Ben Davies: Concussion couldn’t stop me helping Pompey

Ben Davies in action for Pompey against Plymouth Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Davies in action for Pompey against Plymouth Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, right. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Pompey boss sees cause for attacking optimism

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It was Peter Hartley who floored Pompey in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.

Yet Ben Davies has revealed he suffered a knock-out blow long before that agonising stoppage-time winner.

I got a bang on the head and a bang to my neck and wasn’t really too sure what was going on

Ben Davies

Paul Cook’s side were ravaged by injury concerns during their League Two play-off elimination at Home Park.

Among the walking wounded was Davies, who claims he opted to play on with concussion in a bid to help his side’s play-off aspirations.

The Pompey crowd favourite hid his complaint from the bench to ensure he was allowed to remain on the pitch during Sunday’s second leg.

It’s a selfless willingness to give all for the cause which epitomises the right-back’s battling attitude on the football pitch.

Ultimately, Davies was brought to his knees along with his team-mates following Hartley’s late intervention.

And the pain still stings.

‘I picked up a couple of little knocks with 20-30 minutes to go,’ he said.

‘I got a bang on the head and a bang to my neck and wasn’t really too sure what was going on.

‘It was a case of just digging in there. I thought we had rode the storm a little bit to get to extra-time and regroup, but it wasn’t meant to be.

‘I remember going up for a header from a throw-in and I think I headbutted the lad in front, I cannot really remember a great deal about it.

‘Obviously, the rules are really strict so I tried to keep it quiet while the game was on.

‘You don’t want to say anything because they’ll bring you straight off! The bench had absolutely no idea.

‘I was okay to carry on, though, and it was alright, but then a silly goal goes in at the end and you are absolutely gutted.

‘We had problems with injuries during that second leg.

‘Gary Evans and Danny Hollands both collected serious injuries and it was a blow to lose them – they have probably been two of our best players in the last couple of months.

‘By the end Michael Doyle had a bang on his foot and was limping around, I had a knock and we’d already had the problem with the keeper situation.

‘Then in stoppage-time Plymouth scored. I actually thought the corner was going out at the back post, it looked like Graham Carey had overhit it a little bit.

‘But, obviously, Hartley came round the back to net.’

Pompey’s players have now broken up for the season, while Davies still has negotiations to complete over a new deal.

And he admitted Sunday’s agony remains among them all.

He added: ‘It’s disappointing for it to end like that after the amount of effort we put in, I am still struggling to come to terms with it all.

‘I’ve lost big games, I’ve lost play-offs, I’ve lost FA Cup semi-finals, but can never remember being so disappointed and flat after a game.

‘It literally felt like someone had died.

‘You could see how badly everyone wanted it and it would have been lovely to have finished the season off with the promotion.

‘But, sadly, it wasn’t to be.’