Albion - Pompey 1-1 (1-0) 08/09
- Publisert mandag 08. desember 2008 17:48
West Brom remain bottom of the Premier League after Peter Crouch's second-half equaliser earned Portsmouth a draw in an entertaining match at The Hawthorns.
Jonathan Greening gave West Brom a deserved lead when Chris Brunt's free-kick ricocheted off the bar and the captain side-footed in from six yards.
Crouch then levelled matters with a stunning 25-yard strike.
In a pulsating second half, David James saved from Ishmael Miller while Glen Johnson shot wide from six yards.
In the final 10 minutes Scott Carson nearly gifted victory to Portsmouth when the West Brom goalkeeper palmed Johnson's cross towards goal only to recover and scramble to scoop the ball away to safety.
West Brom have now collected just two points from nine games and remain without a victory since their defeat of Fulham on 4 October.
Despite their lowly position, West Brom remained faithful to manager Tony Mowbray's philosophy of playing flowing, attacking football and seemed to have added a bit of steel to their aesthetically-pleasing style as they thwarted Portsmouth's second-half resurgence.
Portsmouth, whose owner Alexandre Gaydamak announced on Sunday he was putting the club up for sale, looked jaded in the first half after their midweek excursions in the Uefa Cup.
Sloppy in possession, the visitors spent most of the half backtracking as West Brom passed the ball with a confidence.
Abdoulaye Meite came close with a header early on, while in the 24th minute James Morrison, whose energy down the right was causing Noe Pamarot all sorts of problems, shot inches wide.
Next, Brunt was sent clear through by the impressive Miller but the midfielder's curling shot went agonisingly wide.
With seven minutes of the first half remaining Brunt atoned for his profligacy by playing a part Greening's opener.
The Northern Ireland international's stunning free-kick hit the crossbar and the alert Greening reacted first to the rebound for his first goal of the season.
It was no more than West Brom deserved and they began the second half in the same vein, only to be pegged back by Portsmouth in the 58th minute.
Crouch received the ball just outside the box and caught the West Brom defence by surprise by unleashing a dipping shot, which took a slight deflection off Meite.
Portsmouth were revitalised, but Mowbray's men continued with their attacking policy and Miller, who had tormented Sol Campbell all afternoon, forced James to make a fine save with his left foot.
In an barnstorming end to the match, Johnson cut in from the right and played a slick one-two with Defoe but, from six yards out, inexplicably shot high into the stands.
West Brom suffered a setback when Miller was stretchered off the field after colliding with James and was replaced by summer signing Luke Moore.
Neither side seemed to be willing to settle for a draw and substitute Roman Bednar missed a chance for West Brom, while Carson's blunder nearly gave Portsmouth the three points.
West Brom manager Tony Mowbray:
"I enjoyed the first half. We deserved a second goal and yet it didn't come, which was always going to make the second half potentially more edgy for us.
"When you haven't won for so long, these games become a bit edgy. You don't want to hang on. Having said that, I thought we were pretty comfortable for most of the game.
"Ultimately I thought it was our inability to score a second goal when we were on top which cost us the three points."
Portsmouth manager Tony Adams:
"I am happy with a point after the first-half performance, but at the end of the game maybe it feels like two dropped. Glen Johnson had a fantastic chance.
"We were flat after the disappointment of the UEFA Cup and the journey coming back and preparation was not ideal.
"We gave ourselves a shake at half-time and they reacted positively and we performed much better in the second half. We kept the ball much better and made some good chances."
West Brom: Carson, Zuiverloon, Meite, Olsson, Robinson, Morrison, Borja Valero (Bednar 67), Greening, Koren, Brunt, Miller (Moore 76).
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Cech, Barnett, Kim, Filipe Teixeira.
Goals: Greening 39.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Pamarot, Davis, Diop, Belhadj (Little 46), Kranjcar, Defoe, Crouch (Kanu 90).
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Nugent, Mvuemba, Wilson.
Booked: Diop, Johnson.
Goals: Crouch 58.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).