Portsmouth 0 Millwall 1: Classy Kane the Lions hero but outlook bleak for Pompey
22:41 GMT, 10 April 2012
Michael Appleton admitted Portsmouth are going to need a clean sweep after a loss to Millwall made avoiding relegation almost impossible.
Harry Kane’s sharp turn and shot into the bottom left corner in the 37th minute from the edge of the box decided the game and left Pompey nine points from safety with only 12 available.
On target: Kane wins it
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Rocha (Futacs 45), Halford, Pearce, Rekik, Allan, Etuhu, Norris, Ward, Maguire, Varney. Subs not used: Harris, Scapuzzi, Mwaruwari, Magri.
Millwall: Taylor, Smith, Robinson, Lowry, Craig, Henry, Wright, Abdou, Barron, Kane, Keogh. Subs not used: Forde, Dunne, Batt, Feeney, Mason.
Scorer: Kane 37.
Referee: Mark Halsey.
Appleton said: ‘I’m realistic and know
we’re going to have to win four games and, unless we do, we’re going to
have to look at playing in another division. There needs to be fresh
impetus into the football club.
‘There will be good times ahead but it’s not going to be easy.’
Kane warmed up for his goal on 18 minutes, turning on the right
side of the box before shooting straight at Pompey keeper Jamie Ashdown.
But he made no
mistake with the goal — his seventh since Kenny Jackett brought him to
the club on loan from Tottenham in January, in a shrewd deal that may
just keep Millwall up.
Portsmouth pressed for a goal before and after going behind.
In the fifth minute Millwall’s Maik
Taylor made sharp stops from Chris Maguire’s shot just inside the box
and Luke Varney’s close-range rebound.
Mixed emotions: Kenny Jackett (left) and Michael Appleton
Maguire headed on to the bar with four minutes left and Taylor pulled off another smart save to deny Kelvin Etuhu late on.
And Pompey now need a miracle to avoid playing League One football next season.
Millwall assistant boss Joe Gallen was full of praise for on-loan goalscorer Kane, after a tireless performance from the 18-year-old and his strike partner Andy Keogh.
'I don't want to talk him up too much because he's decent,' said Gallen.
'He's a very good finisher, very good all-round game and we're thankful to Tottenham for letting us have him.
'I think he's going to score lots of goals in his future. He loves football, he loves training – he gets annoyed when we pull him away from finishing training because we're worried he's going to get a thigh strain.'
Asked about a permanent move for Kane Gallen added: 'He's got the lot. We've got to try and make sure we get some points and then we can concentrate on next season. It would be great if we could.
'We're very close to staying up, but not yet there.'