Portsmouth relegated from Championship after 2-1 loss against Derby

 

Portsmouth will compete in the third tier of English football for the first time in 30 years after their spell in the npower Championship came to a disappointing end against Derby.

Luke Varney cancelled out Jake Buxton's first-half opener but Steve Davies converted the winning penalty to deprive Michael Appleton's side of even the smallest consolation at the end of a torrid campaign.

With Bristol City winning at home to Barnsley, Portsmouth's fate was sealed anyway, but their disappointment will have been compounded by their failure to finish their home campaign on a high.

The game started scrappily, with both sides struggling to retain possession and create any sort of momentum. It was the visitors who were first to threaten, Jamie Ward finding room to fire off a shot from inside the box but Jason Pearce was on hand to block it behind for a corner which Ward wasted.

The Rams pressed again and Theo Robinson's strike produced a routine save from Jamie Ashdown.

Pompey's first chance to apply some pressure came to nothing when Greg Halford fouled Frank Fielding as Scott Allan whipped in a corner.

Allan then had a go himself with an ambitious 30-yard strike which was diverted off course by Jeff Hendrick.

Frank Fielding was finally called into meaningful action on the half-hour mark, scrambling across goal to tip Joel Ward's effort wide.

Derby were soon back on the front foot and when Ward swung in a delivery from the right, Buxton was unmarked to head home from close range.

Dave Kitson's frustration was evident and he was booked for kicking out at the lively Ward on the stroke of half-time. Fellow striker Varney mounted a more constructive response to the setback with a 20-yard shot which Fielding did well to hold onto.

Manager Nigel Clough was forced into a change at the break as the injured Fielding was replaced by Adam Legzdins, whose last appearance for Derby came back in September in the 3-0 win over Millwall.

Legzdins first task was to keep out Varney's shot from outside the area and he was equal to the challenge. The two had a more bruising encounter moments later as Varney caught the goalkeeper in an attempt to get to a loose ball, leaving the former Birmingham trainee requiring a bandage on his head.

With news of the Robins' progress at Ashton Gate filtering through, the home fans tried manfully to rally their side but Ashley Harris' long-range drive never looked likely to threaten as it drifted wide.

Harris limped off soon after with Marko Futacs, scorer of the winning goal in the dramatic 4-3 victory over Doncaster, coming on to replace him.

Allan then fizzed a shot against the crossbar following a powerful run before Portsmouth finally got their reward with 16 minutes to play.

Futacs slipped in Varney and he coolly slotted past the substitute goalkeeper as their personal duel continued.

The hosts' joy was short-lived as four minute later Ward was brought down by Pearce in the box and despite Davies' spot-kick striking Ashdown's legs it still found its way in.

Derby held on to win their final away fixture of a league campaign for the first time in 10 years, but the overwhelming emotion at Fratton Park was one of dejection as Portsmouth contemplated life in League One next season less than four years after winning the FA Cup at Wembley.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence