Ratings: Abject performances throughout as Town slump to Pompey defeat

We take a look at the performances as Town fell to a 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth. The result sees Paul Lambert’s men drop to third in the table at Fratton Park.

Will Norris – 7

Recalled to the starting lineup, Norris was on hand to keep Portsmouth at bay in the first half. The dangerous Williams cut inside and saw his effort deflect of Cole Skuse but Norris reacted well to push the ball wide. Moments later he was on hand to deny McCorie when the ball luckily rebounded to him on the edge of the box but the on loan Wolves man was there to deny him the opener. Norris was busy after the interval with two great punches from dangerous crosses hung up towards the back post. He was beaten shortly after though, although getting a hand on Curtis’ opener, Norris could only divert the shot in via the crossbar.

Luke Chambers – 5

The skipper returned to the side, initially as the right hand side of a back three. He was welcomed back by former Blue Ellis Harrison when the striker went in late on Chambers and received a yellow card within seconds of the kick off. Moved into a more familiar central position after the withdrawal of Nsiala. Booked for a barge just before the hour mark, Chambers was then sent off after wrestling Ellis Harrison to the ground. Clearly something between the pair but Harrison had the last laugh, Chambers will now miss the Boxing Day clash with Gillingham.

Toto Nsiala – 4

A surprise starter ahead of James Wilson, Nsiala played in the centre of the three man defence. Booked within the first ten minutes after grappling Harrison to the ground. Survived two other moments where the referee could have easily produced a second yellow. In terms of actual defensive display, Nsiala was performing ‘okay’ but was a red card waiting to happen and withdrawn before the break.

Luke Woolfenden – 6

Started the game left off the back three and looked uncomfortable. As usual, Woolfenden showed for the ball from Norris on numerous occasions and his link up with Luke Garbutt looked the best outlet in the opening half. Moved into the more familiar role of centre half in a 4-4-2 after the break. Got crunched midway through the second half but battled through and was Town’s standout performer for me.

Luke Garbutt – 6

Difficult first half for Garbutt in a stick or twist role with the advancing Williams operating on the right wing for Pompey. Had a sight of goal from a free-kick but his effort, and the resultant rebound were both blocked by a defender. Saved Town from going behind minutes into the second half with a header of the line.

Gwion Edwards – 5

Similarly to Garbutt, often caught in between attacking and defending. Picked up his sixth booking after a late challenge on Curtis in the first half. Moved to right midfield after the break and was replaced by Jackson just after the hour mark.

Cole Skuse – 5

Returned to his more natural role of central midfield for the first half an hour, struggled with Downes and Nolan to really get hold of the game. Moved back to the right hand side of the three man defence after the Nsiala substitution. Operating at right-back after the break up against Portsmouth’s inform man Curtis. That battle proved to be pivotal, with the wideman being allowed to come inside and fire what proved to be the winner. Skuse was then shortly replaced with natural right-back Janoi Donacien.

Flynn Downes -5

A quite afternoon for Downes who alongside Nolan tried to get a hold of the game for Town. Although quiet, Downes still popped up all over the pitch but was a game he struggled to make an impact on.

Jon Nolan – 5

After a quiet opening half an hour, Nolan then started to get on the ball and dictating the play for Town. Played a lovely lobbed pass to James Norwood after the break. As the game went on his frustrations grew which resulted in a yellow card.

Will Keane – 5

Quiet afternoon for the striker, showed some neat and tidy touches when dropping deep. Had a glorious chance late in the day to rescue a point for Town. Norwood put a delicious ball across the face of the goal, any touch by Keane would have been a goal but he couldn’t connect. Sums up his performance for me.

James Norwood – 5

Partnered with Keane for the first time, Norwood had a fairly quiet opening half. After the break he should have equalised for Town, the ball fell to in inside the six yard box and he somehow put the chance well wide of the goal. At the time Town were well in the ascendancy and who knows what platform that goal could have been!

Alan Judge – 5

Introduced as a first half sub, Judge initially played as a number ten. After the break, Judge operated on the left hand side of midfield and was heavily involved in the spell of dominance Town had midway through the half. Often looked to get the ball in the box and create an attacking moment, finished the game playing left back!

Kayden Jackson – 5

Operating in a wide role, Jackson tried to stretch the game and give the Pompey defence something different to think about. Had one moment towards the death but his cross was gathered by the keeper at the second time of asking.

Janoi Donacien – 5

Came on for Cole Skuse who was getting ran ragged by Ronan Curtis. Did all what was asked for him as Town were chasing the equaliser.

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