Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham United FT

Portsmouth v West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Fratton Park
Tuesday 26 January 2010
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Referee: Andre Marriner


Andre Marriner brings the game to a close and West Ham must settle for a point. The visitors were the better team for the first half and should have been ahead but for the superb goalkeeping of Begovic. Pompey rallied after the break, though, and had chances to snatch all three points. All in all, a fair result at Fratton Park.

94 min - End to end stuff as Utaka has a chance to win the game for the hosts. Thankfully, he fires his shot straight at Green.

93 min - That looked dangerous as Webber cut inside in the box, but he could only manage a weak shot that Green gathered comfortably.

91 min - Cole has looked good since he came on and he nearly manages to tear away from his markers using his power and pace. Sadly, the ball is just hooked away from him at the vital moment.

90 min - We are into the first of four minutes of added time at Fratton Park. Will the Hammers go for the winner or sit back and settle for a point?

89 min -  Marriner brings out his cards once more as Mokoena is carded for a late lunge on Kovac.

88 min - The home side are having the better of the closing stages but are not able to test Green. The Hammers need to get their foot on the ball.

87 min - Final change for the visitors as Junior Stanislas comes on for Diamanti.

84 min - Brilliant from Cole. He shows quick feet to turn away from Kaboul, before blasting the ball a yard too high of Begovic's crossbar.

82 min - Webber has looked dangerous since his arrival and he comes close to turning in John Utaka's cross.

81 min - Tomkins is not able to continue and Manuel da Costa takes his place.

76 min - GOAL! - The home side restore parity through Webber. Boateng appeared to catch Tomkins in the face and as the centre back lay stricken on the ground, Webber took full advantage and slid the ball under Green.

75 min - Cole gets his first touch and comes close to helping the Hammers to a second. His cross eventually falls at the feet of Behrami, who blazes over.

73 min - A change for each side as Piquionne makes way for Danny Webber. For the visitors, Cole comes on for his first match since 28 November in place of Nouble, who impressed again up front.

71 min - You cannot take your eyes off this for a second as at the other end, Faubert nearly catches Begovic out with a near-post shot. However, the 'keeper just manages to turn it round the post.

70 min - The home side have a superb chance to get level as first Spector, and then Faubert slip. The ball falls to Boateng, but he puts his shot wide.

69 min - Noble makes another vital tackle in the middle of the park as the Hammers break up a rare Pompey attack. The homegrown Hammer has been outstanding tonight in the absence of Scott Parker.

67 min - A few moments of alarm there as Boateng fires a shot straight at Kovac and the ball catches him at waist height. The home fans scream for a spot kick but referee Andre Marriner waves away their claims. Boaten takes his protests a little too far and is booked for dissent. 

64 min - Mullins is the first player to be taken off as he is replaced by Anthony Vanden Borre.

63 min - Nouble has another great chance to get his first Premier League goal but once again Begovic, who has been outstanding, denies him.

61 min - The home side force a corner and come so close to taking the lead from it. Basinas whipped it in and Wilson met it with a firm header that flew just over.

60 min - Noble is booked for pulling Boateng's shirt.

58 min - And that is probably just what Portsmouth did not want to see as Cole makes his way to the touchline to warm up. His appearance is met by a song from the away support.

57 min - The Hammers are pushing for a second now, which put the game beyond Portsmouth. Nouble does well to touch Faubert's forward ball into the path of Behrami, but he drags his shot wide. Good stuff from Zola's side.

54 min - Behrami is down after a late tackle from Angelos Basinas. The Pompey midfielder is booked for the foul and Behrami eventually makes his way to his feet after getting some treatment.

52 min - GOAL! Well that soon changes as Upson gives the Hammers the lead. Diamanti had picked up a return from a corner and lifted in another centre with his right foot. Kaboul appeared to have beaten Upson to the ball but his headed clearance appeared to hit the West Ham captain in the chest before trickling over the line.

49 min - The second half has started as much as the first finished with no clear openings so far.

46 min - Portsmouth kick off the second half. The Hammers will be attacking the goal to my right this half, just in front of the away support.


45 min - Portsmouth force a corner as Upson hacks the ball behind. Spector wins a vital header at the far post and the danger is averted.

45 min - Two more minutes will be added at the end of the half.

44 min - Two minutes to go until half time and I would say it has been fairly even so far. The Hammers have probably had the better of the chances, but the home side have looked dangerous going forward.

40 min - West Ham are battling hard here and Kovac and Spector combine to win the ball back just in front of the main stand here.

36 min - Noble is down again and this time it is a problem with his shoulder. Andy Rolls the physio is called on and Noble leaves the pitch. But, once again, he is back in the action again a short while later.

33 min - It has all got a bit scrappy now with long balls and mis-placed passes creeping into the game. Let's hope that the Hammers can get back to their passing game soon.

28 min - Noble has been superb so far in the holding role but there is a moment of worry as he stays down following a challenge from Kevin-Prince Boateng. Thankfully, he gets back to his feet a moment later.

