The break came with Portsmouth and Newcastle still in a stalemate but with the home side having done more of the attacking and having the better chances, although a great left-foot swerving shot from Martins from 30 yards out, hit James’ left hand post after 20 minutes.
The Newcastle side were playing quite well but there was too much containment being done by Butt and Guthrie in midfield, and when they got the ball there was very little penetration from the Magpies, as they continually passed the ball backwards or sideways.
We are lacking a good creative central midfielder to set up the attacks – maybe one will come in during January.
Newcastle did have their moments with Beye heading over a free kick when he may have done better with the opportunity. Then on 38 minutes Jose Enrique, blazed through on the left and hit a great shot that James did well to turn around the post.
But in general there were problems coming down the Portsmouth left wing with Kranjcar and Belhadj giving Newcastle all they could handle. Kinnear will have to fix this problem at half-time since they are looking far too dangerous with Kranjcar very prominent.
An attack down their left wing produced a great chance for Kranjcar after 30 minutes, who brought a brilliant reaction save from Given to his left, as he somehow scooped the ball away for a corner.
That could prove a great save from the Irish goalkeeper, but Newcastle will need to be more adventurous in the second half if they are to get the 3 points we badly need.
They need to go for it.
Portsmouth: James, Pamarot, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Mvuemba, Davis, Hughes, Kranjcar, Crouch, Defoe.
Substitutes: Ashdown, Lauren, Hreidarsson, Nugent, Kanu, Armand Traore, Wilson.
Newcastle United: Given, Beye, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Butt, Guthrie, N’Zogbia, Martins, Owen.
Substitutes: Harper, Cacapa, Duff, Geremi, Ameobi, Taylor, Viduka.