Dyer snuffs out Pompey dreams of an early return to Wembley

Portsmouth 1 Leicester City 2
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The Independent Football

If Portsmouth were hoping that a cup run would be a welcome distraction to their dire league form, reality arrived last night to dispel such ambitions. Last season their poor league showings were relived by an appearance in the FA Cup final. Any lingering dreams the fans may have had of a Wembley visit early next year were dented after just three minutes when Michael Morrison's shot sailed past goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown.

Kanu came close to leveling the score when his first-time shot from 12 yards went wide. But two minutes before half-time Lloyd Dyer, who set upLeicester's first, put them two up after collecting Andy King's pass and beating Ashdown with an angled shot into the bottom corner.

Steve Howard had two opportunities to extend Leicester's lead but failed to hit the target on both occasions. Neither did Kanu nor David Nugent make the most of their opportunities to halve Pompey's deficit before the break. Kanu headed wide while Nugent forced Conrad Logan into a parrying save.

In what was turning into a rough encounter you could almost understand midfielder Richard Hughes frustration at Pompey's performance, not that referee Fred Graham agreed with his strong and abusive language and dismissed him after 66 minutes.

Portsmouth's numerical disadvantage did not deter them, and with eight minutes remaining, they were given a lifeline. Logan saved Joel Ward's effort and Liam Lawrence drilled a low shot into the net on the follow up. However, Steve Cotterill's charges could not find an equaliser.