An own goal by Johnny Ertl secured all three points for Oldham on a controversial afternoon at Fratton Park.
The centre-back, who was making his debut, turned in Lee Croft’s cross into his own net.
But the referee, Carl Berry, played a key role in the game in a terrible display of officiating. Both Jordan Obita and Cliff Byrne both saw red for violent conduct – in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
In all honesty, you would of done well to find a Pompey fan who thought their side deserved a result after their poorest performance of the season so far.
Ertl and Darel Russell made their debuts a day after penning one-month deals with the Blues.
There was also a first start for on-loan Obita – playing alongside McLeod as the second striker.
Meaning Adam Webster & Luke Rodgers were dropped to the bench, whilst Kevin Long was suspended.
Pompey started the game the better and Obita should of put the hosts in front. Liam Walker sent the on-loan Reading striker clean through on goal but he could only strike the ball straight at keeper Alex Cisak.
Oldham grew into the game, after Pompey’s early promise, on what was not a pretty game due to poor passing and interruptions from the referee.
They should of taken the lead just before half-time, Lee Croft’s corner caused chaos in the box and Mikkel Andersen saved a shot before a second was blocked on the line before the ball was eventually cleared to safety.
HT: Pompey 0 – 0 Oldham
Things got worse after the break. Oldham broke away after Howard’s free-kick was saved, two Oldham players break through the Pompey defence, though Pompey were given a major let off when the ball was passed forward to Robbie Simpson who was offside.
After wasting several chances infront of the Fratton End, Pompey than gifted a goal to Oldham when Ertl slid Croft’s cross from the left past a helpless Andersen and into the back of the net.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it got even worse soon after as referee Berry appeared to make two huge blunders.
Jordan Obita was elbowed by Chris Brown, yet it was the Pompey striker who was bizarrely shown a straight red card.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Referee Berry Berry then dismissed Cliff Byrne after consultation with the fourth official. It was difficult to see whether the right man was eventually sent off or not but it was ten on ten for the rest of the match.
Ashley Harris and Rodgers were sent on late to try and rescue something for Pompey but they could not find an equalizer as Pompey fell to their first home defeat of the season.
FT: Pompey 0 – 1 Oldham
Even though the performance of the referee was awful, Pompey were slow and struggled to deal with the physical side of Oldham’s game.
Oldham will not be the only side to come to Fratton Park and “park the bus” so Michael Appleton needs to get the team to adapt to that quickly if they are to avoid any more poor results like that.
The team should cope easier when Kevin Long returns to the side and Josh Thompson is introduced to League One, particularly to help with dealing with long balls and set pieces.