Portsmouth and Birmingham began the day down at a buzzing Fratton Park. I wasn’t expecting much of an atmosphere – this was an early kickoff on the weekend for a side in great disarray after all – but despite the recent problems the Portsmouth fans really got behind their side and rocked this small stadium.
In the first forty-five the two teams seemed to let their fear of losing get in the way of their attacking play as neither team were very active. It was evident that they both wanted to win this Quarter Final, but they didn’t make any progress towards actually scoring until the final half hour when the game finally picked up.
After so much lackluster play, we saw shots saved from Larsson, O’Hara, Piquionne and a great chance missed from Utaka as this game exploded into action. Then, following a corner on sixty-five minutes, Portsmouth managed to scramble the ball over the line with Piquionne getting the final touch after efforts from Webber and Utaka.
Piquionne headed just over the bar shortly after scoring and then, just four minutes after his goal, O’Hara put him through, he weaved his way past Danns and then drove a shot under the ‘keeper. A deserved 2-0 lead for cash-strapped Pompy as the Fratton Park faithful exploded into life.
Ridgewell scored with ten minutes to go, his header scrambled in and then caught by James when it was past the line. The linesman didn’t give it though and said that the ball didn’t cross the line, a poor decision as Birmingham tried to get back into the game. Birmingham struggled to grab an official goal and directed a lot of anger towards the assistant who ruled out the Ridgewell goal as this game ended 2-0.
A great win for Portsmouth and another correct prediction for my FA Cup tips, hope plenty of people were on.