in the home side as the minutes ticked by.
A fantastic passing move between O'Brien, Lovre and Colace opened Portsmouth wide up on 72 minutes but O'Connor just could apply a finishing touch as he slid into the six yard box and Ashdown was able to gather.
Pompey sub Nwankwo Kanu's first real action in the game was a late lunge through Kieran Trippier's shins on 73 minutes that went unpunished by referee David Foster. Hassell was then barged off the pitch as he looked to clear by Nugent before being shown a yellow card for complaining about not being given a free kick. It would be a miracle if the Reds ended the game with a full compliment.
Brilliant play by O'Connor set the Reds off again on 79 minutes but Lovre could not get his effort on target from the edge of the area as Pompey managed to get men back.
Portsmouth were not adverse to leaving their foot in as first Brown went in hard on Hammill and then Lawrence put Doyle on the deck in the space of seconds.
Portsmouth finally worried the Barnsley goal on 88 minutes as the Reds struggled to deal with Lawrence's free kick. It eventually dropped to Ricardo Rocha but his acrobatic overhead kick was never going anywhere near the target.
Joel Ward then tried his luck from distance but Steele was in no mood to allow the ball to slip through his grasp. Steele then reacted brilliantly to deny Nugent in stoppage time as he raced to smother the ball at the feet of the ex-England striker.
BARNSLEY: Steele, Trippier, Foster, Shackell (c), Hassell, O'Brien, Colace, Doyle, Hammill, Lovre, O'Connor.
Subs: Preece, Arismendi, Butterfield, Gray, Hayes, Neumann, Bennett.
PORTSMOUTH: Ashdown, Rocha, Mokoena (c), Halford, Ward, Lawrence, Brown (Hughes 83), Mullins, Nugent, Kitson (Kanu 67), Utaka (Ciftci 83).
Subs: Flahavan, Hreidarsson, Sonko.
David Foster (Tyne and Wear)
Glen Hart (County Durham) and Mark Heywood (Cheshire)
Bob Roberts (Lancashire)
Away Attendance: 718
House of Fraser Man of the Match: Nathan Doyle
Match Report by Rob Knowles.
"We have been match sponsors numerous times and have thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality that Barnsley Football Club offer. We would have no hesitation in recommending businesses to take advantage of a sponsorship package this season. Since getting involved with Barnsley FC the awareness of our business has risen significantly."
Kevin Beckett, C K Beckett
COMMERCIAL BROCHURE 2010-2011
CLICK HERE FOR TICKET INFORMATION FROM OAKWELL!!!
CLICK HERE TO SHOP ONLINE
BET ON THE REDS WITH CORAL
©WWW.BARNSLEYFC.CO.UK 2010 RNK
GET THE EXCLUSIVES FIRST - Subscribers to our official SMS service are the first to hear all the big news from inside Oakwell. Be the first to know about all the latest exclusive news from Oakwell next time by signing up to our text service today - click here for more.
Try mobile.barnsleyfc.co.uk - The official website is now available on your phone, for when you're on the move.