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Pompey 0 Burton 0

11 March 2014

Another stalemate at Fratton Park

Pompey played out a third goalless draw in succession as their attacking dry spell continued against Burton.

Just like the Cheltenham match three days earlier, the Blues were slow to get going and the visitors looked the brighter side before the break.

The hosts did improve after the interval, though, and Patrick Agyemang went closest to securing victory when he struck the post.

Richie Barker made three changes from the side that drew with the Robins at the weekend.

Agyemang and Ryan Taylor were partnered in a new look frontline, while Romain Padovani returned to the midfield.

The visitors threatened straight from kick-off and Trevor Carson had to be alert to keep out Jimmy Phillips’ drive.

And Pompey’s keeper denied the winger again after 10 minutes before quickly gathering the loose ball before Billy Kee could pounce.

It was not the dynamic start the Fratton faithful wanted, although the hosts did grow stronger as the half progressed.

They carved out a decent opportunity on 19 minutes when Ricky Holmes sent a dangerous ball into the box, but Taylor could not make a clean enough connection with his attempted back-flick.

But the Blues received a let-off soon after as Bondz N’Gala failed to cut out Zeli Ismail’s cross, only for Dominic Knowles to head tamely wide at the far post.

Pompey were then cut open twice in quick occasion and Carson did well to keep out Knowles’ effort before an unmarked Kee wasted a great opportunity by firing over.

And Knowles sent a fierce volley inches past the post as the usually solid Blues back-line started to creak.

Things calmed down after that spell of Brewers pressure, however, as the rest of the half passed by pretty much incident free.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Burton 0

Ben Chorley did not emerge for the start of the second half, with Sonny Bradley taking his place in the centre of defence and Joe Devera borrowing the captain’s armband.

Pompey started the second half with much more vigour and went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock on 51 minutes.

The visitors made a complete hash of clearing a cross and Agyemang’s shot struck the inside of the post before being cleared behind.

Then, from the resulting corner, Bradley met Holmes’ cross and sent a header flying inches past the post.

But, despite all of the Blues’ second half pressure, it was Burton who came close to scoring on 68 minutes.

Carson was only able to punch clear Alex MacDonald’s cross and Phil Edwards’ follow-up was deflected narrowly wide.

Barker made his second substitution on 71 minutes, as Jake Jervis replaced the tiring Taylor up front.

It was opposition striker Adam McGurk who had the ball in the net moments later, although the linesman’s flag meant his joy was short-lived.

Pompey had faded somewhat after their bright opening to the half and the game seemed to be meandering to a goalless draw.

Referee Carl Barker was still able to rile up the home support, however, with a number of dubious decisions that included a booking for Padovani.

But the crowd were not given a winner to get excited about as the closing stages passed by without any goalmouth action.

Pompey (4-4-2): Carson; Devera, N’Gala, Chorley (c) (Bradley 46), Shorey; Fogden (Wallace 81), Diagouraga, Padovani, Holmes; Agyemang, Taylor (Jervis 71)
Booked: N’Gala, Padovani, Wallace
Subs not used: Smith, Painter, Racon, Drennan

Burton (4-4-2): Lainton; Edwards (c), Holness, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory; Ismail, Bell (c), Weir, Phillips (MacDonald 65); Knowles (McGurk 65), Kee (Gray 81)
Booked: MacDonald
Subs not used: Lyness, Hussey, Palmer, Symes

Referee: Carl Berry

Attendance: 12,780 (123 away fans)

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