Football: Portsmouth in a mess

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The Independent Online
PORTSMOUTH'S SLIDE towards the bottom continued when they lost 2-1 at home to Norwich City, despite taking a first-half lead when the Australian John Aloisi side-footed home his 16th goal of the season.

Fitzroy Simpson, the Jamaican World Cup player, did well to cross the ball from the by-line, allowing Aloisi to nip in at the near post and stroke the ball past a helpless Andy Marshall in the Norwich goal.

Although Norwich came straight back at Pompey, they were kept out until seven minutes after the interval when they equalised in emphatic style. Daryl Sutch played the ball forward to Darren Eadie and the England Under- 21 international cut inside before threading a pass forward for Roberts to beat the diving Alan Knight inside his right-hand post from 15 yards.

Nothing so elegant gave Norwich the points 17 minutes from time. Darren Eadie took advantage of a defensive mix-up in Portsmouth's six-yard area to bundle home the winner.

Tranmere Rovers lost for the first time in eight games when they were beaten at home by a 44th-minute penalty, put away by Peter Beagrie. Tranmere's goalkeeper, John Achterberg, conceded the spot-kick by bringing down Darren Moore, and Beagrie swept his shot into the top left-hand corner to give Bradford a victory they barely deserved.

Kenny Irons inspired Tranmere in midfield, but the luck ran against them. Gary Walsh made a couple of excellent saves, and the substitute David Kelly saw a header come back off the bar in the 75th minute.

Hull City, with Warren Joyce in charge after the departure of Mark Hateley, continue to struggle at the bottom of the Third Division. They contrived to lose 2-0 at home to a Brighton side who played more than half an hour of the match with only nine men.