Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greening's Strike Adds to Struggling Pompey's Misery

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Greening's Strike Adds to Struggling Pompey's Misery

Article excerpt

Fulham .................................................. 1 Portsmouth ........................................... 0 PORTSMOUTH'S misery continued as Jonathan Greening's first goal for Fulham condemned the financially-stricken club to another defeat in last night's Premier League clash at Craven Cottage.

Pompey, adrift at the foot of the table, have lurched from one crisis to another this season, with players and staff again being paid late.

Manager Avram Grant has, though, vowed to stick with the beleaguered Fratton Park club.

Indeed, Pompey had shown an improvement following the return of their African Nations Cup trio, and Kevin Prince Boateng had two decent chances in the first half.

However, after a terrible miss from Fulham's on-loan Italian striker Stefano Okaka, making his debut, Fulham eventually made the breakthrough with 16 minutes left as former Middlesbrough midfielder Greening netted at the far post.

For Pompey, things are likely to get worse before they get better, as Grant must now rally his beleaguered troops for Saturday's Manchester United trip.

However, it was a bright start by the visitors, as Prince Boateng tested Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with an angled drive. Pompey continued to have the better of the opening exchanges.

Frederic Piquionne almost got on the end of a quick counter-attack as Fulham - who had lost the last five league games - failed to deal with the ball on a skiddy surface.

The Portsmouth striker should have done better when sent clear on 12 minutes, but Schwarzer stood up well to make the save.

Prince Boateng caught hold of a loose ball 22 yards out, which flew just the wrong side of the keeper's righthand post.

Fulham could not retain possession in midfield, and struggled to get out of their own half for long spells.

However, it needed a fine one-handed save from England goalkeeper David James to deny Aaron Hughes as his header at the back post from a corner was creeping in. …

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