Fan takes over as assistant referee at Portsmouth as Cheltenham force stalemate


A fan had to come out of the crowd to take over as assistant referee as Portsmouth were held to a goalless draw by Cheltenham.

The Robins produced a stubborn defensive display at Fratton Park to pick up their first point of the season.

But it was the officials who stole the limelight when not one but two assistant referees limped off through injury.

Fourth official Stephen Brown took over in the first half, but he then had to be replaced early in the second as an appeal was issued for a qualified referee to volunteer, leading to 21 minutes of stoppage time.

Cheltenham arrived without a win or a goal to their name and it showed, with no shots on targets in the opening half.

Pompey struggled to break down a five-man defence and their two chances of note were in the seventh minute, when a Connor Ogilvie shot flew wide, and an 11th-minute effort from Joe Rafferty, whose shot from outside the box was saved by Luke Southwood.

Pompey came out fighting in the second half and Regan Poole thought he had scored with a header, but the ball hit a post and flew straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Not even the lengthy period of stoppage time could produce a goal.

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