Writer: Michael Briggs
Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
Portsmouth have put their possible winding up petition behind them after they came back to draw 1-1 with Sunderland Fratton Park tonight.
It now leaves the Wearside club with out a win in 12 matches as they steer closer to the relegation zone.
Aruna Dindane`s header in the 94th minute yet again frustrated the 1,000 travelling fans.
In form striker Darren Bent put the away side ahead with a coolly taken penalty but Lee Cattermole and David Meyler were sent off.
Pompey also had Portuguese defender Ricardo Rocha showed the red card in what was highly mixed night for both sides.
Referee Kevin Friend had a disappointing game in all aspects and it showed when both managers Steve Bruce & Avram Grant confronted to him at half and full time
Grant was sent to the stands for the second half for showing his fury towards Friend for denying his side a penalty after 30 minutes.
The game got off to a rushed start for both sides mainly for Sunderland when Rocha sent Bent crashing down in the box in the 8th minute to concede a needless penalty.
Referee Friend then suffered a bout of confusion when he incorrectly sent off Hassan Yebda then cancelling his decision until he correctly sent off Rocha.
Bent punished Keeper David James to make it 1-0 and add more dismay to the cash strapped Portsmouth in the 12th minute.
Steed Malbranque then should have doubled the away side`s lead when his fizzing shot was cleared away by Marc Wilson.
Portsmouth failed to back down and showed glimmers of hope when Dindane wriggled his way past Michael Turner after Frederic Piquionne headed a deep cross back into the danger zone.
Dindane then had all but the keeper to beat but Craig Gordon produced a marvellous save to deny them the equalising goal.
O`Hara then raced though on goal but was let down by a heavy touch and later had a rocket of a shot curl just wide.
An injured Malbranque then had to be substituted for Bolo Zenden to add to Sunderland`s ever growing injury list.
Then came the moment that enraged Pompey boss Grant, when Matthew Killgallon brought down troublesome Dindane but had the decision waved away.
Boos and Grant greeted Friend and his officials at half time in what had to be the most unusual decision making so far this season.
In the second half, Portsmouth came out all guns blazing and pressured Sunderland right from the off.
And it showed when Turner brought down Piquionne but again the home side had the decision waved away.
Then the red card came out again this time for Cattermole, who was booked earlier and was given his marching orders for unsporting behaviour.
Sunderland then should have killed the game off with two clear-cut chances within 10 minutes
The first coming from Bent when he was put through onside but his shot was straight at James.
Then an exquisite volley from new signing Kilgallon smashed off the post to irritate the travelling side in the 65th minute
Meyler was then dismissed for a high elbow, having only being on for just over 3 minutes.
Six minutes was showed for added time and Bruce was left to look up to sky asking for the gods to shine but his prayer sadly were not answered.
Portsmouth pressured the black cat`s box with a bombardment of crosses and corners and it was O`Hara`s whipped in ball that found the tireless Dindane head to level out the game.
Steve Bruce believes that the sending off`s cost his side three points.
He said, "The two rash challenges for me cost us the game and to go down to 9 men when we are 1-0 is not acceptable.
"They are two young, genuine players that`s for sure but I hope they can learn from this.
"They have badly let us down today and to concede in the last ten second again is another kick in the teeth.
"I have no complains with the two reckless challenges that were, I still don`t know were he (Friend) found six minutes for injury time, I find that baffling.
"Through out our own stupidity we let ourselves down with nine men and who knows with 11 men we might have gone on to win it."
"There`s a huge frustration there tonight through our own lack of discipline and they have badly let us down
Date:Wednesday February 10 2010
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