24 min - This is non-stop action now as back up the other end, another great save from Begovic denies Jack Collison, who looked certain to score. That really was a save of the highest order. 

23 min - The game has really come to life now and Green makes a great save to deny Aaron Mokoena from 20 yards. From the resulting corner, Noble is forced to head clear off the line.

21 min - The best two chances of the game fall to West Ham straight after each other. First Behrami's pass picked out the run of Nouble, whose shot was saved Begovic and the Diamanti forces the Pompey 'keeper into another great save from the rebound. So close!

19 min - Well maybe I spoke too soon as Hermann Hreidarsson's cross just evades Frederic Piquionne's outstretched boot. That was close.

18 min - The ball has spent most of the time in the middle of the pitch and neither side had created a decent chance of note.

14 min - It is taken by Diamanti but Begovic comes out to claim.

13 min - A great tackle from Noble wins the ball back from West Ham and then Kovac is tripped to give them a free-kick on the left just inside the Pompey half. Diamanti swings it in and Younes Kaboul heads it behind for a corner.

10 min - West Ham string together a decent 20-pass move which only ends when Nouble is just brushed off the ball by Wilson. Portsmouth were struggling to get the ball back then, which will have given the visitors a lift.

8 min - Great forward play from Nouble as he holds off and then turns Marc Wilson, before crossing straight into the hands of Begovic.

5 min - Good chasing from Valon Behrami as usual there. He closed the defender down so much he managed to fire the first shot of the game in, which did not threaten Asmir Begovic in the Pompey.

3 min - West Ham have started in the 4-5-1 formation they have been using in recent weeks, with Frank Nouble leading the line once more. Diamanti is out on the right at the moment, with Collison on the left.

2 min - The home side have found their voice now and a chant of 'Blue Army' is ringing around the ground.

1 min - West Ham kick-off and will be attacking the goal to my left in the first half.

7.47pm - It remains to be seen whether 'Mr Portsmouth' will be shirtless tonight as I have yet to see him. I will of course keep you updated.

7.46pm - Here they come now and the away support give a stirring rendition of 'Bubbles' to welcome their side to the pitch.

7.45pm - It looks like we may have a late start here as the players are yet to appear.

7.42pm - David Gold and David Sullivan have both taken their seats for their first game since becoming owners at the Boleyn Ground.

7.41pm - In case you needed reminding, the Hammers romped to a 4-1 victory last time they were at Fratton Park. That was Boxing Day 2008 and on Boxing Day 2009, they recorded a 2-0 home win when Alessandro Diamanti and Radoslav Kovac were among the goals.

7.40pm - Just five minutes to go until kick-off now and the away end is almost full. Down on the pitch the mascots are getting lined up ready for the arrival of the two teams. What a crucial game this is for both teams.

7.36pm - The players head off back to the dressing room, but not before the away support give the goalkeeping coach a chant of "Ludo, Ludo."

7.28pm - West Ham are in the final stages of their preparation now and Ludo Miklosko is setting the midfielders and forwards up for some shooting practice. Cole has just buried one past Marek Stech and that, unsurprisingly, gets a big cheer from the claret and blue faithful behind the goal.

7.23pm - The Hammers have sold their allocation of tickets - twice. After the initial 1,900 tickets were sold, Portsmouth sent another 400 tickets, which were quickly snapped up over the weekend. Those that have managed to get their hands on a ticket will be delighted to see Cole out on the pitch warming up with his team-mates once more.

7.15pm - It really is a chilly night on the south coast tonight and several of the West Ham squad are wearing hats and gloves for their warm up.

7.10pm - The Portsmouth players jog out for their pre-match warm up, closely followed by Matthew Upson and the West Ham United players. They are met with a chant of 'Irons, Irons' from the away support away to my right.

Gianfranco Zola has made one enforced change to the West Ham United side that drew at Aston Villa nine days ago for Tuesday's Barclays Premier League visit to Portsmouth.

Scott Parker has failed to recover sufficiently from the hamstring injury he suffered at Villa Park, with Alessandro Diamanti taking his place in a five-man midfield.

The Hammers' leading scorer Carlton Cole is back after nearly two months on the sidelines with a knee injury and is named among the substitutes. The 26-year-old has not appeared since netting a penalty in the 5-3 home victory over Burnley on 28 November.

Portsmouth, who recall Steve Finnan in defence, name former Hammer Hayden Mullins in their starting XI - exactly a year to the day since he left the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins (da Costa 81), Upson, Spector, Diamanti (Stanislas 87), Kovac, Behrami, Noble, Collison, Nouble (Cole 73)
Subs: Stech, Daprela, Jimenez, Sears

Portsmouth: Begovic, Finnan, Kaboul, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Basinas, Mokoena, Mullins (Vanden Borre 64), Boateng, Utaka, Piquionne (Webber 73)
Subs: Ashdown, Ben Haim, Hughes, Ritchie