Portsmouth 4
Wycombe Wanderers 2
Saturday 10th September 2016
Football League Two

Wanderers conceeded four goals for the second successive game as they lost 4-2 at Portsmouth. The defeat came after Gareth Ainsworth made four changes to the side that had lost 4-1 at Luton the previous Saturday - as expected, Aaron Pierre returned to the side in place of Will De Havilland, while Sam Wood was favoured over Stephen McGinn and Garry Thompson for Nick Freeman. Elsewhere, Southampton loanee Dominic Gape got his first Wanderers start, with Dayle Southwell dropping to the bench.

On a surface made slippery by torrential rain prior to kick-off, it was Wanderers who took the lead in the 10th minute when Harriman switched the ball to Thompson who cut it back for Hayes to tuck in. However, home side recovered to equalis on 34 minutes when a Pompey corner was only cleared as far as Baker, who shot was saved by Jamal Blackman before Christian Burgess forced the loose ball home.

A crazy spell at the end of the half then saw Wanderers trail 3-2. First on 42 minutes Jomabti is penalised for handling and Roberts converted from the spot. Then on the stroke of 45 minutes Hayes scored with a sensational strike from Thompson's pass. But is was Pompey who regained the lead in the 4th minute of stoppage time after Roberts appeared to handle before substitute Chaplin flicked the ball past Blackman to give the home side a 3-2 lead at the break.

Carl Baker sealed the points for Pompey eight minutes into the second-half when he fired home at the far post. That was curtains for Wycombe on a day where they let refereeing decisions affect their composure and accumulate seven yellow cards in the process. Wanderers remain three from bottom of the table with five points from their opening seven games. Unless fortunes change soon, it looks like a long hard season ahead.
Full-time - Portsmouth 4 Wycombe 2
Wycombe: Blackman, Harriman, Jombati (sub 80 Akinfenwa), Stewart, Pierre, Bloomfield, Rowe (sub 86 McGinn), Gape, Thompson, Wood, Hayes (sub 80 Southwell) - subs not used: Richardson, De Havilland, Freeman, Kashket
Scorers: Hayes 10, 45+1
Bookings: Pierre 28, Jomabti 42, Thompson 45+5 (while leaving the pitch), Rowe 61, Harriman 65, Blackman 72, Stewart 90+1
Equals Wanderers' worst ever booking haul in one game - away to MK Dons on 16 December 2006
Portsmouth: Forde, Evans, Burgess, Davies, Stevens, Rose, Doyle, Baker, Roberts (sub 88 Hunt), Lalkovic (sub HT Naismith), Main (sub 25 Chaplin) - subs not used: Clarke, Smith, O'Brien, Linganzi
Scorers: Burgess 34, Roberts 45 (pen), Chaplin 45+4, Baker 53
Bookings: Roberts 28, Baker 72
Referee: Tim Robinson Attendance: 16,262 (489 away)

Gareth AinsworthSpeaking after the game, Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth told the press: "The third goal is a real killer before half-time. How the referee (Tim Robinson) hasnít seen a handball I am absolutely amazed. I donít often question the referees but that was obvious to many, many fans on this side of the ground. I am looking forward to seeing the replay and I thought Roberts controlled the ball with his hand. Thatís a disappointment because at 2-2 at half-time it is a different team talk and different set up in the second half for us.Ē

"We didnít make it easy in general, it was just rubbish goals conceded. We have got to stop shipping goals like that. That is eight goals in two weeks now and that is not good enough. They were errors which were fundamental and it is not like Portsmouth have carved us apart. We always play well here and have again today, but it is sloppy goals conceded. You canít be having to score three and four goals away from home to be in the game. The fourth goal really disappoints me and is another individual mistake where we need to get a header in the box.Ē

Ainsworth also admitted to being concerned with the defensive problems with his side, adding: ďOf course I'm concerned. We had one of the best defences in the league for two years running, but that's eight in two weeks now, and that's not good enough. We have to stop shipping these goals, it's our Achilles heel at the moment. It's the nature of the goals as well Ė it's not like Portsmouth carved us apart because they didn't. If anything, we did that to them in the first half. Not many teams will come to Fratton Park, score two goals, hit the bar and have one cleared off the line, but it means nothing when you concede four. We can't be having to score three or four goals away from home to be in the game. We played well but you can't ship poor goals like that, and that was the difference, because in the game there was nothing. Nobody expected us to get anything today apart from me. We set up to counter the way Portsmouth play and did it well, but conceding those sloppy goals cost us.Ē
"I know my team's defending has got to be better, but that refereeing decision has also got to be better in my opinion. Luton carved us apart last week, but today we were always in the game until the fourth goal killed us. It's disappointing, but play like we did today in the league and we will be fine. We've had to play two big teams in Luton and Portsmouth in consecutive weeks, and it's been tough."

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