Portsmouth-West Ham United: Blistering Bellamy Pulverises Pompey

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2008

In today's match at Fratton park it was West Ham who found themselves staring up the table at their opponents, Portsmouth. Pompey, though hindered by recent form, still sat in tenth place and many of their supporters were making enough noise for it to suggest optimism for a good showing against their London-based opponents.

The game started well with both sides having a piece of possession and the sparring continued for much of the half, until Portsmouth's Belhadj put the home side one up with a well taken first-time strike from Crouch's lay off.

It was a short period of time in front for Tony Adam's side as West Ham fashioned an equaliser from a fairly unthreatening free kick opportunity, taken quickly down the left side of of Portsmouth's area.

The ball found its way to the midfielder Collison who smashed his shot past the unsighted David James. 1-1.

Portsmouth were then benefactors of some rather whistle-happy refereeing when Lucas Neill was blown up for holding Crouch when a very tame cross was calmly cleared by Davenport in the heart of the West Ham defence.

In a moment that would be a turning point, Defoe stepped up and slotted it a foot outside the left-hand upright.

So at the break it was level and both sides were in the game; how different it would be at the end of the ninety.

Portsmouth came out in the second and were, in truth, unlucky in a period of pressure that lasted almost twenty minutes to not score two or three goals. Robert Green was positioning himself well but Portsmouth's finishing was poor.

After surviving on scraps for the whole match, Bellamy suddenly got hold of the ball down the left and went past a couple of defenders to the byline, cutting the ball back to Collison whose well-struck effort came back off the post, leaving Carlton Cole with the simplest of tap-ins for the visitors to take an unlikely lead.

It was almost unbelievable considering the domination Portsmouth had been enjoying up until this moment.

It was to get worse for the home side.

A well-taken cornerkick lead to Wilson to hit the upright with a header, and the ball was lost on the edge of the box by Kranjcar, who had been below his best throughout. The counterattack was sprung through Bellamy, who benefited from Belhadj's ill timed lunge, outsprinting the cover to go one-on-one with James.

The England number one made an outstanding attempt and even a partial clearance, but unfortunately for him there was no one else around except Bellamy, who calmly rolled the ball into position and smashed it into the goal from 14 yards.

Portsmouth were going through the motions now, absolutely shell-shocked by the ferocity and viciousness of Bellamy's play.

In truth they had given West Ham very little, but Bellamy had taken a lot.

The diminutive Welshman was to get the last word as well, putting sub Boa Morte through to the byline and making the angled run to receive the cut back which he lashed into the bottom right corner.

The final score read 4-1 to West Ham.

Portsmouth received a lesson in taking chances as the Londoners had half as many, but scored four times as many goals.

Bellamy was an absolute livewire, like a thoroughbred kept in the stall too long, he tore the home side to pieces in the last half hour.

It will be interesting to see who comes calling for him during the transfer window.

It looks like he would go alright at Liverpool, strangely, although maybe someone else will shell out for him; he looks to be worth every penny.