Blues boss happy with hard graft

Jed Wallace in action against Yeovil. 'Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace in action against Yeovil. 'Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Pompey did the ugly side, put in the horrible work and employed hard graft.

And Andy Awford is convinced that earned them the right to triumph at Yeovil.

The Blues sprang a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy shock by winning 3-1 at the League One side last night.

An inspired second-half display clinched the result, with Jed Wallace grabbing two and Craig Westcarr the other.

It followed a drab first-half during which the sides were evenly matched despite their divisional differences.

And Awford was full of praise for the effort and endeavours from his side which provided the springboard for Huish Park success.

He said: ‘We took our chances but I also think we earned that right to win the game – we were the better team definitely.

‘You have to be prepared to do the horrible side of games when the going gets tough out there.

‘There isn’t too much free-flowing football in League One and League Two.

‘In the early part of games you have to be prepared to do the ugly side of it and we did that in bundles last night.

‘We did that at Oxford and didn’t do it enough against Newport and that was the disappointment.

‘That’s not just the midfield players, that’s the forwards running, the wide players chasing back, stopping crosses.

‘The whole team were superb at that ugly side of the game that maybe some players don’t want to do – but they have to.

‘Then your quality comes through, your flair players.

‘Once you do your hard graft you push them back and Wallace scores two fantastic goals and Westcarr scores a terrific goal as well.

‘But we earned that right I believe.’

Pompey made six changes for last night’s game, albeit widely anticipated.

His altered line-up featured Johnny Ertl, who gave a man-of-the-match performance in defence, while Alex Wynter made his second appearance.

There was also a debut for Ben Close, the former Priory School pupil, appearing as a substitute.

And Awford felt the fans were treated to a full-blooded and highly committed fixture.

He added: ‘It was a bitty game in the first half but we knew it was going to be like that.

‘The players knew what was coming, we knew what Yeovil would do and knew how they played.

‘They left a couple out last night to be honest, so have we but it was a real good game.

‘Two teams going toe-to-toe, treating the competition with respect and I think that’s important and both teams wanted to win it.

‘You could see how the lads celebrated, they really wanted to win it.

‘We’ve had a little blip with the two defeats but I’m glad we are now back on that winning run and long may that continue.’