Up at Withdean, it was mostly the campaign for Albion’s new ground – a decision from ODPM is expected soon. We assembled on the rickety bleachers; if the new ground idea fails I can’t see the authorities allowing this venue for much longer, especially when we were stamping our feet as part of our chants & the structure felt highly dubious. And it was cold & windy.
Hayter was absent; we wish him & his partner well with their first child. Boscombe kicked off towards us (the “South” End) in our home strip, but the wind meant free kicks to us curled back from the Albion goal. Ditto Moss’s kick-outs. Then Gary Hart, having retired from American politics, took the ball diagonally right. Cummings’s defending was, well, WC & the cross-shot hit the far corner. 1-0, 6 mins. Not too sure about Moss’s angles but it was the far end. Hmm. Permanent loanee Knight almost did similar on the other side, and then an appalling back-pass by Buxton allowed on-loan Benjamin to swivel on his right foot & merely bury the ball with his left in one movement. 2-0, 13 mins. “3-2, we’re gonna win 3-2” Albion had 70% of the play; we were uncoordinated apart from Jorgensen who was OK. Then Buxton brought his man down & Knight stuck away the pen. 3-0, 24 mins. Game over. “4-3, we’re gonna win 4-3” was just gallows humour. I’m in no doubt that Buxton’s not as good as last season, which speaks volumes for Pompey coaching…
A free went to Jorgensen who shot – but well over. Purches began to add bite in midfield, but it was National Chip Week & we’d had ours; we didn’t even have a semi-conductor in midfield…
No change(s) for the restart. Buxton hit a long cross, SupaFletch headed back & Feeney’s header (on target!) looped to the keeper. Our stand gave loads of vocal support, but a free from Jorgensen to Feeney didn’t see us even cross the gain line. Benjamin was away & running – surely offside? – but Moss baulked him. Cherries showed a bit more heart, but Albion didn’t need to do much & descended to our level of mediocrity to which we’d now risen after the risible first-half performance. Elliott cut in but his left-foot shot went easily to the keeper. Holmes replaced Buxton on 57, with Purches moving to right-back & immediately that side looked more on the case. Feeney moved into the “hole” – potentially useful with his speed – but SupaFletch & Holmes never had the service to head down to him. And it was growing colder. SupaFletch had a free header – well over the angle. I wished I’d gone to the Lanes with my wife…
A good pass was slung out to Jorgensen; his pass inside to Browning resulted in a shot well over; Albion were losing interest on & off the field. Purches made a good run & link but his shot was like Elliott’s earlier – left & weak. Williams replaced SupaFletch on 71; the big man was never on his game. However, the loanee from Palace didn’t make a single effective contribution – as much our midfield’s fault as his. Cummings looped a free straight to the keeper, 2 shots were charged down, & a 3rd – from Cummings - was high, wide & ugly. Home fans streamed out, gutted at no further home goals. The 2nd of 2 flicked headers was on target!! but caught easily by the keeper. So it fizzled out; full-time 3-0.
Apart from their 3 goals, neither goalie had anything to do all game; both sides were powder-puff. We don’t deserve to be anywhere near the play-off zone on this performance.
AFCB: (4-4-2): Moss; Buxton (Holmes, 57), C.Fletcher, Maher, Cummings; Elliott, Browning, Purches, Jorgensen; Feeney, S.Fletcher (Williams, 71).
Subs unused: O’Connor, Stock, Tindall
Peter Wicks, Greenford, Middx.