Portsmouth fell to a 4-0 defeat at home to bitter rivals Southampton in what turned out to be a night to forget for the League One side.
Given this was a struggling third-tier team against a Premier League outfit, the margin of victory doesn’t seem too surprising and it looks like a pretty straightforward away victory.
Whilst that turned out to be the case, the reality is that for 20 minutes Pompey had their rivals on the ropes with the ferocious Fratton Park atmosphere playing a part.
However, a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and bad luck meant that Kenny Jackett’s side couldn’t capitalise on that fast start, with Danny Ings showing Portsmouth how it’s done.
The ex-Liverpool man was clinical in front of goal, ruthlessly taking the two first-half chances that came his way. Unfortunately for the hosts, as our graphic shows, Brett Pitman wasn’t.
It’s obviously not fair to put the blame entirely at the feet of the experienced forward, as several of his teammates missed opportunities too, but his three shots on target and no goals perfectly highlighted the difference between the sides.
As you can see, there were other aspects of the 31-year-old’s game that were good. His 6 recoveries in particular is very impressive and that shows how the whole Pompey team were working for each other, harrying the Saints and were winning the ball high up the pitch.
Additionally, the fact he had four touches in the box and managed to have three shots to test Alex McCarthy also demonstrates that Pompey were having joy on a lot of occasions.
But, as we all know, football is all about finishing any chances that come your way and Pitman, along with striker partner John Marquis, among others, just couldn’t do that.
When your rivals can bring a £20m signing from Liverpool into the team, it proves there is a massive gulf between the south coast sides and the scoreline ended up reflecting that.
Of course, the margin of defeat is going to hurt the Portsmouth fans a lot but the fact that they stayed supporting their team on until the end indicates that they knew their side had given everything.
And, they did. The step up was too much on the night but if Pompey were rewarded for that early, intense pressure – which they should have been, it may have been a different outcome for Pitman and his teammates.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.