Winning start for Perrin
By Alex Dunn. Last Updated: 09/04/05 4:56pm
Alain Perrin's bow as Portsmouth's new manager turned from joy to despair and back to joy as he observed his new charges throw away a two goal lead but still win 4-2.
An eventful game on the South Coast saw the home side cruise into a two goal advantage courtesy of a pair of headers from Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Steve Stone, before Alan Curbishley's travellers looked to have secured a point after Jon Fortune and Danny Murphy had levelled the score before half-time.
However, Perrin would prove bold in his substitutions and after replacing a midfielder with a striker, Diomansy Kamara stole the points with a brilliant header from Tresor Lumana Lua Lua's centre, before provider turned scorer when he registered in the final moments.
Milan Mandaric's latest muse in what has been a tumultuous season at Fratton Park patrolled the touchline clutching a note pad and by half-time it could well have been full.
Barely had the home crowd settled in their seats when they were rising again, for on three minutes, Yakubu had broken the deadlock.
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Lua Lua, whose work-rate managed to match his precocious gifts for the most part, played in Stone down the right with a glorious piece of skill and when the ball arrived onto the head of Yakubu, the big Nigerian dispatched his 15th of the season.
Charlton's response was for the large part ineffective and only Shaun Bartlett went close to finding a leveller before Stone doubled Pompey's advantage.
Patrick Berger's left foot could be the key to Portsmouth's survival and in the 20th minute, his right wing delivery was brilliantly diverted past Dean Kiely off the shaven head of Stone.
Perrin called for calm and duly received panic, as for within two minutes Charlton had reduced the deficit courtesy of Fortune's powerful close-range header from Murphy's setpiece.
With Murphy pulling the strings, Charlton bossed possession and whilst Lua Lua and Yakubu looked dangerous on the counter it was no surprise when the away side levelled.
Jamie Ashdown lined up his way wall and then proceeded to stand behind it, as Murphy clipped the simplest of free-kicks into the far post with virtually the last kick of a lively first period.
After the break and it was always the home side that looked the more likely to edge in front. First, Yakubu blazed over after a neat one-two with Greek midfielder Giannis Skopelitis as Portsmouth began to turn the screw.
Skopelitis himself then saw a well executed half volley cleared off the Charlton line after a game of pinball in the area, before Yakubu acrobatically volleyed onto Kiely's far post with the keeper beaten.
With a stalemate looking the most likely outcome of a game Portsmouth edged from onset, the talented but unpredictable Kamara stepped up from the bench to stoop a header past Kiely - sending the Fratton Park faithful into dream land and possible Premiership safety.
Portsmouth were excellent in second period and Lua Lua added gloss to the most polished of performances when in injury time he took Yakubu's pass in his stride and then showing both power and poise, nudged past Kiely in the Charlton goal.Click here for Portsmouth v Charlton player ratings.
|Portsmouth||Team Name||Charlton Athletic|
|5||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3|
|5||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||4|
|11||Total Fouls Conceded||14|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|