Awford after another Daggers demolition

Pompey beat Dagenham 4-1 in April 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey beat Dagenham 4-1 in April 2014. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey defender: My responsibility for error

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IT WAS the stand-out result of Pompey’s surging run to Football League survival.

Now Andy Awford is after another Dagenham & Redbridge demolition on his return to Victoria Road.

And he is calling on the travelling Blues faithful to deliver a repeat of their Daggers takeover last April.

Memories of the 4-1 win will be to the fore again tonight as Pompey go looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since August in east London.

The away fans made up nearly half of the 3,115 crowd that day, and were at their vociferous best on two sides of the ground.

Awford is looking forward to a repeat as his team go into the game with confidence growing after picking up four points from six, and two clean sheets on the bounce.

He said: ‘It was a stand-out moment for me last season.

‘It was proper Pompey that day.

‘Last year we had the whole of one end behind the goal and a load down the side.

‘We almost had more fans in the ground than they did! That’s pretty amazing.

‘It was a special moment for me walking back to them after the game.

‘I just hope it’s the same tonight.’

The geography of Victoria Road places the bulk of away supporters around the tunnel behind one of the goals.

That meant the home players had to run the gauntlet through raucous away fans last season.

Pompey’s players were lifted by their followers and their backing before and during the match, before receiving their acclaim as they left the pitch.

Awford has no doubt his team will benefit from a repeat of that scenario.

He said: ‘I felt a bit sorry for their players that day. They had to go back through it. It can’t be nice!

‘It will be interesting to see what the atmosphere will be like – well, I know what it’s going to be like.

‘I remember going to Newcastle and they used to put the away fans behind the goal.

‘Now you go there and you can’t even see them – they are up in the gods somewhere. It’s obviously tactical.

‘I remember being at Oxford with Jim Smith and the away fans used to be behind the tunnel.

‘He used to say that gave them an advantage, so he wanted it changed.

‘It can have a psychological effect sometimes. It gave us a lift last year, that’s for sure. Our fans aren’t quiet are they!’

Despite serving up a strong display at Dagenham last season, Awford remembers his team had a slice of luck that day.

He feels the same is starting to happen again, and that fortune is warranted by recent displays.

Awford said: ‘Last year was great and the performance the players put in was fantastic.

‘In a strange way we could have gone in level at half time 2-2, despite dominating.

‘They had a great chance just before the break from a couple of yards.

‘They are the little bits you need to go your way.

‘We haven’t quite had that luck at times. Maybe we are getting a bit now with Wycombe hitting the bar.

‘That’s changing a bit. Maybe we’ve earned that with our performances.’