English Premiership

Portsmouth brush aside Wolves

2010-05-01 19:11
Avram Grant (AFP)
England - Portsmouth gave their fans a winning Premier League send-off at Fratton Park as Avram Grant's relegated side beat Wolves 3-1 on Saturday.

Grant's team will begin next season in the Championship after a woeful campaign, which saw the club deducted nine points for going into administration, brought relegation from the top-flight.

This was the final time Pompey supporters will see their side playing a Premier League match on home turf for at least a season and goals from Aruna Dindane, John Utaka and Michael Brown gave them a happy finale.

Portsmouth, who finish their league fixtures at Everton next weekend, still have the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15 to look forward to and this resounding win showed there is still plenty of spirit at the south-coast club.

It was Wolves, already safe from relegation, who looked more dangerous early on and David James had to turn a fine 25-yard strike away from Wolves midfielder David Jones.

Mick McCarthy's team went close again when, after a fumble by James had given away a corner, Kevin Doyle flicked the ball towards the far post, where Jody Craddock was only inches away from connecting.

But Portsmouth took the lead on 21 minutes as Brown floated over a deep free-kick and Dindane was left unmarked to plant a header past Marcus Hahnemann.

Frederic Piquionne was close to making it two as Hahnemann palmed away the striker's low effort.

James had to be alert to block a snap-shot from Wolves forward Geoffrey Mujangi Bia, making his first start on loan from RSC Charleroi.

And Wolves drew level in the 35th minute. Jones caused problems with a free-kick that Ronald Zubar headed goalwards from point-blank range.

James kept out the header before also denying Doyle's follow-up. However, with the Pompey defenders slow to react, Doyle was able to bundle the ball past James for his eighth goal of the season.

Pompey were back in front within five minutes as Nigerian striker Utaka spun in from the right to fire past Hahnemann from 20 yards.

James touched Doyle's scissor-kick over the bar early in the second half before Wolves substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake somehow rolled the ball wide from 12 yards after Doyle's shot had come back off the post.

Brown ensured Portsmouth would claim their seventh league win of the season with a fine finish in the 67th minute.

Piquionne broke down the right, and his cross was nodded down to Brown by Tommy Smith and the midfielder send a low strike into the far corner.

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