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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 April 2007, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Portsmouth 2-1 Newcastle
By Jonathan Stevenson

Matthew Taylor
Taylor celebrates scoring for Portsmouth at Fratton Park
Portsmouth boosted their hopes of getting in to Europe with victory at home against Newcastle.

Pompey dominated for large periods and took an early lead when Benjani turned superbly inside the box and fired home.

Obafemi Martins twice went close for Newcastle, one header cleared off the line and another crashing off the bar.

Matthew Taylor fired in from 30 yards to make it 2-0 before Emre pulled on back from the spot after James Milner was fouled by Dejan Stefanovic.

Newcastle even had a late chance to level as David James saved from Martins, but in truth the visitors did not deserve a draw for their disappointing display.

606: DEBATE
PB

Pompey move above Spurs with the victory, which could have been far greater were it not for some profligate finishing.

Time after time they carved the Newcastle defence apart, but the quality of their build-up play was seldom matched inside the area.

After Martins had a stinging early shot tipped over by James, it was all Portsmouth.

They opened the scoring with their first real attempt, Benjani expertly muscling Steven Taylor off the ball and turning sharply to slam a low shot past Steven Harper.

Benjani and Kanu were running riot, using all their pace and trickery to create countless openings.

Kanu swivelled neatly in the area and slammed in a shot off the underside of the bar that bounced down on to the line as the Newcastle defenders backed off.

Kanu then slotted wide from a pinpoint Lauren cross from the right, before Benjani had a fierce left-foot shot saved by Harper.

They were nearly made to pay, too. In first-half stoppage time, Martins saw his header from a corner cleared off the line by the outstanding Lauren.

Not long after the break the Nigerian went agonisingly close again, seeing another header crash against the bar from a Milner cross.

But instead of getting back on level terms, Newcastle soon found themselves two-nil down.

Taylor picked the ball up 30 yards out and lashed in one of his trademark left-foot piledrivers that flew into the corner with Harper well-beaten.

It appeared as though it was game over, but just as Newcastle needed a lifeline, they were gifted one.

Dejan Stefanovic clumsily tripped James Milner in the area and Emre stepped up to coolly slot the penalty past James.

If Martins had scored instead of seeing his late shot saved by James, Glenn Roeder's side would have earned themselves an unlikely point.


  • Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp:
    "We have had great form in recent times especially at home and we enjoy playing anyone on our own pitch.

    "We have had 10 wins at Fratton Park this season and we have been playing some good football on the way and the fans are enjoying it.

    "This club is certainly on the up and moving in the right direction."

  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder:
    "Oba Martins had a number of chances and it was a pity he didn't take the last one in particular because it would have given us a point.

    "We looked a different team in the second half after a few things were said in the dressing room. The first half was very poor. We had to make some changes because some players were just not doing it.

    "We took off Craig Moore after 30 minutes because he was struggling and we thought it was right to make the change."


    Portsmouth: James, Lauren, Primus, Campbell, Stefanovic, O'Neil, Davis, Hughes, Taylor, Mwaruwari (LuaLua 73), Kanu (Kranjcar 90).
    Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Pamarot, Mvuemba.

    Booked: Stefanovic, O'Neil.

    Goals: Mwaruwari 7, Taylor 59.

    Newcastle: Harper, Solano, Taylor, Moore (Onyewu 30), Carr, Milner, Butt, Emre, N'Zogbia (Carroll 46), Duff (Luque 81), Martins.
    Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Babayaro.

    Goals: Emre 69 pen.

    Att: 20,165.

    Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).



  • SEE ALSO
    Saturday football photos
    14 Apr 07 |  Football


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