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Saturday, 9 March, 2002, 13:53 GMT
Portsmouth 3-0 Millwall
Stuart Nethercott & Leonardo Biagini
Nethercott tries to snuff out the threat of Biagini
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Portsmouth smashed three goals past promotion hopefuls Millwall as they eased to a comfortable win over their disappointing opponents.

Two goals in the opening 10 minutes from Leonardo Biagini and Gary O'Neil put Pompey firmly in the driving seat at the interval.

And any hopes of a Millwall revival in the second half were quickly quashed when Courtney Pitt scored a third.

Millwall's miserable afternoon was compounded when former Pompey hero Steve Claridge's last-minute penalty was saved by Dave Beasant.

The south coast club opened the scoring in the fifth minute when striker Biagini, on loan from Real Mallorca, collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

And the Lions were still reeling from that early setback when Graham Rix's side launched another decisive break in the 10th minute.

After another flowing move, O'Neil struck a sweet first-time volley into the top corner to double their advantage.

The visitors did their best to get into the and Neil Harris saw his 18-yard shot blocked by David Waterman.

But Portsmouth continued to surge forward but Peter Crouch could only direct a tame header straight at Millwall goalkeeper Tony Warner.

Quashie in control

Biagini and Crouch forced fine saves from the impressive Warner but Pompey goalkeeper Beasant was also forced into action to save from Millwall's Robert Ryan.

Crouch struck a fierce shot against the woodwork in the 32nd minute and went close with a header on the stroke of half time as Portsmouth pressed forward looking for the killer goal.

It arrived seven minutes after the restart when Biagini turned provider to slip a pass to Courtney Pitt, who drove it home off the far post.

The goal seemed to deflate Millwall and Portsmouth were easily able to contain the visitors in the second half.

Millwall's Tim Cahill forced saves out of Beasant, but the Lions largely blustered without posing much of a threat.

Pompey's Nigel Quashie controlled the midfield and nearly capped his fine performance with a late goal, but his long-range shot was saved by Warner.

Portsmouth: Beasant, Vincent, Buxton, Primus, Waterman, Pitt, Quashie, Derry, O'Neil, Crouch, Biagini. Subs: Tardif, Curtis, Hiley, Lovell, Vine.

Millwall: Warner, Ryan, Dyche, Nethercott, Lawrence, Kinet, Cahill, Bircham, Ifill, Claridge, Harris. Subs: Gueret, Ward, Reid, Bull, Braniff.

Referee: P Danson (Leicester).

BBC Sport's Steve Wilson
"It could hardly have been more comfortable for Portsmouth"
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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