Cahill's late arrival leaves Pompey low

Portsmouth 2 Bolton Wanderers 3: Bolton end miserable sequence but Al-Fahim's takeover has done little to improve Portsmouth's fortunes

Sulaiman Al-Fahim's takeover of Portsmouth went through a couple of weeks ago, having taken the entire summer to complete. After five games, and five defeats for his team, the Dubai-born businessman must be thinking how quickly he can get his money back. Currently in New York, maybe he is already scanning the Championship and hoping Newcastle United stay there just for the chance of a couple of money- spinning fixtures in the second tier. After all, Portsmouth against Scunthorpe does not have such a pleasing ring to it. Nor does relegation.

This is Portsmouth's worst start in the top division in their history. Bolton arrived at Fratton Park in a similarly parlous situation, having lost four out of four and thus represented Pompey's best chance of breaking their duck. The same applied to Bolton and it was the Trotters – and in particular Gary Cahill in the 89th minute – who broke Pompey's hearts of gaining a first point of the season. It was the fifth time this season that Bolton have taken the lead and the first time they have held on to it.

The way the central defender scored the winning goal was faintly ludicrous, even if Paul Hart, the Portsmouth manager, questioned whether Matt Taylor was offside in the build-up. From Jlloyd Samuel's long throw, there were four headers, all by Bolton and the last two from Cahill, finally beating David James off his fingertip and dribbling inside the post. Hart said: "It's not been easy but I wouldn't like to sit here crying. In every performance we've been showing we could turn it around. We are competitive although we caused our own downfall. We spurned chances. We have to turn it around soon."

The hosts, despite having greater possession, were chasing the game from the 13th minute. Bolton had already warned Portsmouth, when Tamir Cohen headed straight at David James. Soon after, Gretar Steinsson, the Iceland midfielder, deftly guided a high ball to Cohen on the left side of the penalty area. The Israeli midfielder thrashed his shot high past the England goalkeeper.

Before the transfer window shut at the start of this month, Hart was able to bring in a few players including Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jamie O'Hara, both signed from Tottenham, the latter on loan. Tal Ben Haim also made his debut although none of them will remember the occasion with much fondness.

Bolton's weakness in the air is not something you would predict given the presence of Zat Knight, at 6ft 6in, and Cahill, who is not much shorter but Portsmouth were hurriedly crossing the ball into the area. Frédéric Piquionne should have scored after 21 minutes from Tommy Smith's cross.

A first equaliser came via the aerial route four minutes later. Younes Kaboul outjumped all around him to direct O'Hara's corner in at the far post. The pair almost teamed up for a second goal in near-identical fashion but Kaboul mistimed his effort.

Offer Bolton a point then and they would have taken it as the hosts were demonstrably superior but a moment of casual defending allowed Bolton into the lead again. Nadir Belhadj lost the ball to Fabrice Muamba, whose pass found Kevin Davies. Ben Haim, playing against one of his former teams, brought the striker down and Taylor – once of Portsmouth – converted the penalty with ease. Ex marked the spot.

Not that Portsmouth ever lost belief they could find an equaliser. Jussi Jaaskelainen could have conceded a penalty for a tackle on Smith but the Finn was beaten anyway after 63 minutes. O'Hara's shot came back off Knight to Boateng, who had hitherto been anonymous but then found himself the centre of attention, curling his shot low past Jaaskelainen. It was not to last, though, as first Kevin Davies should have scored before Cahill did.

Gary Megson, the Bolton manager, said: "It was imperative to get something here today. That was the worst we've played this season but scored three goals away from home. Time will tell if that was a relegation battle." It certainly looked like it.

Attendance: 17,564

Referee: Chris Foy

Man of the match: O'Hara

Match rating: 7/10

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little