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Match Report: Portsmouth 1-3 Middlesbrough

Sunday 4th March 2012
Boro worsened cash-strapped Pompey's relegation plight as goals from Barry Robson, Matthew Bates and Marvin Emnes helped the Teesiders to a 3-1 win at Fratton Park. The visitors were boosted by the return to the side of talismanic midfielder Nicky Bailey after a knee injury and the arrival of Adam Hammill who joined the club on loan this week.

The hosts were also boosted on the injury front with David Norris returning to the side after injury in place of Aaron Mokoena who dropped to the bench. Norris nearly opened the scoring on 15 minutes but George Thorne's long-range effort just evaded the outstretched leg of the former Ipswich man.

Pompey keeper Stephen Henderson got down well to deny a low Robson free-kick and Scott Allen fired just wide of the Boro goal from another set piece shortly before the half hour mark as the game started to liven up.

Three minutes before the interval, Nicky Bailey; on his return to the side unleashed a powerful 30-yard volley, but Republic of Ireland international Henderson got across fantastically to tip round the post.

Tony Mowbray's side started the second half positively and finally broke the deadlock in the 55th minute. Referee Trevor Kettle spotted an infringement in the box by Ricardo Rocha and Barry Robson stepped up to convert the spot-kick despite a touch from Henderson.

The visitors afternoon improved even more a little over 5 minutes later when Matthew Bates poked home in the six yard box after Nicky Bailey nodded Barry Robson's corner back across the area.

Pompey were handed a life-line however in the 66th minute when Kettle awarded them a penalty after Jutkiewicz handled in the area. Greg Halford sent Jason Steele the wrong way to half the home side's deficit.

Substitute Dave Kitson wasted a great opportunity to equalise soon after, the former Stoke man failed to find the target from 12 yards with only Boro keeper Steele to beat.

The missed chance came back to haunt the hosts in the 83rd minute when Wolves loanee Hammill found himself clear on the left and although his shot was well saved by Henderson, Marvin Emnes lashed the rebound high in to the net.

Boro utility man Rhys Williams received his second yellow card of the game late in stoppage time after a foul on Ward, in what was the only blemish on a good all round performance by the Teesiders.

The win takes promotion hopefuls Boro up to fifth, while Portsmouth remain in the relegation zone.
Matthew Nixon

Total articles: 28

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