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Saturday, 16 February, 2002, 17:41 GMT
Portsmouth 0-0 Rotherham
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Portsmouth and Rotherham contested a dour goalless draw at Fratton Park.

And Pompey winger Kevin Harper was sent off in the 86th minute after collecting his second yellow card.

Rotherham, with only two away wins all season, had no problems in containing Portsmouth's increasingly desperate attempts to break the deadlock.

New loan signing Leo Biagini, signed this week from Spanish Club Real Mallorca, was the only bright spot for the home side.

Ruled out

Biagini had two shots saved by Mike Pollitt in the first half and after 83 minutes had the ball in the net only for his effort to be ruled out after a foul by team-mate Peter Crouch.

Shaun Derry shot wide from only eight yards on a rare occasion when the solid Rotherham defence was breached.

Rotherham failed to muster a single shot in the first half but after the interval became dangerous on the break, with substitute Andy Monkhouse wasting a clear opening in the 74th minutes.

And with full-time approaching Alan Lee had a header cleared off the line by Scott Hiley.

Booed off

Portsmouth's leading scorer Crouch headed over in the second-half after a cross from Harper.

But it was a rare glimmer of an opportunity for Pompey as Rotherham defenders Martin McIntosh and Chris Swailes soaked up the pressure.

Portsmouth's players were booed off by their fans at the final whistle.

And referee Hegley was also the target of the crowd's anger for his controversial decision to send Harper packing at a crucial stage in the match.


Portsmouth: Beasant, Pitt, Zamperini, Buxton, Vincent, O'Neil, Quashie, Derry, Harper, Crouch, Biagini. Subs: Tardif, Curtis, Hiley, Lovell, Pettefer.

Rotherham: Pollitt, Bryan, Swailes, McIntosh, Hurst, Sedgwick, Mullin, Talbot, Daws, Robins, Lee. Subs: Gray, Branston, Richard Barker, Warne, Monkhouse.

Referee: G Hegley (Bishops Stortford).

Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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