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Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Sunday, 5 October 2008 16:59 UK

Portsmouth 2-1 Stoke

By David McIntyre

Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe celebrate
Crouch and Defoe both scored fine goals for Portsmouth

Jermain Defoe netted the winner and Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch scored with a spectacular overhead kick as Stoke were beaten at Fratton Park.

Crouch acrobatically fired Defoe's cross into the bottom corner.

Stoke equalised when Rory Delap's long throw was flicked on by Dave Kitson and Ricardo Fuller headed home.

Defoe rattled the post with a 30-yard drive but then found the net after Stoke's Seyi Olofinjana allowed him to cut in from the left and shoot.

Stoke's defeat leaves them in the bottom three with just one win from their opening seven Premier League matches.

This game could have panned out very differently had Kitson not failed to take an early chance to open the scoring.


Portsmouth goalkeeper David James' poor clearance went straight to Delap, whose first-time ball put Kitson through on goal, but the striker shot wide.

It was a rare chance for Stoke during a first half in which right-back Andy Griffin was given a torrid time by Pompey's left-sided combination of Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore.

Interview: Harry Redknapp

On-loan Arsenal winger Traore sent a 20-yard shot just wide and Fuller had a header saved by James, before Crouch put Harry Redknapp's side ahead.

The goal was Crouch's fifth of the season and his third in two matches.

Stoke hit back three minutes into the second half, when Delap's trademark throw-in caused havoc and former Pompey forward Fuller bundled the ball in from close range.

Defoe almost restored the lead immediately with a cracking effort that beat stand-in keeper Steve Simonsen and smashed against the woodwork.

But there was no reprieve for Stoke when Olofinjana invited Defoe to try his luck again.

Interview: Tony Pulis

This time the England striker let fly from just outside the penalty area and his effort beat Simonsen at the near post.

Simonsen, playing because first-choice stopper Thomas Sorensen has flu, produced good saves to keep out shots from Crouch and Traore before Crouch headed Glen Johnson's free-kick wide.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis sent on striker Mamady Sidibe and then recent signing Tom Soares for his Potters debut, but his team never looked like finding another equaliser.

City now have a two-week break because of the international fixtures and then face a crunch showdown against bottom club Tottenham.

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknpapp:
"Peter Crouch can win the ball in the air but he also has great ability.

"He's more than just a big man. He's a terrific player and he showed that with great technique for the goal. It was an example for all young kids watching.

"We were full of energy again. Full of inventive play, with passing and movement. We had other great opportunities and hit the post."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"The difference was at both ends of the pitch. We had chances and didn't take them, but they had chances and did take them.

"Crouch and Defoe up front are good players and Crouch showed that with the goal he scored.

"In the first seven games of the season we've played teams who finished in the top five last season, so we knew it would be a tough start. We'll keep learning and keep believing."

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Diop, Davis, Hughes, Armand Traore (Hreidarsson 90), Crouch, Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Little, Kanu, Hreidarsson, Kaboul, Mvuemba, Pamarot.

Goals: Crouch 25, Defoe 50.

Stoke: Simonsen, Griffin, Cort, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Delap (Cresswell 73), Olofinjana, Amdy Faye, Tonge (Soares 65), Fuller, Kitson (Sidibe 61).
Subs Not Used: Whelan, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Sonko.

Goal: Fuller 48.

Booked: Olofinjana 22, Simonsen 66, Amfy Faye 76.

Att: 19,248.

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

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see also
Premier League as it happened
05 Oct 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
05 Oct 08 |  Football
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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