Sept 4 JPT Portsmouth 2-2 (4-3 pens) AFC Bournemouth Att: 5979

Last updated : 04 September 2012 By Andy Burton

If there was any doubt as to the intent the Cherries had, we had to wait no longer than the 5th minute when a peach of a cross from the right from Simon Francis found the head of Shaun MacDonald past the stranded keeper.

It is safe to say that after a poor performance on up at Bramhall Lane, Shaun MacDonald was on fire this evening (no pun intended given hair colour!), as a rasping shot could have gone anywhere a few moments later, but ended up taking a wicked deflection and out for a goal kick.

MacDonald (the ginger Zidane this evening) had a second header from point blank range, which the keeper did well to keep out.

This early domination was not least thanks to a better organised midfield - certainly much better than we've seen for a long time - which wouldn't be difficult.

I must, at this stage, also mention the lively Harry Arter who was charging around like a headless chicken, putting in a phenominal amount of work to harry and close the opposition down. There were a few chances created for Arter, which went wide of the mark.

Wes Fogden, starting his first match of the new season, also saw a good effort flash across the face of goal. Sadly he got booked for a stupid challenge a few moments later. MacDonald saw another opportunity evade the woodwork, falling to the safety of a goal kick. How many more chances?

As the half was drawing to a close, Pompey somehow managed to grab a late equaliser when the slightest of touches from Luke Rodgers (45th min) managed to evade the outstretched Jalal. All the hard work undone in a moment.

HT: 1-1

With the Cherries kicking towards the decent away contingent, the second half started as the first had - with the Cherries on top, forcing the issue, creating chances.

That said, the first major shout of the half fell in front of the Fratton End as the home support were screaming for a penalty, which the ref waived away.

With the Cherries pressing at the other end, Pompey had to be on their toes with the lively McQuoid pushing them on the back foot.

The deadlock was broken again just before the hour mark when a Harry Arter corner fell nicely to Shaun MacDonald who lashed it home with some venom.

After that a succession of golden chances came and went for the Cherries; off the line, off the wood work, narrowly wide/over from Wes Fogden, Lewis Grabban, Lee Barnard (missed a hat-trick of clear cut chances much to the amusement of the locals), but all to no avail as Howard fired home a great shot past the outstretched Jalal in the 67th minute.

Pompey tried to push, but didn't do too much to trouble Jalal, at the same time, the Cherries were their own worst enemy going forward with the chances creates and wasted.

And so to the inevitable penalties with the Cherries going first .........
Barnard missed to joy of the locals
Arter fired home
Cook calmly converted
Grabban slotted home nicely
Pugh missed for the second shoot out on the spin

All of which meant that the Cherries were dumped out of the Paint Pot Cup!

Player Summary
To be honest Jalal had little to do up until the penalty shoot out. He did get fingers to a couple, but it wasn't to be.
I wasn't overly convinced that Cook is a left back, but did okay.
The central defensive pairing of Elphick and Addison did okay. Elphick more so that Addison in my opinion.
Francis had a much better performance this evening than Saturday, getting down the wing and producing some testing crosses, one of which led to the opening goal.
Little Wes Fogden had one of the best games I've seen him play for a long while, even with his lengthy lay-off. Hopefully a run in the side beckons.
Man Of The MatchFor me, MacDonald is my man of the match. The ginger Zidane played exceptionally well, especially after the dreadful performance on Saturday. Two cracking goals too and could have had more.
Arter also played well at times. Needs to be more consistent and be 'at it' for 90 mins. When he was on his game, Pompey couldn't get forward. When he drifted out ..... Pompey had time and space.
Hughes needs match time to get back to a faster pace, but showed signs. Still the surprise signing of the Summer.
McQuoid was almost back to his lively best, causing problem when he was able to get forward.
Has Groves (at last) found a decent midfield quartet??
Grabban ........ the jury is still out for me. Hopefully the goals will come.

As for those missing ....... why can't Tubbs get a match? Where's the other Wes?

AFCB: Jalal, Francis, Elphick. Addison, Cook, Fogden, MacDonald, Arter, Hughes, McQioud, Grabban
Subs: Flahavan, Zubar, Barnard (for McQuoid, 68 mins), Pugh (for Fogden, 85 mins), Partington (for Hughes, 88 mins)

Andy Burton, Portsmouth