David Nugent is still looking for his first Premier League goal but the Carling Cup is making the wait a little easier. Having found the net against Leeds in the first round, the former Preston striker, who might be an option for England's forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers, earned an understrength Portsmouth's passage into round three.
His goal after 69 minutes disappointed the Championship side, who felt he had used an arm to bring the ball under control before shooting crisply past the goalkeeper, Gabor Kiraly. But the referee, Mark Clattenburg, was happy with its legitimacy and the Pompey manager Harry Redknapp hoped it would give his £6m summer signing a confidence boost.
It made up for a red-faced moment in the opening half, when his attempt to dribble around Burnley's Hungarian goalkeeper after Pedro Mendes had put him clear went horribly wrong, with Kiraly snatching the ball off his feet.
"I think he had too much time with that one," Redknapp said, a little generously. "But he took the second one well and hopefully that will give him a lift. He needed a goal."
Redknapp had made 10 changes, which reflected a schedule that allowed Portsmouth only two days to recover after winning at Blackburn in the League on Sunday. Only Sylvain Distin was required to turn out again, which may have led the Frenchman to wonder what he had done wrong.
It was a line-up that seemed to give Burnley a sporting chance after their bright start in the Championship. The Turf Moor crowd were particularly pleased to see Djimi Traoré return to the scene of the comical own goal he scored on an embarrassing night for Rafa Benitez and Liverpool here in January 2005, in the FA Cup.
Nugent could have scored on two other occasions, denied by Steve Jordan's tackle in the first half and heading across goal from an inviting Traoré cross in the second, but Portsmouth's goal came under pressure too, with Distin and company kept busy by Ade Akinbiyi and Kyle Lafferty, the veteran David Unsworth stretching the opposition with some telling passes from a deep midfield role.
Matthew Taylor drew a good save from Kiraly in the first half and the substitute John Utaka was close to putting Portsmouth ahead with his first meaningful touch in the second, only Steven Caldwell's block denying him.
But it was Nugent who had the last word, rediscovering his finishing skills to slot a diagonal shot beyond Kiraly's reach.
Burnley (4-1-4-1): Kiraly; Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Jordan; Unsworth (Blake, 77); Spicer, O'Connor (Alexander, 77), Mahon, Lafferty (Jones, 83); Akinbiyi. Substitutes not used: Gudjonsson, Jensen (gk).
Portsmouth (4-4-2): Ashdown; Lauren, Pamarot, Distin, Traoré; Mvuemba (Diop, 90), Mendes, Hughes, Taylor; Benjani (Utaka, h-t), Nugent. Substitutes not used: James (gk), Cranie, Krancjar.
Referee: M Clattenburg (Tyne and Wear).Reuse content