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Page last updated at 17:02 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009

Stoke 2-2 Portsmouth

By Chris Bevan

Portsmouth celebrate Nico Kranjcar's opening goal at Stoke
Portsmouth celebrate Nico Kranjcar's opening goal at Stoke

Portsmouth earned a dramatic point against Stoke City thanks to an injury-time own goal by Ryan Shawcross.

A drab game came alive after 75 minutes when David Nugent set up Niko Kranjcar to slide Pompey in front.

James Beattie quickly levelled from the spot after Glen Johnson was adjudged to have handled then, seconds later, he put Stoke ahead from close range.

Pompey poured forward and got their reward when Shawcross deflected Hermann Hreidarsson's cross into his own net.

Given the lack of quality that had been on display for most of the game at the Britannia Stadium, it was an unexpectedly exciting finish - but a draw was the fairest result.

Hart praises 'excellent' Pompey

A point apiece does little to improve either side's prospects at the bottom of the Premier League table but, given their wretched away form, Pompey will probably be more satisfied with the outcome.

The visitors have only won once on the road in the league since the end of August so caretaker boss Paul Hart can be pleased with a draw against a Stoke team with an impressive home record, especially in the manner it was achieved.

But neither side had much to be proud about in a first half that failed to produce a single shot on target.


Things did not improve immediately after the break and Stoke might have sensed it was not going to be their day when Beattie miscontrolled a Mamady Sidibe throughball when he was clean through.

There were no other openings until, out of nothing, Pompey took the lead - Nugent providing a clever pass and Kranjcar taking a touch before slotting home.

That was only the start of a chaotic 15-minute period, however, and Stoke were quickly level.

Johnson appeared to control a long ball into the box with his chest but referee Michael Jones thought otherwise and, after he had pointed at the spot, Beattie stepped up to bury his penalty.

Stoke missing quality players - Pulis

Portsmouth were incensed by the decision but things quickly got worse for them when, on Stoke's next attack, Beattie was in the right place to tap in Danny Pugh's acrobatic shot from close range.

It appeared the Potters had secured all three points but Pompey continued to attack and were gifted an equaliser in a breathless finish when Hreidarsson's low cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Shawcross.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
"It was two points dropped. When you go into injury-time leading 2-1 you hope to win but we have switched off and they have caught us.

"When they went 1-0 up I thought it would be difficult for us but we came back with the two goals and we were looking to see it out."

Portsmouth caretaker boss Paul Hart:
"We were unfortunate not to win. We scored a very good goal, had weathered the storm and defended like Trojans.

"But we didn't have time to get into a defensive shape to defend before the penalty, which wasn't a penalty, simple as that.

"Johnson leant towards the ball but his hands are nowhere near it.

"When you are faced with a decision that you feel isn't right it knocks you back. We were still reeling from it when Stoke scored again."

Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Lawrence (Tonge 66), Diao, Amdy Faye, Pugh, Sidibe (Cresswell 84), Beattie.
Subs Not Used: Simonsen, Whelan, Kitson, Camara, Sonko.

Booked: Lawrence.

Goals: Beattie 78 pen, 80.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Basinas (Mullins 71), Davis, Kranjcar (Kanu 89), Crouch, Nugent (Belhadj 89).
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Kaboul, Pamarot, Utaka.

Booked: Hreidarsson, Johnson, Davis.

Goals: Kranjcar 75, Shawcross 90 og.

Ref: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Portsmouth's Glen Johnson 7.20 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Premier League as it happened
21 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
21 Feb 09 |  Football

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