Portsmouth 2 West Ham Utd 0: Harry casts Hammers further into the Cole furnace

Portsmouth manager rubs salt into the wounds of his old side while his own club carry on their unlikely stay near the top of the table

According to their manager, Harry Redknapp, Portsmouth have been a sleeping giant for more than 50 years "and they'd still be sleeping now if I hadn't come back". He is entitled to a little immodesty, given the way he kept the club in the Premiership and is now taking them to another level after a summer of shopping for players he had in many cases been warned against taking on.

Glen Johnson, who seemed to have lost his way at Chelsea, was outstanding yesterday; Sol Campbell was immaculate alongside him and on the rare occasions West Ham threatened to end their dreadful run without a goal, the much maligned David James kept them out.

Above all, Redknapp believes that if they are good enough, they are young enough. So the footballing artist who now insists on being known as Andrew Cole will celebrate his 35th birthday in fine fettle today after scoring a first goal for his latest club to push them back into the Premiership's top three and consign West Ham to another weekend of misery and introspection. Cole's vintage finish in the 82nd minute ended any prospect of the London side taking an undeserved draw to revive their unusually - if understandably - subdued followers. It is now two points from the last 21, not a single goal in six successive defeats and no victory since the opening day of the season.

For most of the afternoon it was as if signing two Argentinians had never even been dreamed of. Carlos Tevez, a gifted little forward in search of a role, was injured playing for his country against Spain in midweek and will not be available until next weekend. His countryman Javier Mascherano came unscathed through the international but was left on the substitutes' bench until the 87th minute, when the game was lost.

Alan Pardew reverted to last season's look without managing to rediscover the vitality and vim that earned ninth place in the Premiership and an FA Cup final appearance. "The players are not too down, but we need a little break," he said after the match. "You need to close ranks and not panic."

Redknapp sportingly added his encouragement to a fellow manager under pressure at his old club, however bitter he feels about the ruthless manner of his sacking at Upton Park four years ago. There was no love lost, however, on the pitch or in the stands, with police moving into the open end to eject a visiting supporter or two, and Graham Poll flourishing eight yellow cards. Four of them were shown in the first 25 minutes, by which time tensions had been heightened by a Portsmouth goal. Manuel Fernandes, marking his Premiership debut with some deft touches in midfield, fed Johnson for a cross that found Nwankwo Kanu easily losing his marker, Anton Ferdinand, for a header of no great power but sufficient accuracy to carry past Roy Carroll. The goalkeeper protested in vain that an arm was involved.

It was the second incident involving Carroll on which Poll was forced to adjudicate, the first having been more unusual. Early on, he miskicked horribly when taking a goal-kick, sending the ball only a couple of yards, and in something of a panic, played it a second time as a hopeful Portsmouth attacker homed in. Poll correctly ruled that the kick, having not cleared the penalty area, should be retaken.

There was a more serious escape for the visitors when Fernandes set up Pedro Mendes for one of his thunderous 25-yard efforts. This one took a deflection off Hayden Mullins, earning no more than an unproductive corner. Then Kanu twice miscued badly when well placed, the first time after a poor clearance by Ferdinand's partner, Danny Gabbidon.

Paul Konchesky's fierce low drive 10 minutes into the second half required a fine low save by James just inside a post. It was the visitors' first real threat, and Portsmouth, much livelier, deserved to have doubled their lead after 65 minutes. Carroll turned Matthew Taylor's wickedly curling free-kick for a corner, from which he had to save Dejan Stefanovic's shot after a header by Campbell was cleared off the line.

Four new strikers replaced the original quartet and in keeping with what had gone before, Portsmouth's made by far the greater impression. Lomana LuaLua went close in a swift break and eight minutes from the end came the decisive moment. Cole, who had replaced Benjani Mwaruwari, played a clever one-two with Taylor, held off Jonathan Spector's tackle as the crowd appealed for a penalty and swivelled superbly to shoot past Carroll. Only the goalkeeper's feet prevented LuaLua adding a third, which would have been a little flattering to the home side, however well the majority of their players had served them.

A series of difficult away games, beginning at Chelsea on Saturday, means Portsmouth may need to keep winning at their rickety old fortress. West Ham would just settle for a goal.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
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

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?