Championship Game of the Week – Portsmouth v Doncaster
This week there were plenty of exciting games in the Championship, where the momentum and score moved in favour of both sides throughout the match, these games climaxed to leave one set of fans exhilarated and ecstatic and the other set drained and deflated.
Reading and Norwich traded blows to draw 3 – 3, whilst Burnley overcame Watford in a thrilling in a game where the lead changed hands 3 times. However the game this week that left pulses racing featured a club that is no stranger to the ups and downs of football, Portsmouth FC.
Portsmouth’s opponents at Fratton Park where Doncaster Rovers and before the game both sides occupied mid table positions meaning that victory would move the victor right back into playoff contention.
Despite a bright start from the home side, it was Doncaster who took the lead via James Hayter after just 15 minutes., Rovers then extended this lead via James Coppinger after 26 minutest to silence the Fratton Park crowd.
This was the state of play until half time and it looked as though it was going to be a frustrating afternoon for Pompey as the score remained the same at the hour mark, however on the 66th minute Joel Ward converted a John Utaka cross to pull a goal back and put Portsmouth back in the game.
The momentum was now with the home side, and it took just 8 minutes for this pressure to lead to parity as a Neil Sullivan fumble allowed David Nugent to score his fourth of the season and send the traditionally partisan Portsmouth crowd wild.
The Portsmouth fans must have felt that at that moment the tide of the game was with them and that they could go onto win the game in the final stages of the match, yet this dream lasted just four minutes as journeyman striker David Healy thundered home a 20 yard drive to regain the lead for Doncaster with just over ten minutes of normal time to play.
Portsmouth were unable to breakthrough for a third goal and equaliser and as seems to be the case quite frequently at Fratton Park these days, a bad situation got worse as Carl Dickinson was sent off in the 88th minute for a vicious challenge on James Hayter.
All in all this was a fascinating game of football, with both sides seeming to squander any momentum gained as the match wore on. The sending off was a sour notebut this game will be remembered for the Portsmouth comeback and finishing of David Healy which so cruelly denied them a point. This was a great result for Doncaster who will go into their next game with confidence that they can react positively in any cirumstance.