BIRMINGHAM // Aston Villa could be in hot water after a referee's assistant appeared to be struck by a missile in the closing seconds of their match against Portsmouth at Villa Park. The official, Phil Sharp, sank to his knees and needed treatment before resuming with a plaster on his forehead. The Pompey manager Harry Redknapp gesticulated to the crowd behind the dug-out and stewards moved in to police that section, although it was unsure if anyone was arrested.
Before that the Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe was guilty of a glaring first-half miss as the game fizzled out into a tame draw. Defoe has netted six times this season for Pompey but his predatory instincts deserted him as he shot over from four yards. The Portsmouth midfielder Sean Davis was sent off for two bookable offences with 10 minutes remaining but his side held out for a draw. Their man of the match was the defender Sol Campbell, who rolled back the years with a vintage display.
The England No 1 David James did not have to make a save until the 75th minute such was the protection he received from Campbell. * PA Sport