University of Portsmouth student Ben Williets looks back at the disappointing result of PFC v Notts County on 22nd October.
Portsmouth failed to build on the away draw against Dockyard rivals Plymouth as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Notts County, thanks to a brace from County attacker, Adam Campbell.
Pompey dominated the opening stages of the game, however were pegged back by a moment of brilliance from Campbell.
County held their lead for a mere six minutes, until Blues striker Conor Chaplin equalised following excellent work down the left side from Gary Roberts.
For a while the game seemed to be veering in the favour of the home side but it was Notts County who got the decisive goal, as Campbell finished neatly into the bottom corner for his second of the game, stealing all three points for the away side.
Portsmouth, which named an unchanged team from the draw against Plymouth, had chances throughout the match. Not least of these was when Chaplin skewed a tremendous chance wide from just a few yards out after six minutes.
Kyle Bennett also came close for the 2008 FA Cup champions, pulling a shot from distance that just passed the post. Chaplin then missed another golden opportunity, firing at County ‘keeper from close range, before he slipped attempting to reach the loose ball.
Notts County stole a goal on the break after Pompey’s early dominance, as Campbell pulled a strike out of the top drawer to break the deadlock. The striker controlled a long pass on the edge of the box and curled the ball exquisitely into the top right corner.
After 27 minutes of County resilience, the Blues finally managed to find the net. Gary Roberts beat two players in the penalty area, and squared the ball to Chaplin who found the net with ease for his fourth goal of the season.
But after the initial excitement, the match dulled, with neither team carving any real openings before the half-time break. Besides the goal, Portsmouth seemed to find it difficult to break down a well-organised County defence throughout the first half.
The Blues continued pushing throughout the second half, perhaps sensing the game was there to be won. Despite this, the opportunities did not come as frequently as in the first half. The best chance of the second half fell to Kyle Bennett, who headed a cross wide of the post, the scores staying at 1-1.
Against the run of play, County took the lead. Pompey defender, Christian Burgess, failed to win the ball in the air, and Campbell was free to bear down on goal and slot past David Forde neatly.
County, despite being reduced to 10 men, held on for the final 20 minutes, leaving Portsmouth players and fans alike bitterly disappointed. The result will almost certainly be seen as a setback by many of the Pompey faithful, however the Blues remained in 5th place after the match, five points off the automatic promotion places.
Portsmouth travelled to Cambridge last week, hoping to return to winning ways, and were not disappointed. More detailed coverage of their 1-0 win coming soon.