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Fulham pile pressure on Pompey

Fulham beat Portsmouth 3-1 at Craven Cottage here Saturday as the visitors endured their eighth Premier League match without a win.

That Tony Adams’s men are not already in the bottom three is a testament to the sound start they made to the season under former manager Harry Redknapp and the poor form of the teams below them in the table.

However, too many more days like this and both Pompey’s stay in the top flight and Adams’s time at Fratton Park, which has seen him win just two Premier League games out of 15 since succeeding Redknapp in October, could be at an end.

Substitute Erik Nevland secured ninth-placed Fulham’s victory with two goals in nine minutes towards the end of the match after Andrew Johnson’s first-half opener.

David Nugent pulled one back for Portsmouth but it was all too late for the south coast club.

Once again it was poor defending which cost Pompey dear while luck deserted them at the other end with Younes Kaboul hitting the post and the visitors also having two penalty appeals rejected.

Their sixth defeat in seven games in all competitions began brightly for Pompey but they were undone in the 14th minute when United States international Clint Dempsey released Johnson, played onside by the slack Sylvain Distin, for the Cottagers’ opener.

More bad play from Distin, who failed to deal with a Simon Davies through-ball, left England goalkeeper David James having to move quickly off his line to prevent Johnson making it 2-0.

Portsmouth’s Sean Davies twice went close against his old club before Kaboul nearly brought Pompey back into the game.

But his close-range header five minutes before half-time to hit the crossbar with Australia keeper Mark Schwarzer beaten.

Pompey had two penalty appeals within minutes each of other early in the second-half. They looked to have a case when Nugent, a substitute for Kanu, appeared to be brought down in the box by John Pantsil.

The Ghana full-back then tangled with Pompey striker Peter Crouch.

Pompey’s positive play though failed to produce a goal and they were made to pay when Nevland shot low beyond James in the 71st minute.

The Norwegian then added a second before Nugent headed in Jermaine Pennant’s free-kick six minutes from time.

Sat 31 January, 2009
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